Slinging a smooth stone
The Boise City News
Will we soon be having to wash and groom our vegetables?
I've often mentioned that as a news editor I am besieged each day with a plethora of faxes and e-mails. We here at The Boise City News are constantly assailed with a variety of information, especially during an election year.
But, every once in a while, one e-mail or fax catches my eye, and worms it's way into my brain that's screaming along each day, fueled on Dr. Pepper.
Much like Thursday, when I received an e-mail telling me that researchers have found that animal genes can protect tomatoes from disease and cold temperatures. Apparently someone has introduced two animal genes into the common tomato and in doing so, that strain of tomato can now withstand cold tempratures and the potentially fatal (to a tomato) Cucumber Mosaic Virus. We'll call it CMV. Apparently CMV can induce apoptosis, or cell death in tomatoes; and with the induction of the animal genes the plants can then tolerate the virus and not die. My strange little mind began to go HMMM??
In the short e-mail I read, no mention was made of what kind of animal contributed its genes to the science of keeping tomatoes safe and warm. Big mistake; REALLY BIG; my imagination ran wild.
Let's suppose it was a dog. It would have to be a warmblooded dog to keep the tomatoes warm; no Chihuahuas need apply. Nope, we'll need a big furry one...a St. Bernard maybe, that'll work.
Okay, now we've got a Frankenmato crossed with a St. Bernard. Is this thing gonna have fur? If we raise them in the back yard will we need to groom them every month or so?
Since we've crossed with a St. Bernard will every tomato come with a flask of Brandy?
If you are carrying a bag of these tomatoes home from the store will you have to stop at every tree and fire plug?
Will every tomato we get from the grocery store be covered in cockle and sand burrs?
Will all our tomatoes soon hate cats? The housewives of America need to know if tomatoes are going to leap from their hands and chase Tabby.
If your're outside on the front lawn eating a BLT and the mailman comes up the walk, will your sandwich chase and bite him?
Will tomatoes bark all night when the moon is full?
Will they smell like a wet dog when we wash them at the sink; and after we wash them will they want to roll on the kitchen floor to dry themselves?
And if you drop a carrot, will your tomato fetch it for you?
Gosh what if it weren't a dog? What if it were a....skunk? EWWW! We need to know.
The word for the week is dubious.
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278