A stone tablet has been found that’s around 3,000 years old, inscribed with a writ­ing sys­tem hereto­fore unrec­og­nized. The tablet, unearthed in Veracruz, Mexico, con­tains sym­bols that are appar­ently rem­i­nis­cent of Olmec. At first, there was lit­tle hope for trans­la­tion of the tablet’s contents.

Experts who have exam­ined the sym­bols on the stone slab said they would need many more exam­ples before they could hope to deci­pher them and read what is writ­ten. It appeared, they said, that the sym­bols in the inscrip­tion were unre­lated to later Mesoamerican scripts, sug­gest­ing that this Olmec writ­ing might have been prac­ticed for only a few gen­er­a­tions and may never have spread to sur­round­ing cultures.

However, hope came from a quite unex­pected source. Using a breast­plate and gog­gles made of gold, a teenaged farm boy named Jose Herrero has claimed he can trans­late the text, which he says describes the efforts of an angel named “Moron-​​y” to estab­lish the first Shoney’s south of what would even­tu­ally be called the Rio Grande.

Moron-​​y was appar­ently thwarted by the arrival of early Amazon cafés, which sold, among other things, caf­feinated bev­er­ages that kept the locals up too late to per­form a solid seven days’ slav­ery in the dish­wash­ing and bus pits. As a result Shoney’s never col­o­nized past the Florida penin­sula. (There are some claims that the cur­rent inhab­i­tants of Shoney’s are actu­ally descen­dants of the founders, as indi­cated by their advanced lev­els of mummification.)

As a result Moron-​​y banned caf­feine, which was more or less directly respon­si­ble for the col­lapse of the Amazon empire.

Asked to cor­rob­o­rate his claims with any sin­gle scrap of objec­tive, ver­i­fi­able evi­dence, Herrero offered instead the tes­ti­mony of his “Tres Amigos”, all of whom claim to have seen him go into a room where the gog­gles were said to be, then emerge a while later bear­ing a piece of paper with allegedly trans­lated pas­sages writ­ten on it. Asked if they had actu­ally seen the breast­plate and gog­gles, the Tres Amigos became silent and slightly fidgety.

Asked fur­ther how a boy could pos­si­bly have come by a breast­plate and gog­gles made of gold in the first place, Herrero began to cry and said the inter­view was over.

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