June 06, 2006

Attack of the Clones

  • You've probably heard the news by now, and if you haven't, you need to think about getting some new sources, because quite frankly this is huge: On Sunday, a pair of cloned mules strapped it on (and by "it," I of course mean a saddle) and took to the racetrack in a professional competition. Why does this merit discussion? you might ask. Fair question. To me, aside from the pleasurable sound of the juxtaposed words "cloned" and "mule," I find it worth wondering why in the blazes anyone would want to genetically synthesize a beast that is, as far as I can tell, only referred to in a derogatory manner and/or negative context. Think about it: "I have been working like a pack mule lately," "You stink like a mule's ass," "The mule crapped on the billiard table again," "Get your stinking mule off my lawn before I pop a cap in him" -- the list goes on and on. As Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society, put it, "There's no shortage of horses and mules. Why do we have to subject them to the risks associated with cloning? There's no legitimate purpose for this exercise." Gotta echo Wayne's sentiment here -- what's the point? If we're going to clone mules, and I think Wayne would be in agreement with me on this, we really ought to be endowing them with super powers, such as the ability to spit fire or breathe underwater, or at the very least we should give them silly-looking hats and shirts that say "Mule Clone" on them. Otherwise, the entire endeavor kind of seems like a waste of time.
  • In other animal-related news, a macaque monkey named Maggie, in the employ of Canadian TV station TSN, has chosen Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup. Forgive me for being a bit old fashioned here, but I've got to say, I find this whole concept completely ridiculous -- a woman has no business making hockey playoff predictions. Hiyo! But seriously, before I alienate my entire female fanbase (which I believe to be quite small if not altogether nonexistent), I was just kidding there. I have no problem at all trusting a female, monkey or not, to make hockey predictions. But for the record, Maggie is still highly suspect because I don't trust Canadians one bit.
  • I'm pretty sure there isn't actually a School of Hard Knocks, but if I have any understanding of the term at all, then it seems to me that Shawn Kemp could be the principal, or at least the dean of students of such an institution. Or, maybe he could just be the creepy guy who hangs out by the playground each afternoon until the security guards inevitably chase him away. In any case, I think we can all agree that Kemp has lived some hard years in his time on this planet. When I look at his picture, only one word comes to mind: "weathered." Which is to say that the man just looks broken and beaten down. But nonetheless, his determined if not admirable effort to return to the NBA continues. Personally, I usually don't have a problem with players hanging on as long as they possibly can, but in this case, I think I'm against it, primarily because I want to remember Kemp the way he was. (And yes, I know I've linked to this before, but The Reign Man in his prime merits the occasional repeat viewing.)
  • And on a sad note regarding a man who, like Kemp, famously battled a weight problem, former Major League umpire Eric Gregg died on Monday. Since I'm not a person who believes in being disingenious about someone who died just because it seems like you're supposed to say nice things about dead people, I have no problem saying that my lasting image of Gregg (aside from that day he gave Livan Hernandez the most ridiculously huge strike zone of all time against the Braves) is of the time Pete Rose left a cheeseburger for him on third base. But aside from the fact that this highlights the fact that Gregg had a terrible weight problem, is this such a bad way to remember him? If my mind's eye recalls correctly, when Gregg saw that cheeseburger sitting there on third base, instead of acting offended or angrily looking around for the culprit, he picked the thing up, gave it a loving glance and took a big, hearty bite. And for being able to laugh at himself in what probably was a rather embarassing situation, you've got to hand the man his due. Ladies and gentlemen, Eric Gregg. R.I.P.


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