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By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: I think of it as Super Me rather than GMO me


December 27, 2019

As you take stock of the past year and look forward to the new one along with the renewed hope for the future that it brings, I urge you to consider the traits you wish to develop in the future — traits that will help you become a better human.

I have already begun this process by compiling a list of the top three animal traits I would like to have to make me not just a better human, but a super human.

Play along with your own list if you wish. I warn you, though, to carefully consider what you want because you could get tripped up by the full reality of your choices.

For example, if you want to be able to fly, don’t just say you want wings because, well: penguins. And if you’re a lemons into lemonade person and say to yourself, “Well, that would be OK because penguins are universally beloved and kind of fly through the water to amazing depths,” I give you ostriches, emus and kiwis. There are also flightless ducks and other awkwardness of wings, too, so consider your words wisely.

Also, if you still really want to fly, consider for a moment what you are going to do with those wings when you aren’t flying. Right?

You better like being outside because you will wipe out the interior of any home, store or office. That old saying will change to “Like a winged-human in a fine china shop.” Plus, how are you going to sit? Forget lounging on the couch. In fact, you better not have a couch potato build because people like us are going to need enormous wings to get our chubbiness off the ground, even if we did have hollow bones.

Me? The thing I want from a bird is my number one improvement goal: eyesight.

1. Specifically, I want the eyesight of an owl.

I know what you’re thinking. Duh, why not go for the infamous eagle-eyed vision. That’s because, duh, then my eyes will have to be set on the side of my face. Frankly, my looks are “unique” enough without that, so I’m willing to sacrifice the super-long-distance vision to avoid that anomaly, thank you very much.

Besides, it’s a myth that owls don’t see during the day. They just have to squint a bit to shade their eyes. Some owls, like the snowy owl, tolerate light as well as humans., and the Eurasian eagle-owl tolerates daylight better than humans. So with eagle-owl vision, I get the enhanced vision for daylight hours, plus super-enhanced vision at night. Winter’s long darkness would be a non-issue. How cool is that?

2. Straight up, hands down, without a doubt, I want the athleticism of a horse.

In some amazing combination of muscle and sinew horses are quick and powerful and they can travel for long distances without over-exerting. Amazing. I know I’ll lose a bit of the power and distance because I’m human sized and bipedal, but I’m OK with not being a Centaur. Really.

I seriously considered movement like a cat. They are quick and powerful, and they have that whole slinky, smooth, sneaky thing going for them. But cats are lazy. A rough day for them is being awake for eight hours, total, and going longer than four hours between naps. I already do that, and the point here is that I want to be enhanced. At least when horses are napping they do it standing up and they’re ready to rumble in a blink.

Besides, I might want something else from cats.

3. I’m having trouble narrowing down my choice for this last super-trait. I would love either the enhanced hearing or the sense of smell that dogs have, but without the brain power to tolerate those things, they’re not worth it.

I’m OK with howling at sirens, but I don’t want to have to fight the urge to bite someone on the other side of the building for continually tapping their pen. And an enhanced sense of smell would be great for a lot of things, but I’d probably almost die of dehydration throwing up by the time I got my fridge clean enough to tolerate.

I think I would rather safety up here and make my final genetic modification the ability to purr. Yes, purr.

Purring is like the power of hypnosis. It is the most soothing and heartwarming sound on the planet. It’s the most mellowing, but good-for-you, mood enhancement drug and the only side effects are peace and contentment.

Need to de-escalate a standoff, a hostage situation or a riot? I’ll just show up and start purring. Is your peace treaty negotiation falling apart? Allow me to purr your way to an agreement. Your family holiday is turning into a nuclear meltdown? I got your truce right here in my voice box. Purrrrrrrrrrr. It’ll even work on teenagers. You’re welcome.


I think we could achieve peace on earth through purring at http://:www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40.com.


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