Having only experienced australopithecine behavior patterns, the TMA-1 monolith's adaptation to modern human society was not very harmonious. TMA-1 was only capable of teaching simple concepts such as anatomy and leverage, it had no clue how to interact with modern man. Thus the publicity from Stanley Kubrick's famous movie proved to be too intense for TMA-1 and it began to act erratically. Disregarding its rational proportions, it demanded to be called simply "1" but the nickname never caught on with the public. Befriending a dishonest concert promoter, TMA-1 embarked on a whirlwind tour of 152 cities in only 48 days. The "Rock of Ages" world tour proved to be an unmitigated disaster. While critics hailed TMA-1 as a master of choral singing, it could only play one song and its stage presence was glacial to say the least. Concert goers quickly rioted, demanding their money back.

Petrified by the huge debts it had incurred, TMA-1 retreated to a remote location in the Confusion Mountains of Utah where it took up residence as an itinerant boulder. Here, it became engrossed in an abstruse fruit fly breeding program until 1983, when film director Peter Hyams approached it with an offer to reprise its role in the sequel, 2010. However, TMA-1's demands for script approval and a percentage of the gross were too exorbitant. (The part was eventually played by former NBA star Manute Bol in a specially designed costume.)

TMA-1 would probably still be anchored in the Utah badlands were it not for the squabble over the Vietnam Memorial. Taking umbrage at what it considered artistic infringement, TMA-1 sought a federal injunction against both the architect Maya Lin and the National Park Service. The judge quickly threw the case out as baseless. However, a chance encounter with a small child outside the courthouse convinced TMA-1 that it could still have a significant impact on human society. TMA-1 spent the next fifteen years visiting hundreds of elementary schools, performing demonstrations on practical ethics, much to the delight of the children. The recent drop in the national crime rate has been directly linked to TMA-1's efforts. It is debatable whether the concurrent rise in cannibalism is attributable to the same influence.

Tiring of its sojourn on Earth, TMA-1 retired in 2001 to Heaven where it is currently employed as doorstop for the Pearly Gates.