Unmeaning Flattery

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Nice Dream Clones

Tuesday 12/20/2005 12:22 AM

The Christmas card is from Genetic Savings & Clone. They sent it to me because I am a customer of theirs.

Last year, after Chaunce died, we had his tissue banked with GSC in the hopes that we can some day clone him. I couldn't afford the emergency kit for unexpected death ($1,395), so I gambled with the PetBankExpress for $295.

What's the risk? We still haven't had the tissue sample cultured (additional $600). So we don't know if the tissue is viable. In the meantime, it costs me $100 per year to keep his tissue samples stored in liquid nitrogen at a disaster-proof facility somewhere in Minnesota.

Whenever I do shell out the $600, about 4-6 weeks later, I'll get a simple yes or no answer back. Either the technicians were able to isolate cells that are clonable or they couldn't. I rue the day the word comes. No matter the answer, it will create a flood of emotions. Either he is gone forever (yes, I know he is already gone forever) or we have a shot at enjoying another another span of years with what will effectively be an identical twin of Chauncey.

In the book, there is a chapter/story called "Odin and Loki," where I write about my dream of cloning both Chaunce and Sheriff and raising them together. The ironic thing about my desire to do so with the two of them had to do with nurture vs. nature. In short, I believe that a lot of the qualities we liked about Chaunce were a result of his genetics, and we'd like to experience that again. It's just the opposite for Sheriff, though, because we believe most, if not all, of his problems are due to the unknown (to us at least) factors he was exposed to before he came into our lives. So with one, we want to copy and paste, while with the other we want to undo.

As for the names... I will leave it as an exercise for the reader (that's you) to guess which of their clones/twins/brothers will be named Odin and which will be Loki.

File Under: Chauncey; Christmas; Cloning; Sheriff
Music: Cliff Martinez "Solaris Soundtrack"

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