I’ll begin by apologizing to the media reporters who rushed here thinking they were covering a car accident involving an elderly pedestrian, two kittens, and a baby. To my chagrin, I did not receive any RSVPs to “Shock Rock Talk 2010.” How was I going to know how much sheet cake to order? It’s in the back and it’s chocolate ice cream and it’s delicious. But I’m sidestepping the main event. We must celebrate the once missing link between the zircon rocks of the Archaean era and the pet rocks that roam children’s bedrooms and eBay this very day.

Understand that here, in this alley behind Walmart, amongst the broken glass, dead groundhog, pot holes, poison ivy, hypodermic needle, homeless cardboard bunkers, and faux hawk wigs, history was discovered. Between the razor-wire fence and that Camry on blocks, underneath a layer of asphalt and IHOP coupons, I discovered what evolutionary scientists have only dreamed about. Fifty-one million years ago, the oldest known descendant of the modern day pet rock lived here in what is now commonly known as Newark.

In your 4-color brochures that my intern is distributing, you’ll find some history of the pet rock in addition to contact information for film, TV, book, eBook, enhanced eBook, and enhanced*enhanced3 eBook rights. These sedentary, feral creatures wandered the earth until the 1970s when the petrologist Gary Dahl successfully captured one in a tempestuous supermarket parking lot in the wilds of Los Gatos. Under domestication, the pet rock quickly evolved with impressive house training and an improved sense of sight, although of a primitive, googly nature.

Seeing the pet rock as it exists today, we’ve all asked ourselves this controversial and scientifically unproven question: how does a rock become a pet rock? I mean, you’ve got a rock on one end of the spectrum and at the other end sits a pet rock. Only artist interpretations imagined what thing sat in between.

That is, ladies and gentleman, until now. I present to you Cary, the missing link between rock and pet rock. Sorry folks, it appears someone’s placed a wet tissue on Cary. Please continue your resounding applause while I pick off the pieces. Give me a hand, everyone. Literally. We’ll be here all day if I have to do this on my own.

You are witness to the step a rock took before it evolved into a pet rock. Cary has some splotches of glossiness, streaks of smoothness, and patches of darkness. It is heavier than the rock but lighter than the pet rock, obviously indicating that the pet rock increased in weight over time. And if you look closely, you’ll also see that the pet rock is larger, another very apparent result of evolution. These are technical terms so please ask me if you need any definitions.

Oh, darn. I dropped Cary. It’ll take me just a second to locate it on the ground. It is a slippery rock. It appears to have camouflaged itself amongst all the other rocks. It is highly adaptable. There it is. That one. Yep. I’ve got it. Cary has a distinctive petroleum odor.

I can hear the fire truck sirens but before you leave, I’m available for photographs and autographs. We can trace the rock on a piece of paper if that’s your thing. Feel free to kiss the rock too. It’s sanitized and friendly. Anyone have questions?