Like all great men of superior intelligence, I spend an inordinate amount of time knee deep in heavy contemplation. In other words, I waste an awful lot of time just sitting around thinking. And what, you might ask, does one blessed with superior intelligence and a comfortable recliner sit around and think about? Stuff, mostly, all kinds of stuff. You might say I've taken it upon myself to be the Playdo of the nineties. What? Oh, yeah, right. Pla-to.
I sit and ponder things like:
Why is it that my kids want nothing to do with me until I lock the bathroom door?
Why is it that my wife only needs feminine hygiene products when it's my turn to go to the store?
Why is it that when you go to the mall with your hair all a mess and no makeup on you always run into an old boyfriend (my wife asked me to ponder that one).
And finally, if you clone a schizophrenic, how many people would you get?
That last deep thought was spurred by a story that appeared in last Sunday's "Huntsville Times," a story entitled: "Headless Frogs, Human Questions." From the headline, I didn't know if I was going to be reading about mutant tadpoles in somebody's well water or the review of some new punk band. Turns out I was wrong on both counts. Here's how the article began:
From the Associated Press: "British scientists have created a frog embryo without a head, a technique that may lead to the production of headless human clones to grow organs for tissue transplant."
Being a man of superior intelligence, my initial reaction was: Wonder how these things croak? On I read.
"Scientists believe the technique could be adapted to grow human organs such as hearts, kidneys, and livers in an embryonic sac living in an artificial womb."
Second highly intelligent thought: We can grow people but we can't grow hair? And these guys call themselves scientists.
"People needing transplants could have organs 'grown to order' from their own cloned cells."
Third incredibly intelligent thought: I've just discovered the next great franchise opportunity! Forget Domino's, McDonald's, and Subway. I'm sinking my money into Organs-R-Us! Wonder if they'll have a drive-thru?
"May I take your order?"
"I need one kidney and an order of lungs to go."
"One kidney, side of lungs, yes sir. You want fries with that?"
The article was pretty impressive, but not everything there was fresh news. China recently announced that it will attempt to clone giant pandas to prevent them from becoming extinct. Pandas, it turns out, are an extremely picky breed when it comes to the birds and bees. Buy them dinner, nice bottle of wine, throw in a little romantic music, and still no dice. There's only two or three of these things left on earth. I don't think they realize how narrow a field they have to play in.
The Chinese are hoping they'll be as successful as scientists in Scotland who have cloned sheep and scientists here in America who have cloned cows. Sheep and cows and panda bears, oh my! Not your most intelligent mammals, there. I guess they decided to start cloning from the bottom of the intelligence chain and work their way up.
So what's next, pigs? Dogs? Cats? Chimps? Professional wrestlers? Dan Quayle? Me?
Though there is a law against the United States government officially sponsoring cloning experiments on human beings (or as my mama calls them, human beans), there's no law that prohibits commercial firms from giving it a go. And you know they will. "Cloning consumers," the marketeers will call it. Make your own customers and you'll never go out of business.
I expect Xerox to be at the forefront of this new technology. After all, people have been photocopying their butts for years. It's just a matter of hitting ENLARGE.
Before cloning becomes as simple as entering the number of copies desired and pressing a button, I think we should establish a few guidelines to cut down on the number of "misclones" that are bound to occur. The first thing we should do is compile a master list of people who should not, under any circumstances, be cloned. I'll get things started. Here's my top ten:
1. Kathy Lee Gifford (for poor Frank's sake)
2. Richard Simmons
3. Dennis Rodman
4. Bill Clinton (think how much trouble two of this guy would be)
5. Kathy Lee again (she really gets on my nerves, sorry)
6. Anyone professing to be a rap singer
7. Lawyers/Politicians/Criminals (this counts as one entry)
8. The Olson twins (separately or as a pair)
9. That obnoxious ponytailed guy who sells gut busters on TV
10. My uncle Buddy, who shows up unannounced then eats you out of house and home before stinking up the bathroom and passing out on the couch.
Maybe when they get the bugs worked out I'll have myself cloned. He could cut the grass for me, go to work in my place, play with the kids, go to Wal-Mart with my wife and hold her purse while she tries on shoes. Then again, he'd probably just want to sit in my recliner and think.
Maybe cloning isn't such a great idea, after all.
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Tim Knox, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Radio Host
Founder, The Insiders Club, Giving You The Power To Start Your Business Today
Bestselling Author of: "Everything I Know About Business I Learned From My Mama"
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