Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Did Mom Say You Could Do That?

On the way home from a Scout meeting, I listened to NPR on the radio. I often listen to NPR on the radio when I get to choose what's on the radio. I admit it. I'm a news junkie.
Tonight, someone was interviewing a scientist about transgenic animals. This scientist was excited about getting to recessive genes in a chicken to make a chicken have features like a dinosaur. Teeth, tails, and legs instead of wings. Oh, I really don't want to see those things loose in the woods. He was excited about these animals.

I'm sitting in my little gray Prius, driving down the highway at fifty-eight miles an hour and I'm talking to my radio.

"Really?" I said out loud. "You want aggressive little chickens with teeth and four legs running around our forests?"

"We've been doing this kind of thing for centuries," the scientist said. "Just look at how we created a chihuahua out of a wolf. It's the same thing only faster."

"Chihuahuas are still dogs. They have four legs. They bark. They run around at the park acting like a big dog. Chihuahuas may be small, but they aren't exactly freaks of nature."

When I pulled into my driveway, I wanted to sit in the car and hear more from this mad scientist. Clearly, he had not seen the Jurassic Park movies about how nature has a way of gaining the upper hand, how these creatures we created just might pose a problem for us. Clearly he hadn't thought of the lives of dinochickens. They're going to be freaks among their fellow chickens. They're going to get out. Somehow, it's going to happen. These things are going to get out of the labs one way or another.

I looked up transgenic animals on the Internet when I got into the house and found glow-in-the-dark rabbits and mice with ears growing on their backs. It was just gross, like finding photos of heavily-tattooed and pierced people.

Why would anyone think that we need rabbits that glow in the dark? Can you picture that poor strain of rabbit hanging out in the woods at dusk? Still, they might be so freaky that predators wouldn't eat them. I know I wouldn't.

This is all crap. I'm sorry, but it is. Have you noticed that everything I've been writing lately has been crap?

I'm sorry for that. I really am. I blame the sun. I've been waking up with the sun and napping in the afternoon. I feel weird when I walk around after only five hours of sleep. Then, if I sleep in the afternoon, I feel even stranger, as if I've walked out of a strange dream that's still going on around me.

And it is a strange dream that's going on around me. Scientists are creating glowing bunnies, mice with ears, and chickens that are ready to act like dinosaurs. I just wish I could have been the interviewer and asked this mad scientist if he'd gotten more than five hours of sleep a night since the days are just so long this time of year. I wanted to ask him if he might benefit from black-out shades and would his grandma be proud of the chickens he bred for her coop.

We're creating so many problems for ourselves, climate change, resistant strains of viruses, and now glowing bunnies and dinochickens. What are we thinking? What?

Thank you for listening, jb

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