An inBorfestigation with Jay’Saul Sherman
BASRAH, IRAQ — A single drop of sweat lingers, dancing at the tip of my nose. Looking down I see we have, seven? No more than eight feet to the bed. Ahkmed, having hit ground first shouts, “I see it. It’s here all right.”
What’s there are remains. Ruins, of the most ancient crust. A relic from a time many call the first. My guides and I stand at the fount of what history recalls as the oldest shred of human civilization.
Sumer, as the Greeks would later label Mesopotamia, bore to us the concept of currency, of trade and prospect. The true birthplace of business as a practiced effort. And as with all things, practice breeds expansion.
No science can truly explain the phenomenon of multiplicity. Call it… collective conscious. Evolution. Whatever the name, something turns the page of human ingenuity like the rolling waves of the ocean.
As it were, with business of trade and commerce comes agricultural strides. The taming of animals and grazing of land. And through farming, then trading, cultural centers develop as a hub. A melting pot of interactions, where these businesses and citizens of the burgeoning business world congregate and conglomerate, giving birth to of course, recreation and entertainment.
“This was the altar,” Ahkmed points, wiping his heavy brow. “That raised, oval protrusion. That was the base of the pole. Where they tied it.” Standing on a crumbled platform nearly five feet in diameter, I run my hands along the oval protrusion he described to me.
“So this is where she would stand?” I squat down, positioning myself as if under an equidae. “Or he,” Ahkmed replies. “The Sumerians are known to have enjoyed a wide variety of participants in their shows.”
He’s speaking of course, about donkey shows: when a human being and or other animal, also or not another human being, engage in the carnal discovery of biology and pleasure with a donkey. And we are standing on the site of the oldest known performance of such an act.
In this ten part inBorfestigation series, I am going to take you on a journey through time. Through the anals of business history, to the brink of discovery, and the one game that never seems to stop.
My time in the south of Iraq concludes with a ritual recreation of the first donkey show. Attendees offer up ancient shekels, or weights of barley, some even dried or severed human remains to enjoy the performance. And as my payment, I offer a sacrifice. The main event of the night’s festivities—a star performer—my husband, Harold Sherman-O’Houlihan.
Join us next time as we venture to the home of golden antiquity and modern depression, where a Parthenon was built, and time’s greatest thinkers discovered bold new ways to enjoy our friend, the donkey.
I’m Jay’Saul Sherman, inBorfestigating business for you.