LONDON—Citing the era’s indiscriminate violence, rampant disease, constant threat of famine, and near-total absence of personal hygiene, historians at the University of Cambridge reported Wednesday that it was still very much a mystery how people in ancient times didn’t just go crazy and fucking kill themselves. “Amazingly, and despite centuries of scholarship on the subject, we remain no closer to understanding why ancient societies continued to function without descending into mass suicide due to the abject shittiness all around them,” said professor Edmund McCullough, adding that any rational human, when confronted with the barbaric and terrifying medical treatments of the day, would have had the wherewithal to throw themselves off the nearest cliff. “Think about what it must have been like—living in a tiny, filthy hut where everyone was contagious, shitting in a river that was also your drinking source, spending all day looking for food so as not to starve to death. It’s a wonder that the first spears were used to hunt rather than slit one’s own wrists.” McCullough speculated that one possible explanation was that with a life expectancy of 28, most ancients probably figured it would all be over soon enough anyway.
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