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Collins carefully rubbed the stone tablet with cotton pads dipped in alcohol. Nothing. The Englishman was conscious of a hollow feeling in his stomach. But wait...could it be? As he continued to rub and the centuries of caked-on soot and dust gradually wore off--yes, there they were!--ancient hieroglyphs slowly were beginning to emerge!

“Can you understand it? Is it a prayer? A warning?” Billings’ eager voice jolted Collins out of his reverie. “I can see that it’s something about the creation-”

“All in time, James…let’s get the bugger cleaned off properly first, shall we? There’s plenty of time to play professor later.” Collins was damned if he was going to be hurried through this moment of triumph by his junior colleague, and his voice conveyed a hint of stern rebuke at his assistant’s lack of composure. Yet something was troubling him. Thanks to twelve years of study at the University Collins was as fluent in Ancient Egyptian as any man alive, and the meaning of the pictograms was all too clear:

“Ra said ‘let it be partly sunny’
So he stuck his finger up Isis’ cunny;
It smelt of camphor, cloves and honey
Mark ye well, who reads this papyrus:
Horus set off to embugger Osiris
Didn't wear a Raamses and gave him the virus.
And Imenhotep says he thinks
That east of Thebes he saw the Sphinx
Giving a reacharound to Jar Jar Binks.”

Date Written: December 30, 1899
Author: Jon Matza
Average Vote: 4.3333

04/12/2003 Ewan Snow (5): Good all around short. It has all the elements of humor: irreverence, surprise, and obscene ancient rhymed inscriptions.
04/26/2004 John Slocum (5): This is a Titan of a short.
04/26/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Except that the rhyme says papyrus, but they're cleaning off a stone tablet. I mean, I know it rhymes, but come on!!
04/26/2004 Mr. Pony: Perhaps it's a transcript.
04/27/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Yes, maybe that's it.
11/1/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs (3): -1 for the labored rhyming. +1 for 'embugger'.