Sunday 26 August 2018

Fossils and my brother

My brother works at the Natural

History Museum in London. He’s a

fossil. No - sorry, I got that wrong.

He looks after the fossils.

Looks after the fossils? What sort

of job is that? I mean it can’t be very

hard, can it? They’re just stones.

They don’t jump at you, like if you

were looking after a tiger. Imagine

that, you come down in the morning,

there’s a tiger. You go up to it, and you

say, ‘What do you want to eat?’ And the

tiger says, ‘YOU!’. That would be hard.

No, my brother looks after fossils. I went

into his room forty years ago and there

were four fossils sitting on a shelf. I said,

‘What are you doing Brian?’ He said,

‘Looking after the fossils.’ I said, ‘They’re not

going to jump off the shelf, are they?’

He said, ‘You never know. That’s what

I’m here for.’ I went to his office the other

day and the four fossils were still there.

On the shelf. I said, ‘Brian, the fossils

are still there!’ And he said, ‘Yes.That’s

because I was here.’

If ever you find a fossil and

you don’t know what it’s called,

you might pick it up and

shout at it: ‘Dave!’ ‘Melanie!’

and it doesn’t answer - then

you can take it to the Natural

History Museum in London and

you go up to one of the people in uniform

and tell them you’ve got a fossil

and you don’t know its name:

‘Dave!’, ‘Melanie!’ - see it doesn’t

answer, and they send for my brother,

Doctor Brian Rosen. He lives in a cave

underneath the museum, he wears

a leopard skin bikini and he’s got a

great big club, and he comes up

from down below the museum, you’ll

hear him coming, ‘Ooof!!! Oooof!!!’

and suddenly the big double doors open

in front of you and there he is in his

leopard skin bikini and you can go up

to him and say, ‘Hello. I’ve found a fossil,

and I don’t know its name: Dave!

Melanie! See it doesn’t answer,’ and my

brother takes a magnifying glass out of

his leopard skin bikini bottom and it’s

one of those little ones, and he puts it

in his eye and it makes his eye go really

big and he studies it very hard and then

he says,’No, that’s not Dave. It’s not

Melanie, that is an ammonite.’ Or maybe

he’ll say, ‘That is a belemnite.’ and you’ll

be very pleased. And if it’s a really, really

good one, do you know what he does

then? He nicks it off you. Because if it’s

really, really good, it doesn’t belong to

you, it doesn’t belong to him. Do you

know who it belongs to? The Queen.

And if you go to Buckingham Palace

you’ll see that it’s stuffed full of old