The Public Eye

printed 01/14/2022

A man walks into a bar, takes a seat next to a big brute of a customer and orders a light beer.

The hulk next to him looks up, pounds the bar, demands a light beer and three double shots of 100 proof whiskey.

Shocked by this apparent excess, Mr. Light Beer looks quizzically at his fellow patron, who turns to face him and bellows, “I, my friend, take on life with the heart of a lion.”

“Wow,” says Mr. Light Beer. “Where’d you get it? All they could find for me when I went in was the heart of a pig.”

As they say in TV movies, the above is Based on Actual Events, which means, “We have taken one seed of truth and surrounded it with a field of ... fertilizer.

The seed of truth here is that we do have a person with the heart of a pig, thanks to a team of mad scientists, who have announced they successfully transplanted the heart of a genetically modified pig into a human being.

I don’t know exactly where this operation took place, but my best guess is that it was in the basement laboratory of a large castle up in the mountains, or possibly on an unnamed island in the Caribbean, where a crazy doctor assembles hyena people and other curiosities out of unclaimed parts.

For fans of bad movies, the latter would be “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” which was based on a moderately OK novel of the same name by H.G. Wells, although it did earn plaudits for being slightly better than his lesser known tome, “The Triple A Guide to Time Travel and Service Station Restrooms Along the Way.”

The premise of the book and the three “Island” films made over the years is that Dr. Moreau is a mad genius (aren’t they all?) who cuts up animals and people and puts them back together in interesting ways.

The would include hyena people, cat people, ape people and, of course, pig people, all or any of which you might see in Walmart on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, surprise, surprise, it doesn’t work out because his creatures would rather be animals with fewer dietary restrictions and not have to worry about reading labels.

All of which brings us back to the pig heart miracle. It may be a scientific breakthrough, excluding the pig’s point of view, but I think it’s a little bit creepy.

We all know how these things work: today it’s a pig heart, tomorrow it’s a dog nose, and at some point we’ll be using all kinds of used parts to put us back together again.

That worries me, especially given our supply chain and shortage problems.

“Good morning, doctor. I’m here for my ear transplant.”

“Well, unfortunately, we’re out of genetically modified chimp ears this week, so we’ll have to go with some leftover Dobermans, which is good news and bad news.”

“The good news?”

“You’ll hear just fine, and people will know when you’re on alert.”

“What’s the bad news?”

“It’s going to hurt like hell when you get them docked.”

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