When it comes right down to it, being human isn’t all that much fun. We sweat and get toenail fungus. We have to floss. Our computers crash. We have to deal with spiders and Miley Cyrus.
It’s no wonder that, given his options, Thomas Thwaites—a 34-year-old transhumanist from England—decided to try being a goat instead. Not a loyal, lovable dog. Not some diva’s pampered cat. Not a powerful, majestic lion. Of all the four-footed creatures in the world, he picked a goat.
Morphing into a hoofed creature is not as simple as it sounds. You can’t just grab a set of horns and a mohair coat and go marching into Starbucks on all fours expecting the java junkies to acknowledge your goatliness. If it were that easy, everyone would do it.
No, no. Thwaites spent a year designing prosthetics to help him realize the full goat experience, which one can only have in the Swiss Alps. He spent several days in his prosthetic hoofs climbing the hills, trying to blend in with his highly skeptical goat family.
If you are a native-born Swiss goat, you don’t often see something like Thwaites stumbling up your mountainside. So the first question you ask yourself is: “Why is that poor, homely creature wearing a helmet?”
Well, there’s a very good reason for that. Compared to a goat, human knees are on backwards. So the prosthetics were designed not only to compensate for the bipedal tendency to balance on two limbs, but to cover up his hands and feet—always a dead giveaway—and to make the knee thing more convincing. In other words, much like women over 50 wearing spike heels, Thwaites fell on his head a lot.
He also got a crash course (no pun intended) in herd manners. When you are the new “kid” on the block, you never hobble up the hill ahead of the alpha. That’s bad form. According to dailymail.co.uk, Thwaites unwittingly found himself in that socially awkward position.
“I looked up and all the other goats were looking at me. Everyone else had stopped chewing and it was in that moment, when I thought, ‘those horns look quite sharp,’ ” the Daily Mail reported.
You’d think he’d understand that psychology, since Thwaites invented a set of executive chairs designed to puff up aspiring alphas who need help intimidating their troops. Based on the same principle as a puffer fish, the boss’ chair inflates itself to affirm who is in charge. At the same time, an unwitting underling’s tush is parked in a chair that’s shrinking down and becoming more uncomfortable by the second. The subordinate will assume the alpha has absolute authority, if not magical powers. Or he’ll think something’s wrong with the chair.
You’re probably wondering what’s next for the infamous goat man. As we speak, Thwaites is penning a book about his six days as a hoofed beast and the break he took from being human. For future goats, it’s a self-help book. For women in high heels, it’s a safety manual.
Just skip right to the helmet chapter.
Jan A. Igoe likes goats, particularly in pajamas, but would rather personally morph into a colorful tropical creature that shuns frigid mountains and dines on something besides grass. Cookies, if possible. Share your animal wisdom here.