Ed Bedford 5 p.m., April 26
Reader Writer Inspires Local Biotech Firm to Create Man-Pig Chimera
John Brizzolara's Awed Envy Over 30-Minute Porcine Orgasm Sends Embryo-Fiddlers Into Fevered Frenzy of Frankensteining
"We figure that most men are pigs already, so most people won't complain. Especially not the orgasmic man-pigs."
STARING AT THE CEILING, AWASH IN A FEELING OF VAGUE DISSATISFACTION BUT ALSO CRAWLING TERROR - It all started with an email sent to John Brizzolara, longtime author of the this paper's popular T.G.I.F. column. The sender was one Ken Minahan, and, as Brizzolara put it, his note "would have received the highest of unofficial/back-of-the-class marks from Tracy, Justin, myself, others, a kind of Pulitzer in the category of eighth grade or freshman year note-passing, for content, style, originality, etc." Perhaps the most striking part of the missive was Minahan's claim that "a pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes."
"In my next life, I want to be a pig," mused Brizzolara.
The column caught the attention of the intrepid team at Pathogenesis, a San Diego biotech firm previously featured in this column for its attempt to attract funding to combat diabetes by making it into a sexually transmitted disease. "The crazy thing is, I had just heard this program on NPR's Radiolab about chimeras," explained CEO Rory Najisuansmee. "You know, combinations of two extant species to form something with genetic characteristics from both. They interviewed a woman who was her own twin, thanks to embryonic fusing in the womb. They talked about the creation of geeps - goat-sheep - back in the '80s. And then they talked to Princeton scientist Lee Silver about how one time, one of his female students asked to make a senior thesis out of creating a human-chimp hybrid and carrying it in her womb. True story."
The trouble, said Najisuansmee, was that the girl intended to abort the hybrid just before term - her only interest was in studying its development in utero. "Here at Pathogenesis, we aren't as cold-hearted in our research - not this time, anyway. Our team is hard at work on producing the greatest medical miracle since Viagra - a human being possessed of a pig's powers of orgasmic endurance. All because that Reader guy got an email from his old bandmate. Cool, huh?"
But Ron Pants, who oversees President Obama's Office of Bioethical Nitpicking, was quick to express concern. "As usual, science is plowing ahead without considering the consequences of its actions. Economic productivity in this country is already is already at historic lows. Can you imagine what would happen to the workforce if they succeeded? Just because we can do something doesn't necessarily mean we should."
The interview ended there, however, as Mr. Pants was seized by several members of his staff and stuffed into a supply closet.
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