Gerbrand Poster

Graphic by Crystal Leung, Anh Lac, and Matthew Burkhart

Keisha was furious. “Men are trash!” she exclaimed. Her friend Tammy was quick to react: “Come now, Keisha, don’t say that…” “Well, what should I say then?” Keisha snarled. “Should I say that this is the fifth time a flesh-and-blood human has been rejected in favor of a Wii controller?!” Tammy was silent. Keisha methodically ripped a picture of her latest video game-addicted ex-boyfriend, Jake, into particulate matter. “I’m through with dating―until a real man shows up.” Tammy smiled. “I believe the person you’re looking for will appear sooner than you think.”


Thousands of years before Keisha’s outburst, two girthy troglodytes shambled across the primordial landscape. Hefted on the shoulder of one was a gigantic club, fashioned from the trunk of a rowan tree. The other bore a rock twice his body weight upon his head. Gronk and Oog, the caveman duo of doom, were on the hunt! 

Oog, the brighter of the two, sniffed the air pensively. Gronk snorted. “Dere’s snot in my nose, Oog.” Oog turned to his companion. “What you say? Take snot out! Out snot out!” Gronk shifted awkwardly. “How I take snot out when I carry beeg rock?” It was true: Gronk used both hands to carry it. Oog thought very deeply about this, scratching his head pensively. “Oh! Me know! I take snot out with club!” Filled with the energy of a new idea, Oog swung his club at Gronk’s nose. Terrified, Gronk let go of his rock and scampered off. At the mercy of gravity, the rock rolled right into a very confused Oog. That was the end of the duo of doom. 

Despite his considerable size, Gronk moved quickly, leaving nearby Saber-toothed tigers slack jawed. Huge cave-tears rolled off his cheeks, his snotty nose forgotten. “Why Oog try hit me?” he moaned. In his great haste to escape the club, Gronk failed to notice that he was in midair until it was too late. Shocked, he plunged directly into a forbidding tar pit below. But this was no ordinary tar pit: it was a time portal!


Keisha’s blood was up. Boyfriend or no boyfriend, it was time to end esports at her school―forever! She, with the reluctant help of Tammy, had taken nearly every local console, switch-stick, and doodenanny associated with gaming, and packed it off into a cardboard box. Soon, that box would be sitting at the bottom of a nearby peat bog. Just imagine: Jake and his fellow screen-slaves slobber for some Mario action, but are brusquely plunged into a state of withdrawal. Then, oh then, Keisha would savor watching Jake come crawling back to her, only to be rejected! As she neared the peat bog, a pure sense of satisfaction stole over her. Now was the time!


Glagh! Wagh! Plughth! Mud, water everywhere! Where was Gronk? He couldn’t breathe! In a desperate scramble for life, he charged upwards. A few seconds later, Gronk broke the surface of a peat bog, staring into the flabbergasted eyes of Keisha.


A scream welled in Keisha’s throat―but it was dispelled. Paralyzed with a mixture of fright and curiosity, Keisha watched Gronk’s tremendous bulk emerge from the bog. Huffing with exertion, Gronk raised his arms above his head and bellowed to the sky. “My name Groooooonk!” A smile slowly spread across Keisha’s face. Here―here was a man!


Gronk couldn’t believe his good fortune. Staring at the figure in front of him, he remembered an old proverb his cave-dad taught him:


“Lots of meat, good to eat.”


Overcome with hunger, Gronk lifted the figure onto his shoulder and lumbered off. Too overcome with conflicted emotions, Keisha didn’t resist. Gronk guffawed aloud. Today was a good day to hunt!