Immortal Befuddled

"Dying is Easy, Comedy is Hard"
Edmund Keane, 1834

Part One: Double Trouble
by Dennis E. Power

The many faces of Ollu and Buzsla




"Flying Elephants" (1932) Laurel and Hardy short subject

    A King of a Stone Age tribe orders all men in the tribe to marry on pain of death or banishment. Laurel and Hardy's characters both court the same girl,  the daughter of the tribal wizard.  After the Hardy character disposes of the Wizard's toothache using his club the Wizard favors him. Laurel decides to fight Hardy over the affections of the girl. He manipulates Hardy into a position where he could be knocked off a cliff with a kick. Laurel wins the hand of the lady. The title of the film comes from a sequence in which animated flying elephants are shown.

     Although this was not a Laurel and Hardy film in which they worked as a team, the story idea was based on material provided by one of the two gag writers that Ollu had talked to.

    Stripping away the fantastic elements were are left with a story in which Ollu and Buzsla both try to woo the affections of their tribes shaman. The decree by their tribal chieftain may or may not have been real. If it was it was probably because the population of the tribe had decreased to dangerous levels and children were needed to augment the population. The flying elephants were probably fictional, although they may be a species unknown to modern day archaeology, possibly a naturally occurring hybrid or a product of alien science.

"In the Soup"  Abbott and Costello Animated Series episode No.3

This cartoon feature has Abbott and Costello cooking up soup in prehistoric times. They try to get a bone for their soup but have to fight a tiger for it and the bone falls into a volcano.

    This cartoon apparently represents a tale from when Ollu and Buzsla had been exiled from their tribe because of their curse of immortality and their eternal bad luck. Times were so hard for the two that they became scavengers and attempted to steal food from a tiger. They barely survived the encounter without injury.

"Save A Cave" Abbott and Costello Animated Series episode.

In this cartoon episode a Dragonasaurus forces Abbott and Costello from their cave. Costello attempts to evict the dinosaur using a club but fails. They eventually tamed the Dragonasaurus by providing it with lava soup.

    This episode again is symbolic of Ollu and Buzsla's exile from their tribe and their wandering about the Neolithic world. The wandered into an area in which dinosaurs, long thought to be extinct still existed. To their surprise they discovered that some of these dinosaurs had been domesticated, as symbolized by the taming of the Dragonasaurus.

The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera productions, ABC television 1960-1966

    The story of a modern Stone Age family as typified by Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble. This Neolithic version of a Twentieth-Century city used a variety of domesticated animals as substitutes for modern technology-

     Although most of The Flintstones show was fictitious so far as the persons, places and events are concerned the basic idea of the show The Flintstones appears to have had some basis in reality. In Time's Last Gift's by Philip Jose Farmer, Tarzan using the name John Gribardson, traveled back to 12,000 BC with a group of fellow explorers. When the other time travelers returned to their original time period, Tarzan decided to stay in the past. He was going to travel to the future by living through history. While in his twenties, Tarzan had been made immortal by an African Shaman. According to the Moishe-Wildman temporal mechanics, upon which the H.G. Wells time traveling device was based, it was impossible for any object to be sent back in time to the same time period. A time period being defined as the length of person's life time. For example if you wanted to send an object back in time you had to do so prior to the birth date of the oldest living person on the planet.

    When the Tarzan decided to stay back in the Neolithic he caused a temporal paradox. Mr. Farmer speculated that when the H.G. Wells traveled back in time it disintegrated because Tarzan was still living. Yet this does not work out because, if the machine never traveled back in time then history would have been quite different since Tarzan was one or two significant historical figures. What happened was that rather than creating a temporal paradox or shunting the time travelers into a parallel world, the H.G. Wells and its contents were temporally twinned, one the vehicles being jumped an additional 14,000 years.

    Tarzan lived for decades with a Paleolithic tribe and became their Undying God.

  This is also explained in the article Triple Tarzan Tangle.Back in the Old Stone Age, after all of his fellow time travelers had perished he wrote the books of Tharn, in which he detailed what he remembered of world history and his genealogy. He left the Books of Tharn in the keeping of a Paleolithic tribe with whom he had lived with for decades. One of the goals, which became a sacred task for the tribe was to preserve the historical timeline laid out in the Books of Tharn so that Tarzan would be born in the future. However a schism arose in the tribe. A new sect believed that they could recreate the twentieth century in the Paleolithic era and so bring about the early return of the Undying God. They went off to form their own culture. After these schismatic fanatics left the tribe, one of the members of the original tribe made an astounding discovery and found the secret of immortality, or at least of extreme life extension. These Stone Age immortals formed the nucleus of the organization which would become known as the Nine as seen in Philip Jose Farmer's works, A Feast Unknown, The Mad Goblin and Lord of the Trees

    The schismatic sect, which wished to recreate the twentieth century in the Neolithic era, found a valley where there were still remnants of dinosaur species living alongside Paleolithic mammals in a self-contained ecosystem. By using stone age technology and domesticating all the animals they could, they were able to create  many devices that mimicked the marvels of the twentieth century A. D. described in the Books of Tharn. Examples were automobiles made out of stone and wood, mastodon showers, dinosaur powered cranes etc.

    Buzsla and Ollu wandered into this area and became part of the community. They mated with local women and had children, Ollu and his mate had a red headed little girl and Buzsla and his mate had a platinum blond baby with freakish strength. Buzsla's mate was purportedly the daughter of Tharn. The daughter of Ollu and the son of Buzsla also mated, among their progeny was a warrior born in Ancient Mesopotamia who took his name from the ancestral totem of their family, The flint stone. He fell in battle and but did not die and thus he proved to be immortal. Although there is some evidence that he was not the same type of an immortal as Buzsla or Ollu but rather the type known as the Highlander type immortal, those nutty guys that Ollu and Buzsla hid from.

    The story of Buzsla and Ollu's sojourn in this island of civilization in an otherwise stone age world was short lived, so far as they were concerned after a few hundred years, the civilization known as "Bedrock" fell due to a combination of factors. As the population of Bedrock increased urban sprawl spilled over into the surrounding, less civilized domains. In order to defend themselves against raids and military campaigns by Neolithic warriors, an army had to be raised. The raids by the outer tribes and the ecological problems that rapid Stone Age industrialization had caused to the delicate ecosystem diminished the supplies of foodstuffs and domesticated animals. The cost of a standing army and the lack of supplies caused an economic crisis, which lead to a civil war in Bedrock. The final straw was a flood due to the collapse of a land bridge. The inhabitants of the small community were also forced to move to higher ground.

    This of course begs the question where was "Bedrock" located? The answer to this involved quite a bit of research with scant evidence and the resulting answer is like much of the this article, speculative at best. The location for "Bedrock" seems to be ib on a landmass between the what would become the islands of Malta and Gozo. In Malta and Gozo are located some of the oldest Neolithic megaliths yet discovered. They are also among the most complex of the megalithic remains yet found. During the last period of glaciation 23,000 to 10,000 Goz and Malta and Sicily were all connected to one another and to the tip of what is now known as the Italian peninsula. During the time when the oceans were once again rising, a geological instability caused the area between Gozo and Malta to be violently flooded. The survivors of this deluge fled either to the mountainous regions which became Gozo, Malta or a small island which remained for a few decades between Malta and Goz until it too was covered by the rising oceans.

    Ollu and Buzsla formed a small tribe consisting of their families and friends. They still retained a few of the domesticated dinosaurs. Buzsla's son Guz was elected chieftain. They called their small area Moo, after a mythical land mentioned in the Books of Tharn.

    Ollu's grandson Alley Oop became one of the preeminent warriors in Moo and valiantly defended it against all enemies including other group of former Bedrockites, the Lemens. Alley and his girlfriend, Oola who was also descended from Ollu and Alley's second cousin were accidentally kidnapped by Professor Wonmug's time machine. After Ollu and Alley adjusted to the new time period they became agents of Wonmug, traveling to historical periods collecting data. (5)They met such personages as Helen of Troy, Hercules, the pharaoh Khafra, Cleopatra, Blackbeard, Napoleon, Pocahontas, and King Arthur.

    On a few of their trips into the modern era Chief Guz's youngest son, Tor, accompanied Alley and Oola.

    Tor became enamored of the concept of the superhero and decided to become the first superhero in history or rather in prehistory. Tor smuggled back a device used by construction crews in the late twenty-second century. It was a small rod about two feet long and two inches in diameter. Among its functions were a repulsor ray for moving and lifting, a tractor beam, an industrial laser with various cutting settings, a projective or surrounding force field and antigravity generator. Tor disguised the construction wand in a hollowed out wooden club. Whenever danger called he would don a costume consisting of a bull's head helmet with eyeholes and a fur cape. He rode a dinosaur mount only Might-Tor's mount appeared to breathe flame. The flame came from the "club" which Tor set to emulate a large blowtorch giving the illusion of a fire-breathing dragon. Tor claimed that while on a hunting trip, Tor and his faithful companion Tog rescued an ancient hermit from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Grateful the old man gave Tor a club, which possessed great powers. Tor raised the club and he became Migh-Tor a great warrior who could fly, had great strength and his club could fire "force rays". His dinosaur Tog was transformed into a fire-breathing dragon.

    Although the club's power source eventually ran down and it lost many of its function Tor continued his charade into his middle age, despite growing a large beard and becoming rather stout. He called himself Captain Caveman. Despite some later accounts stating that Captain Caveman was active during the time of Bedrock, this is not the case, those stories like most of The Flintstone's Comedy Hour are fictional. Tor was flash-frozen in a glacier and thawed out circa 1977. Because of his having visited the epoch in his youth he was somewhat familiar with the language and culture. He had been discovered and unfrozen by three young girls in their late teens that were traveling around the country as a secondary investigation team for Mystery Inc. He convinced them that if the truth about his origins were known scientists wishing to dissect him would constantly hound him. While this may have been true, for the most part Tor did not want his "club" to be examined by modern day scientists.

    Tor as Captain Caveman, was a sort of mascot/public relations ploy for the girl investigation team. He used his club to help them in their mystery solving ventures, although sometimes to their detriment. Unfortunately Tor did not last long after his thawing, within a few years he caught a disease for which did not have any immunity and died at the chronological age of 18,061.




5. A highly fictionalized account of Alley and Oola's adjustment to the modern age was portrayed in the 1966-67 situation comedy It's About Time, CBS television.  In this version an American spaceship  The Scorpio (ID No. E-X-1) was manned by Air Force astronauts  Captain Mac Mackenzie and Lieutenant Hector "Hec" Canfield. While returning from a NASA mission (that exceeded speeds of 60,000 miles per second), the crew of the Scorpio land in a remote jungle which they feel is the terrain of another planet. But after seeing a cave man and a Tyrannosaurus rex, they quickly conclude they have broken the time barrier and are now existing in the year 1 million B.C. They also discover that  their spacecraft is damaged (faulty condenser points) and so they set out in search of the minerals to repair their engines and return to their own time. With the assistance of a cave family consisting of Gronk, Shad, Mlor and Breer, the astronauts discover a diamond from the eye of an tribal idol that could correct the condenser points and send them home. Unfortunately, the cave family is now vilified by the local clan and so to protect them, the astronauts (called "evil spirits" by the tribal elders) take them onboard the Scorpio and travel back through time to  modern America. After the Scorpio lands about 50 outside Los Angeles, the astronauts sequester their prehistoric friends from the staring eyes of twentieth century onlookers and teach them to adjust to their new and strange surroundings (which they call "The Other Side of the Hill").



© 2002 Dennis Power

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