This story contains, but is not limited to the following: a severed head, someone with amnesia, a micro-biologist discovering a way to clone frozen DNA, a clown with an identity crisis and a radiation leak at a military grade nuclear reactor.


    I have been following the progress of various scientists for quite some time now. One reason for my interest is the desire to have wooly mammoths once again roam the earth. The secondary reason is the discovery of wine clones through genetic mapping of the grape (I’ll get back to this.)


    Wooly mammoths have been found whole, but their DNA is fractured as a result of being frozen. Until recently scientists were unable to connect the dots, so to speak.






    I went to a CalTech genetic laboratory in Pasadena the other day, and met with a friend of mine. Ahsan had been studying mammoth hair follicles, and only recently mapped the entire genetic code.




    His funding for the project was cut due to ethical reasons. He was impregnating elephants. Using the elephant’s womb as a gestation room for the mammoth baby, and PETA did not care for this.


    He had a successful impregnation, unbeknownst to PETA and the school board. I was there to assist with delivery in the hiding place he had for the elephant, his backyard (Its a fairly large backyard.)


    The elephant was a trooper and gave birth to a healthy baby boy mammoth. There was however one slight complication.
    A company that specialized in cloned cats sent someone to take the genetic marvel should Ahsan be able to achieve the seemingly unreachable. That having happened I promptly found myself unconscious as a result of the tranquilizer dart now protruding from my arm.


    When I awoke both Ahsan and the baby mammoth were missing.


    The mammothnapper wasn’t the brightest. On the side of the tranquilizer dart was all of the company’s info (I assumed it was the company responsible since it read Kitty Kloners est. 2009.)


    I went to Daltworth where the company is located, and surveyed the parking lot for a way to get past security. When I saw a clown sitting in his clown van with the door slid open, crying. I walked up to him and asked him what was wrong.


    “I don’t want to be a clown any more, and I’m supposed to entertain a bunch of stupid kids at Kitty Kloners. I want to be an actor like Ron Burgundy!”


    “Um Ron Burgundy isn’t… ..you know what. I can do this clown gig for you.”


    “Wha.. really!?! Wait you’re not clown certified are you?”


    “As a matter of fact..” I just let him jump to conclusions.


    “OMG! You are the best. Now I can go audition for the sloppy joe commercial.” The clown proceeded to quickly paint a clown face on me and dress me up with all the clown accoutrements. I borrowed his ID and got the contact info.


    Fully armed in my camouflage I stormed the castle (the proverbial castle, well maybe more like a metaphorical castle.)
    The guards upon entering were easy to get by. The lengthy pause, of a man dressed as a clown, in front of the site map drew too much attention, so I had to wing it.




    One wrong turn, a chance accidental decapitation, a mis-pulled lever, and I might have started a radiation leak in their facility’s nuclear reactor (how was I supposed to know?”)


    This did incidentally create the perfect distraction. With a couple more wrong turns, and then a correct one, I managed to locate Ahsan. They were holding him in a makeshift cell, and after releasing him I discovered he had no idea who I was or who he was for that matter. I told him he was a scientist responsible for cloning a wooly mammoth, that bad people kidnapped him and the mammoth, and that I was his friend here to rescue them both.


    I didn’t think he would ever stop laughing. He was buckled over laughing hysterically for what seemed like ten minutes, and then finally he stopped at least until he looked up and saw me in clown makeup again. That put him over. I literally had to drag him to find the baby mammoth (which we did) and then a clown a mammoth and a scientist snuck past the guards on their way out.


    I am not making any of this up.


    Speaking of clones, in the wine world grape clones are very important. Two grape vines that are the same grape varietal, say Cabernet Sauvignon, can exhibit completely different characteristics. One could produce smaller grapes then the other thus creating a larger ratio of skin to juice, which in turn causes the wine to be more tannic.




    When a vine has a particularly favorable grape difference it will often be given a clone name or number and graftings will be made to duplicate that difference. Its kind of like dog breeding in that regard. Man-made survival of the fittest (or most desirable as the case may be.)


    Wine makers will often have various clones for various reasons in the same vineyard (i.e. tannins, herbal notes, heartiness.) They are then mixed to produce a blend of clones in varying degrees for a desired result or on occasion bottled on there own to express the uniqueness of the clone.


    One of the more famous instances of a stand alone clone is in Brunello di Montalcino. In this wine from the town of Montalcino the grape Sangiovese’s byproduct, Sangiovese Grosso, is used to create world renowned wines (I quite love them.)


    So the definition of clone in the wine speak is a bit different than in the kitten world. It’s not an exact duplicate… quite the contrary. It is a variation of a grape that has usually been found to have value in that difference.


    P.S. The mammoth is already at 500 lbs., and can be quite a handful. The clown got the part on the commercial. Ahsan got his memory back, and then promptly lost it again when he decided head butting a mammoth would be fun.