A highway in Strange Loop, Texas—while driving home today, I hit upon what I believed was a bright idea and instantly snapped my fingers. Then I caught myself and asked aloud, “I wonder who first thought to finger snap when hitting upon a bright idea?”

And as my car hugged the curvature of space and time, rocketing  past the farms skirting the rural highway, this question sent my mind reeling.

Just who was this mastermind and how did it happen? Did this prophet try other fingers before hitting upon the magical combination of thumb and finger to fire off the perfect snap? How many failed attempts before the first snap broke the silence? Was this the effort of one crying in the wilderness or an ancient culture’s bizarre obsession?

Was this even an invention of Homo sapiens or was it super science bestowed upon us from ancient astronauts or forbidden knowledge coaxed with esoteric incantations from some daemonic force?

And how was the first snap first transmitted? Did the first snap reverberate through our collective unconscious? Did people – people from divers cultures in divers places separated by vast distances – suddenly snap their fingers for no apparent reason or was it passed from master to acolyte only after years of strenuous training and devotion?

Was the snap always secular or was it once a holy and mysterious rite? Was it like the secret knowledge of the Pythagoreans once shrouded in mystery and guarded by secret societies or cabals? Were punishments and curses heaped upon those who betrayed the Order and taught the unwashed masses the Doctrine of the Snap? And if the snap was once sacred, when and how did The Snap become just a snap?

All these questions tumbled through my mind and sent it spinning as my car propelled me around and around and around the tangled strip of a rural highway without so much as an answer.

©2009 Kent Gutschke