Still, I wonder whether the world will be a better place for having a squid-enhanced monkey that shoots jets of black ink when alarmed. Perhaps, but I think the jury is still out. And it begs the obvious question of what this animal should be called. Personally, I think squinkey has a nice ring to it.
It makes you wonder whether we're going to enter an era, filled with beasts that seem to have escaped from the road show of Suessical: rhinocereels and slothhoppers, zebramanders and whooping shrimp. I have to admit, some of the possibilities are intriguing. Peacocks cloned with marsupials might offer the possibility of a peasupial, and a dingo crossed with a dugong would yield a dingdong.
And there are all those new vegetables they've redesigned that are bug-proof, mold-proof, can be stored for six months in a broom closet and may or may not cause your ear lobes to swell to the size of watermelons a few years from now.
Some farmers out West haven't yet recovered from that unfortunate incident with Starlink that gave "corn meal mush" a whole new meaning. The genetically altered strain of corn got mixed in with the regular stuff destined to become buttered niblets and cornflakes. Problem is, some folks (unaffected by normal corn) have allergies to Starlink. The FDA hasn't decided whether or not the Starlink is corntagious, so millions of dollars worth of the grain had to be confiscated. They don't call it a new strain for nothing.
I'm guessing, however, that these are just inevitable bumps in the road. I have little doubt that in about 20 years, scientists will be able to shuffle genes like a blackjack dealer at the Trump Plaza. If that leads to cures for AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer's and male pattern baldness, I guess it's worth the risk.
I will admit I've had a few sleepless nights (counting sheep, oddly, doesn't help) wondering who's doing this research and why. Is the biology department of Bob Jones University trying to isolate genes from the praying mantis for later introduction into the human species? They might not make us more devout, but at least we'd look the part.
I'm troubled that an Army Corps of Bio-Engineers might be hard at work, creating the "ultimate warrior." Given the history of the other Army engineering corps, we can't be blamed for wondering whether we'll get a soldier with the superhuman strength of Tom Hanks and the intellect of Steven Seagal.
One thing is for sure. A trip to the zoo is going to be a whole different kettle of fish by the year 2050. I can already hear the cries of confused, exasperated parents:
"Kyle! For the last time! Keep your tentacles to yourself!"
ANDi Myer (email@example.com) celebrates Groundhog Day from his hollow tree in Maple Glen.