The year is 3500 B.C., a time when everyone’s landlord was a rock, animals were synonymous with clothing, and public nudity was largely acceptable if you didn’t want to wear clothing. But that’s about to change. Everything’s about to change.
Major changes in human culture are on the horizon. From the invention of writing to the very first sailboats to the earliest recorded sleepover pranks, each bit of ingenuity from this era will serve as the bedrock of mankind’s advancement through the rest of history.
Society-shaping discoveries are being made left and right, like the wheel—
“—Hey! HEY! Don’t you look at my wheel! Don’t you fucking look at it!” shouts Richard Wheel. He’s the guy who invented the wheel. He’s not very humble about it.
“Ah, just look at this brilliant little invention of mine. Soon, people everywhere will be using the wheel to roll off hillsides and crush rabbits so they can make shoes out of them! Best thing to happen to mankind since Baldo Fire became the first human to harness fire, no doubt.”
“That’s precious, you having a little idea of your own. Bet it’s not the wheel, because I made that.”
“Wait, as in the animal? What do you mean ‘ride a horse’?”
“Wow. Definitely don’t do that. What a dumb and reckless idea. Wild horses are dangerous, and they hate humans. Anytime you get near one that you’re not about to spear in the jugular, they’ll hoof you to death or drag you to the beach and eat all your clothes. This is the way it has been between people and horses since the dawn of time. No way they’d just up and let you put your crotch on their back. That’s why us 3500 B.C. folk stick to eating horses or making pants out of them, not sitting on them.
Seems like you’ve already forgotten the time you tried sitting on a crow so you could fly everywhere. You only made it 30 miles before it dropped you from 100 feet in the air. Wheels are the future. Not sitting on horses. Don’t be a jackass.
What the hell would riding a horse do for anyone besides get your troglodyte-ass horse-murdered?”
“Well, good luck with that, even though you’ll probably die. I’m gonna go roll this off a mountain towards a fawn and make a vest out of it. Later.”
At first, you wanted to pioneer horse-riding because of all the benefits that horse subservience to humans would offer. Now, you’re additionally motivated to ride a horse just to spite Richard Wheel and his fucking circle.
This monumental human achievement is totally up for grabs. If you want it, the glory of being the first person to ride a horse is yours.
Oh…really? Listen, sanitation systems are an incredibly important development for society. No one’s going to argue that. But would you honestly rather be the founding architect of sewage disposal than horseback riding? Even if you accomplish this feat of engineering, Richard Wheel’s bound to find some dickish way to make fun of you for it.
Before you decide, please just consider how much fun riding a horse would be. Look at this horse. Now imagine yourself on top of it, moving at speeds unthinkable to 3500 B.C. humans.
Wow. Okay. Not quite the adventure that horse riding would be, but a noble choice that will push society forward nonetheless.
Time to get started on your sewage system. Better be quick about it. This guy’s really go to go.
“PLEASE DEVELOP THE FIRST HUMAN-WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEM FASTER. I HAVE TO GO.”
“OH, OH, OOOOH, HURRY.”
“MY SON HAS TO GO, TOO.”
“PLEASE, PLEASE, DON’T LET ME DO THIS IN FRONT OF MY SON, NOT NOW. HURRY.”
Too late. These folks had to go so badly that they took the initiative and designed the world’s first sewage system before you. Afterwards, they also started the world’s first business, a father-and-son-owned sewage, drainage, and plumbing operation that’s been passed down through countless generations. It’s still around today on 130th Street in New York City, called Rocco and Sons Primo Pipe Care.
Even worse, Richard Wheel stole your idea for riding the horse and is now called Richard Wheel And Also Rides Horses.
You should’ve tried to be the first person to ride a horse instead. Try again.
Excellent. Now that you’ve made it your mission to ride a horse, it’s time to go find one and make being on a horse the future of going.
You doodle a blueprint of your plan on the soles of your cragged, filthy 3500 B.C. feet, just so you still get credit for the idea of riding a horse even if you die trying.
Nope, no horses here.
None here either.
Hold up—that’s Horse/Family Bath Mountain, where wild horses and family baths are.
Do you want to check Horse/Family Bath Mountain for horses, or look elsewhere?
You arrive at the mountaintop. No horses.
Still no horses.
Damn. Not a horse in sight up here.
A huntress pushes through the bathing families and approaches you.
“If you’ve come up here looking for horses, know that I’ve turned them all into pants already. I ate one too.”
“You want to ride a horse? Why would anyone need to do that?”
“Got it. Yeah, that guy sucks.
My cousin, Frank Wine, the guy who invented beer a couple centuries back, once tried jumping on a horse to get it to drink beer. It ended up killing him, which is why he’s now called Frank Horse Victim, but as he bled to death from all the horse bites, he moaned,
‘A horse with a SMILE THAT’S NICE AND WIDE
Is the very best horse that a human could ride.’
Whatever that means. Hope it helps. Good luck.”
Ah, finally! A horse clearly tried licking a rainbow into the mud here. You are getting close. You think you can even smell them.
You’ve found horses! Okay, now what?
You’ve decided to become the herd’s alpha so they have no choice but to accept your crotch on their back and go wherever you command them to.
How do you want to go about earning the unwavering respect of the herd?
You single out the alpha horse and approach it. You can tell that this horse is the dominant leader of the herd because it has an incredibly small human penis that every other horse in the herd keeps bowing to when they trot by him.
The alpha horse looks you dead in the eye, unblinking and repeatedly stamping its foot in the dirt. The whole herd’s watching now.
Time to prove your dominance and usurp this fella from power.
The alpha rears back, takes a few swipes at you, and then has sex with every female in the herd to assert its place in this herd’s pecking order. You’ve clearly failed to threaten it.
Time to do something more drastic.
The moment you sink your teeth into the horse’s eyes and spit them on the ground, it begins weeping, and the rest of the herd rushes to its aid. Yes, a horse with no eyes can still weep.
Fuck, man. That was so unnecessary. Not only did you lose the herd’s respect due to your totally unprovoked aggression, but they kept the now-blind alpha horse in power to cheer him up. An overwhelming sense of guilt consumes you as you see the herd travel to a different pasture, this one now scarred with the violence you wrought on them. A baby horse spits on the ground near you out of disgust.
Word of your fucked-up-ness spreads across 3500 B.C. horse society, and now none of them will let you even get close to a herd. You failed to be the first human to ride a horse. Try again.
Wow, you’ve come up with democracy! You’re already proving to be one of 3500 B.C.’s most inventive pioneers, and riding a horse will be the cherry on top of this stunning development for mankind. Richard Wheel is going to throw his shitty circle off a cliff when he sees what you’ve concocted here.
Perhaps the horses will appreciate you respecting their persons and earning your way to putting your crotch on their backs through civil means.
You place a single stone at the foot of every horse in the herd.
You then carefully stand next to the current alpha horse while it’s too busy grazing to want to kill you. You can tell that this horse is the dominant leader of the herd because it has an incredibly small human penis that every other horse in the herd keeps bowing to when they trot by him.
Making sure each horse is paying attention, you demonstrate that, to vote, they must simply carry their rock and put it next to who’d they like to be the alpha of the herd.
Now, you must make your case as to why you deserve to be the alpha, but in a way that a horse can understand.
Okay, you’ve made your case.
Time to vote!
Looks like the horses didn’t understand democracy at all. They didn’t even touch the rocks. The alpha horse just walked over to you and threw a hoof at your face so hard that it inverted your nose.
You look so terrifying that no human, let alone horse, is able to face you, and hence, you are unable to get anyone to listen to your idea for democracy. It will not be tried again for around 3,000 years.
Worst of all, you failed to become the first human to ride a horse. Try again.
Probably a good idea to work your way up to these horses from something less dangerous.
What do you want to practice riding on?
Ah, yes, the wooly mammoth. The animal that everyone in 3500 B.C. gets their milk and wigs from.
Before you can climb up its 12-foot frame and straddle it, the wooly mammoth turns and addresses you telepathically, which is something that no one will ever prove wasn’t true about them:
“Come on, us woolies have, like, two millennia before we’re extinct forever. Total dunzo. Be cool. Let us enjoy the time we have left undisturbed.”
“Please. Don’t do this,” says the wooly mammoth as you throw your legs over its back.
Good thing you ignored the wooly mammoth’s pleas for you to leave it alone, because you ended up domesticating wooly mammoths and saved them from extinction! In the future, wealthy children get wooly mammoths for their birthdays, Christopher Reeve becomes paralyzed after falling off a wooly mammoth, and they’re also the animal that gets ridden during the Preakness Stakes.
Unfortunately, this meant horses were totally eradicated from the planet instead because they had to be killed to feed all the wooly mammoths, and you never became the first person to ride one. Try again.
Smart thinking! This is a great starting point for eventually riding a real horse.
Oof. You ended up splattering the seahorse…maybe try one that’s a better fit for your size.
This one should do!
Damn, well, okay, maybe go another size up.
You got this!
Ouch…not quite. Listen, no one said this journey would be easy, so don’t get discouraged. Let’s give it one more go, yeah?
All right, get a load of this big guy! This is the one. Now go easy. No need to rush.
Yikes. Okay, you’re done practicing on seahorses for now.
You’ve found some plants to practice riding on.
Oh no! You killed the plants when you tried riding them. This does not bode well for riding a horse.
“WHAT THE FUCK?! MY PLANTS! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!”
“FUCK! I WAS GOING TO PIONEER AGRICULTURE WITH THOSE PLANTS!”
“THAT IS DEVASTATING TO HEAR.”
As you sprint toward the herd to jump on one, they all disperse, except for this horse. It appears to be the herd’s alpha. You can tell that this horse is the dominant leader of the herd because it has an incredibly small human penis that every other horse in the herd keeps bowing to when they trot by him.
Before you can jump on the horse, it trots backwards toward you while peering over its shoulder, stops for five seconds to casually urinate as if you can’t tell it’s about to kick you in the face, then it violently throws its leg back to whomp you in the chomper. Hard.
Oh no! This spiteful, spiteful horse ran all the way to the desert, bit you on the face until you let go of its leg, sucked the moisture out of you through your mouth to hydrate itself, ate the deerskin tunic off your body, and left you naked to die of thirst as it sprinted back to the herd.
To rub salt in the wound, an hour later, when you thought it was long gone, the horse returned carrying 15 rattlesnakes inside its mouth and threw them on you. At first, the rattlesnakes didn’t seem to want to hurt you, but then each of them threw up a rat and all the rats ate through your skin and made a nest in your stomach.
You died an agonizing four days later after the horse returned again to sit on your head.
You failed at being the first person to ride a horse. Try again.
Before you finish your pitch, one horse whispers into the ear of another horse:
Whatever that means, it does not sound good.
Suddenly, all the horses begin sprinting toward you. The thunderous approach of the herd is simultaneously magnificent and terrifying.
Oh God. They’re getting close. Now they’re all whispering “beach humiliation” in unison.
You are trampled.
Just before you lose consciousness, you very clearly hear one horse whisper the following to another horse:
*Sounds of the beach*
“Looks like some horses did a beach humiliation on you, huh?” says a 3500 B.C. baby.
You look down.
Turns out the horses dragged your unconscious body to the beach and ate the deerskin tunic clean off your body.
Fortunately, public nudity is acceptable in 3500 B.C. Unfortunately, you are sunburned from head to toe, and the horses have marked your ass a warning to you and anyone else who tries mounting them.
Damn. Riding is not as simple as you thought it’d be.
“Tried to ride a horse, didn’t you? If you knew anything about 3500 B.C., you’d know that horses are much too proud to let another animal put its crotch on their back just yet,” says the 3500 B.C. baby.
“Anyway, welcome to 3500 B.C. Beach.”
As you brush the sand off your sunburned genitals to explore 3500 B.C. Beach, a person riding another person gallops past you at 2 miles per hour, nearly knocking you back down.
Suddenly, two more people riding people trot past you…
…and then more! It’s a whole herd of humans riding humans.
One of the riders yanks on her person’s ears, sending them both flying into the air and over your head. They land and come to a halt when the rider pinches the person extremely hard on the eyes.
“Ah, yes, I figured you might ask. Come, my beach-humiliated friend. I will introduce you to the Charles People Rider.”
Just as you and the baby turn to go find Charles People Rider, a man crawls up behind you and tries to straddle your back and ride you.
“Ah! We have a stubborn one! Looking to do riding rather than be ridden, are you? I find that admirable. Hello. It’s me. Charles People Rider, the first human to ride another human like how a horse would presumably be ridden. I am also the common ancestor of every single Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee,” says Charles People Rider.
“It has long been a dream of mine to ride a horse, but alas, the idea of jumping on a wild one is profoundly dumb and reckless. I’m a firm believer in riding in general, though, hence my students who just rode by you.”
“I’ll gladly pass all my knowledge about riding on to you so that you can become the first human to ride a horse—BUT, only in exchange for another uniquely human achievement that I can be credited as the pioneer of.”
You quickly come up with some other ideas that will change society forever so that horse riding can be yours.
“Brilliant! Thank you. That will now be my personal contribution to human progress. Okay, a deal’s a deal,” says First Rider.
“The best way to get something to let you ride it is through GUILT AND SHAME. Only through breaking its spirit with GUILT AND SHAME can you reduce a creature’s self-respect so low that it pathetically accepts your crotch on its back whenever you demand it.
Then, once it’s accepted your crotch on its back, KICK ITS SIDES to make it go, PULL ITS EARS to make it jump, and PINCH ITS EYES to make it come to a halt. Then you will have successfully ridden.”
Before you leave the beach, you thank the 3500 B.C. baby for being nice to you by quickly thinking of the idea for heliocentrism and giving it to her.
She eats a handful of sand out of gratitude and bids you good luck.
You’ve returned to the horses. Be more strategic this time: Pick one specific horse to break with GUILT AND SHAME so you can ride it.
You decide to stand by and let one come to you.
No immediate takers.
Nothing yet. The horses barely acknowledge your presence.
A horse with a giant tumor dangling out of its rectum uses its two front legs to drag itself and the tumor in front of you. The herd seems to want nothing to do with this thing, which is made evident by the fact that they all keep kicking dirt on it. It desperately tries to offer you its fur to make pants out of by drawing a pair of shorts in the soil with its hoof and then pointing back at itself.
You think this may be the the horse you’re stuck with, until 20 seconds later, when the horse’s tumor pops like a balloon and the whole animal deflates into a puddle of former-horse.
So, still no takers.
After several hours of waiting, this miniature horse is the only one that approaches you. It tries wiggling between your legs so you can sit on its back.
Okay, which horse do you want to try and ride?
Okay, which horse do you want to try and ride?
You picked a rotting horse corpse…you know a horse has to be alive for you to ride it, right?
You’ve picked yet another rotting horse corpse…Dude, choose more carefully this time.
You’ve picked a nice, smiling horse. With your new knowledge of riding, what are you going to do to break the horse’s spirit with GUILT AND SHAME?
Just as you’re about to go find someone that means a lot to the horse so it’ll feel awful when you get it to kill them by accident, it turns and whinnies excitedly.
It’s a man holding flowers. The horse approaches him and eats a few of the flowers, then affectionately rubs its neck against him.
“Hi, I’m Ötzi. I see you might be about to try riding this horse. Cool. Before we discuss anything further, there are two things you should know about me:
1) This horse and I harbor a deep connection. As deep a connection as a human and horse could have, I would say. It is a relationship forbidden by the herd and mankind, which only makes our bond stronger knowing that the whole world is against it. It’s not sexual in any way, but it is far more repulsive.
2) I am absolutely terrified that after I die, someone’s going to find my dead body thousands of years from now and make a big deal out of it. Oh boy, that would be just about the worst. Allow me to elaborate.”
The horse has turned around to graze while Ötzi blabs on about being mortified of people in the future making a big deal out of his dead body.
You have an idea.
“Back up? Sounds good, not a problem. Okay, just to reiterate, if people in the future find my body one day, I hope they just cover it with dirt again and forget about it. Having people you don’t know pore over your dead body would be horrible. Do you agree?”
Ötzi moves back even closer to the horse. Almost there.
“Back up more? Sure, that’s fine. So, as I was saying, when I go, I want to be gone, not one bit of me preserved, bones and everythi—”
The horse kicks Ötzi in the skull so hard that the poor guy’s eyes launch out of his head and rocket out over 30 feet in front of him.
Horrifically, the hoof is driven so deep into the back of his head that it gets stuck in there and doesn’t come out until the horse uses its other hoof as leverage to yank it free like how people do when struggling to take off ski boots. It is a gruesome sight, to say the least.
The horse looks down to investigate what just happened, and as soon as it realizes, it audibly gasps, then begins shaking and vomiting. As you watch the horse rub its nose on Ötzi’s flowers and whimper, you can tell it truly felt something for this person.
It throws its head in the air and lets out a neigh of anguish.
Given the turbulent relationship 3500 B.C. humans have with horses, this won’t be easy.
Staring deep into the horse’s eyes, you take its hoof into your hand.
The horse seems to respond well.
Build on this great first step by complimenting the horse.
As you continue building trust with the horse, it shimmies and lies on its back in a vulnerable position to demonstrate how much it trusts you.
While you’re building this deep connection with the horse, the rest of the herd suddenly storms onto the scene and surrounds you.
Not fast enough. The herd pushes your horse out of the way and organizes into a single-file line.
Looks like this horse wants you to blow a raspberry on it, too.
…and this one.
Suddenly, Richard Wheel walks by as he’s on his way to retrieve his wheel after crushing a possum to make a brassiere out of it and sees you.
“Wow. Not cool. I’m telling everyone in 3500 B.C. It’s to Horseless Hole with you, buddy.”
Welp. Thanks to Richard Wheel, everyone in 3500 B.C. thinks you interact with horses inappropriately. Sure, society wasn’t as put-together as it is today in 3500 B.C., but apparently putting your mouth on a horse was too taboo even for then. 3500 B.C. society then excommunicated you to Horseless Hole, where there are no horses but two bobcats without legs. Sadly, there’s zero chance of you riding those.
You failed to become the first person to ride a horse. Try again.
The horse lays down and silently stares at the body, privately reckoning with what it has done to Ötzi, the human who fed it flowers, the human it trusted even more than it did any horse.
You did it! You broke the horse’s spirit. Now, it is ready to ride.
You’ve placed your crotch on its back. Now what?
Hmm, that didn’t seem to work. The horse didn’t respond at all.
Whoa—you’re going! You’re on the horse, and it’s going! The wind is blowing through your unwashed 3500 B.C. hair, and the scenery is passing by in a blur.
Oh no, look out—the first-ever human dog pile is happening right in the horse’s path.
Hopefully you remember how to control this thing. Make the horse jump over them!
Oh boy. That’s not how you’re supposed to ride. You are thrown from the horse.
You were so close! Instead, when you fell off the horse, it kept running straight into the ocean, and some starfish ended up being the first to ride a horse instead of you. You also completely shattered your legs and are forced to use a wheelchair made with Richard Wheel’s goddamn wheel for the rest of your 3500 B.C. life. It is an utterly humiliating defeat.
Your horse jumps.
You land safe and sound and keep on riding and riding, all the way to 3500 B.C. Beach.
Charles People Rider sees you from afar:
“He is doing it! He is riding a horse! A horse has been ridden for the first time ever!”
“He rides! He rides!” shouts the 3500 B.C. baby in a show of support.
You ride on, with one final objective on your mind.
You approach Richard Wheel on the horse at full sprint.
“What?! You’re actually riding a horse?! Big deal. Wheels can’t die, but your horse will when I roll my wheel from the top of Horse/Family Bath Mountain and make pants out of them all—”
You leave a trampled Richard Wheel and his now-destroyed circle in the dust. He experiences such a severe concussion that he forgets his idea for the wheel, so you steal the wheel from him.
A 3500 B.C., paradigm-shifting invention twofer. Nice!
You ride and ride, basking in your accomplishment. You get so caught up in the exhilaration of being the first person to ride a horse that you don’t even notice that you’re about to ride off a cliff.
Quick! Make the horse stop!
You come to a halt at the cliff’s edge just in the nick of time.
Congratulations! You were victorious in becoming the first human to ever ride a horse. Plus, you also became the inventor of the wheel along the way! Sadly, Jesus is going to come along in 3,500 years and steal all the thunder from your incredible contributions to human advancement by inventing Christmas. Even so, you enjoyed living to the ripe old 3500 B.C. age of 24 years old and taught the world that horses are for riding, not just making pants out of, and that’s something to be proud of. Incredible.
You and the horse plunge off the cliff to your grisly deaths.
Congratulations! Despite dying, you were still victorious in becoming the first human to ever ride a horse. People found the blueprint you made on your foot and carried on your legacy of riding horses instead of turning them into pants. Unfortunately, you aren’t alive to bask in the glory of this accomplishment, but it’s still something to be proud of. Plus, you also became the inventor of the wheel along the way! Simply incredible. Mankind is forever in your debt.