Program 17: Warriors of the Cliffs.

WELCOME TO Plodleigh’s Ancient Mysteries. I’m Kenny Plodleigh, and tonight we explore the mysterious rise and even more mysterious disappearance of one of the greatest forgotten cultures in the world: the ruthless but highly civilized, um, uh—oh, it’s just on the tip of my tongue… It began with a C, or a CH sound, like “Chimichanga” or something, except that’s what I had for dinner last night. But it was something like that. It sounded a lot like that, except of course it wasn’t. Chipotle, that’s it. No, wait. Well, that’s ridiculous. I mean, I’ve spent months studying these people, and I can’t remember their name. Here I am standing in the middle of the ruins of Whatchamacallit, the ancient capital and fortress of this forgotten civilization, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to call them. Chiclets, Chillingsworths, Chichesters, Tschaikowskies, something that starts with a CH. I was going to tell you all about how they suddenly rose to power in the thirteenth century and conquered a small empire in the Andes, but it’s not much of a story if I keep having to call them the Thingummies all the way through, is it? Or maybe it was the eleventh century. If it’s the twelve hundreds, is that the thirteenth century or the eleventh? I always get that mixed up. I know it’s not the twelfth, because that would be too easy. Let’s see, we’re in the twenty-first century now, and it’s the two thousands, so, um, if I subtract, and carry the nineteen, it comes out to, so it is the eleventh after all. And that was when these Whosits built this vast fortress complex you see behind me, but they didn’t have a written language, you see, so it’s not as though they could just spray-paint their name over the gate where I could read it to you. And then I would have been rappelling into that dark hole over there where there’s evidence that the Whaddayacallems made human sacrifices of warriors from their traditional enemies, the Thingies. Well, a fine scene that’s going to make now. I can just see me dangling from a rope in the dark, talking about the Whoevers defeating the Whatstheirnames. I might as well just call it quits and fill up the rest of the hour with reruns of My Mother the Car for all the good I’m doing here. I think I’ll go back to my comfortable hotel room, where it doesn’t smell so much like hot llamas and I can get a nice cup of tea, and maybe it will come to me there.