Who invented kissing?
I pondered this recently, while kissing, as it happens. I broke off the kiss to introduce this train of thought. Do animals kiss? I mused. My kissing partner at the time (kissing partner? Kissee? Co-kisser?) shrugged it off, but neither of us could think of an animal that kissed. Not even apes, who apparently share 99.9% of our DNA. Which indicates that we’re 0.1% away from being banana-loving tree dwellers. I find this a little bit hard to believe, not just because that tiny fraction of our genetic makeup must contain our gigantically superior intellect (hopefully anyone intelligent enough to be reading this won’t be a gorilla and therefore won’t be offended) as well as our more modest body hair, our beautiful opposable thumbs etc, but just because it seems weird that 0.1% can determine so much about a species. What if the 0.1% had gone the other way, would we be walking around on our hands without ears, hearing with our noses and eating with our toenails? We got very lucky that a minute, 0.1% change happened to make us extremely intelligent and handsome and not so achingly stupid that the apes referred to us as cockroaches of the jungle and threw their banana skins at us. Hurray for evolution. If I met evolution at a party I’d buy him/her a drink.
Anyway, animals don’t kiss, and our mouths obviously weren’t designed for kissing; they were designed for eating, breathing, yapping and blowjobs. So at what point did kissing become such a staple diet of love across the world? Were there at some point secluded tribes in Africa (home of secluded tribes) who when they first came across civilised society and saw a man and a woman kiss burst into exclamations of shock and disgust?
“What are you doing?”
“We’re kissing. It’s a way a man and a woman express their love for one another.”
“THAT’S how you express love? By rolling your tasting organs over each other? That’s practically cannibalism! ... which we highly approve by the way, us being generic African tribe”
“How do you express love for one another?”
“By tickling the undersides of each others feet with Zebra hairs of course. Our way makes much more sense. And it’s far more hygienic.”
Something along those lines anyway. I wonder if this ever occurred, or is kissing just a universal human trait we all started doing and enjoying around the same time? Regardless, I explain adamantly to my Mutual Kissing Beneficiary (who at this point has got bored and is attempting to sleep), there must have been a ‘first kiss’ in the human race, somewhere, at some time. I can picture a moment of awkwardness between two cavemen.. well one caveman and one cavelady.. between two cavepeople as they stare at each other gormlessly, unable to express their heartfelt emotions neither physically nor verbally. A long evening stroll by the river has just occurred (I’m sure that walking predates kissing?) followed by some gnawing at animal carcasses and a glass of red wine – I mean, whatever beverage cavepeople had at hand. Dinosaur milk. Caveman stares at cavelady, attempts to compare her to a summer’s day, but hasn’t quite got the grasp of seasons, nor similes. But suddenly, human nature takes its course and they find themselves, a little bit surprised, biting at each other’s faces.