Issue number 60 May 26, 2005
Quorum of One is intended for adult readers
An open letter to my possible future clone
You poor schmuck. No, wait -- sorry! I'll start over.
Let me put it this way: I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that impressive longevity runs in your family on both sides, going back many generations. You should have a good chance of making it well past age 100 like your genetic paternal grandmother.
Now the bad news: you are going to reach puberty late, well after everyone else in your gym class, and then just when the testosterone starts really kicking in you're going to get horrendous acne that will last through your early twenties. Maybe there'll be a viable cure by the time this happens to you, but if there isn't keep in mind that it goes away eventually so there's no reason to let it affect your self-esteem. After all, physical attractiveness isn't everything, and you have many other fine attributes. Pus Face.
Another bad thing: you have a pretty severe allergy. It won't give you asthma or put you into anaphylactic shock or anything fatal, but it does cause acute, chronic and frankly disgusting runny nose, itching eyes, sinus congestion and across-the-board wretchedness. The culprit is some damn plant, and I am sorry to say I don't know which one -- all I can tell you is that it grows in every central Canadian province and northern US state from early April through the end of September. If you have the misfortune of living in this zone, you'd better get used to the idea of going through your own weight in tissues every day, even with antihistamines. And remember: in all likelihood, someday, somebody, probably some wiseass kid who thinks he's the rugged outdoorsy type, is going to teach you how to blow your nose without benefit of a handkerchief. Don't even think about it.
Like me when I was a kid, and like most young boys, you will probably develop the desire to play sports, perhaps baseball, football, basketball, etc. Here's my advice: forget it. You're scrawny. You don't have the natural strength to hit a baseball beyond the pitcher's mound or to outrun anyone your age. Of course, as you may know, throwing a ball is not so much a matter of strength as coordination. But you don't have any of that either. You are left-handed, as I'm sure you have realized if you're old enough to be reading this, but only for writing and eating. Everything else you do right-handed, including throwing a ball, and this means that you have no good arm. You know how some guys can throw and bat either right- or left-handed equally well? Well you can too, only "equally well" in your case means "like your 100-year-old grandmother". So don't waste your time -- just stay indoors and read.
Now take a look at yourself in the mirror. Notice something here: You are beige. You have regulation-issue pasty white guy skin and dishwater brown hair. This means two things:
1) You will have a natural inclination to choose beige clothing.
2) You look like shit in beige.
Don't wait until your mid-thirties to figure this out. Stick with the dark colors.
Speaking of your hair, when it's cut shorter than about three inches, you get a big, ridiculous looking cowlick in the back on the right. The only way to tame it is by massive applications of gel that make it look like you've been sneezed on by an elephant that has the same allergy as you. So grow it out and keep it at least moderately long.
Still speaking of your hair, let me save you some serious grief: Don't ever try to grow a moustache, and above all DO NOT EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to grow a beard. Note my use of the word "try". When you grow up you will have one of the world's sparsest sets of whiskers, and if you stop shaving each individual hair will curl away from the others in a different direction. You might think it looks like a "moustache and beard" but believe me, everyone else will think it looks like "worn out Velcro scraps". I realize that this disqualifies you from joining the rabbinate, the Taliban or the Amish community, but we all have to live within certain limitations.
That's about all I have to tell you, kid. Oh, and one more pitfall to avoid: God forbid that Amber Biendetto should ever be cloned as well, but if she is and happens to be about your age and you should happen to meet her, be warned: You are going to fall instantly and hopelessly in love with her and want to make a fool of yourself by taking her out over and over in the wild hope that one day she will consent to go to bed with you. She won't.
Well, good luck! Enjoy your life!
You poor schmuck.
¨©2005 by David Jaggard
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