Thursday, November 8, 2012


For those too stupid to make it alone.

OK, then. You all remember when ultralight backpacking came along, doncha?


Too young? Too dopey? Don't give a fat rat's nose hairs? Ignorant?

All the same. Is OK.

Now there is hope for you. Your crumbly old genes can still be passed on to future generations, so those same future generations can point at your descendants sitting in cages while fiddling with Kelty Tiogas and stainless steel cooksets and oiling up their mid-calf hobnailed hiking boots.

After all, there is something called heritage, and you may be it, however pointless.

The National Science Foundation, the Centers for Stupidity Control and Prevention, and the DumNuts-Is-Us Foundation are teaming up to collect genetic samples from the most hard-core, pointless, ignorant, and irredeemable traditional backpacking population with the intent of cloning select specimens so that people of the future will know just how bad things used to be.

You may, if you belong to the current generation of light, ultralight, or super-ultralight backpackers, be totally clueless about the past, recent though it was.

Backpackers of the "classical" era, when the motto was "Sure, take that too. You never know if it'll come in handy," thought nothing of loading packs to the 80-pound/36 kg level for a weekend trip. Gear was steel, leather, canvas, wood, and only much later, welded aluminum with nuclear-grade nylon webbing.

Those backpackers who didn't die outright lived to pass on their genes, and so the cycle continued. All seemed good.

These backpackers lived in the best of all possible worlds, with packs large and strong enough to carry any quantity of canned goods, ensuring a continuation of the life force while out there in the bush.

However, as the pessimist asserts, the best of all possible worlds may be pretty crappy overall. And perhaps this was true. The numbers of classical or heavyweight backpackers dwindled.

Some were lost to exhaustion. Some stumbled and fell over, remaining on their backsides flailing madly like helpless stranded turtles until starvation or mice (or both) did them in. Others just came home one last time, went down to the basement, and were never heard from again, even by their families, who locked the upstairs doors, sold the house, and moved far away.

So it is within this context that science has decided to step in.

The few remaining specimens from the era of heavyweight trail grunting will be captured, caged, and have their cheek pouches gently scraped to acquire enough genetic material to make some decent clones.

Once these procedures are finished the backpackers, some of whom have lost not only the desire to hike, but also the ability to speak, write, smile, or do anything but eat and scratch, will be inoculated, shampooed, and turned loose on a comfy nature preserve set up at an undisclosed location where they will be able to live out their remaining days mooning at the sky and grunting.

As for the clones, they will not be used to repopulate vacant habitat (pointless, doncha think?), but will be kept in zoos where they can be studied at length to determine why they are so vastly stupid.


Brazil To Clone Wild Animals In Danger Of Extinction