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Country Goes to City

Saturday, February 25, 2006

On the eve of our departure for Guatemala, Bill and I spent the day in Columbus--he at a meeting of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and I goggling at the big-city sights. First stop: Aquarium Adventure, where I stared at genetically-engineered zebra danios who have glowing jellyfish genes. The attendant told me that they breed true, passing the electric-orange coloration on to their offspring. For those of us who stay away from genetically modified soy products, having a fish that passes jellyfish genes on to its offspring in our living room is a bit of a stretch.

It occurred to me that everything I stopped to look at in Columbus had a common theme: Human engineering of other life forms. I had not gotten over the day-glo danios when I turned around and was greeted by these:
They seemed to be asking: Why? And I couldn't answer why someone would want to do that to goldfish eyes. I'm one to talk; I have a dog with a smashed face and goo-goo eyes. So it's all a matter of degrees, and we all have different aesthetic boundaries between cute and deformed.
I've had three people tell me they have always thought Boston terriers are ugly. All men, which might be a coincidence, and might not. I think women may have a different concept of what's appealing in general.

Remember Gomer Pyle? When he'd see something really amazing, he'd say Gaawwww-leee!
I was channeling Gomer Pyle at the Whole Foods Market. I have never seen eggs like they had there. They had organic and conventional Araucana eggs. This breed, originally from Peru, lays seafoam and teal and sky-blue eggs. They had emu eggs for sale. Now, I cannot imagine eating
an egg that has the potential to turn into an emu. I lifted one, and it was as heavy as if it were filled with molten gold.My final stop was the freeze-dried mushroom section. I got a whole new perspective on morels, which grow free in our woods, when I hefted this feather-light coffin full of dried morels.
Check out that per/pound price. Gaaawww-leee.
Sorry if this post is somewhat lacking in the poetic prose you have come to expect. I'm sitting on the floor of the Atlanta airport with a laptop, struggling to master an unfamiliar mouse and overcome the combined effects of our friend Peter's hot tub and Cabernet souvignon last night. More anon. Wish us luck getting to Guatemala!


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