Sand Pile 101

Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

After a large (well, actually pretty small) scientific study just conducted by a team (okay- just one) of highly respected experts (he is probably an expert in SOME field), it has been concluded through rigorous statistical data that one key factor toward the establishment of social, physical and emotional maturation can be attributed toward the early and continuing exposure to the cultural and engineering phenomenon commonly referred to as the “sand pile.”

Studies show that, at a young age, humans show a far greater level of creative and imaginative capacity having the advantage of regular interaction with large piles of semi-white granulated particles. Scientists recorded the strange but obvious attraction between such inorganic heaps and developing minds. Without being instructed, such small beings were observed injecting their feet and hands amongst the particles with obvious satisfaction. For some, simply climbing to the crest of said hill provided remarkable enthusiasm and refreshment. Others began constructing structures using no certified blueprint. Small mountains came into existence. Roads were meticulously laid out in a startling though organized fashion. Tunnels were constructed deep below ground level. Walls were laid out alongside paths and smoothed on topside (perhaps for future fortification?). Some large flats were created alongside roadbeds, resembling fields to be planted or crops to be harvested.

Of special note was the observation that in 96.28 percent of the time, no adults were involved. There appeared to be some immeasurable interaction between the granules and the young minds. This particular principle will require further studies.

Of special interest were the long-term implications of such activity when started at the juvenile stage of human development. To measure this, subjects were followed into adulthood. At an alarming rate, they entered and excelled in those activities requiring the ongoing exercise of the imagination, including, but not limited to, teaching, motherhood, engineering, research, construction, architecture and yes — even politics.

Further studies will need to be done, but as of date, no substitute has been found for that mysterious but intriguing marvel known as the “sand pile.”

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is