November 30, 2023 | Rome, Italy

Looking for CRAD

By |2022-07-27T00:00:04+02:00July 27th, 2022|Rye Wyt|
Want a weird and wacky hybrid animal? They're available at your friendly neighborhood lab.

y daughter Rebecca knocked on eleven’s door for at least two months before emerging from a series of Zoom meetings with herself and perhaps a few of her favorite fictitious soulmates, including Cloney, my grandmother’s rocking chair, which she keeps in her bedroom for high-stress moments such as birthdays. Stressful because you need to make sure your dense-headed father fully understands what it is you want.

I’d noticed that Rebecca had become interested in a more than passing way in genetics, one night asking if the corn on the table came from a local lab, since according to her reading farms and fields were only incidental to wheat, veggies, and even milk, which, again according to Rebecca had less and less to do with cows, whose udders had apparently gone on strike a decade ago.

So where did we get our milk? I asked.

Local labs was her answer, and that was also the source of most newborns, created from a mix of male chemicals inserted into small pseudo-female doll-dishes that after a while, Fleming-style, produced an inner mold in the female, which, for whatever reason, was a baby.

In the end I built a lab, or better said sought a Lab, a beige Lab I named Udder, since Becca had nothing better to offer.

I decided to drop this and return to her already late birthday gift.

What she wanted was a CRAD. C-R-A-D, she spelled it for me. At first I assumed this was just another acronym like CYBSD, which of course stands for “Can You Be So Dumb.”

Dumb I was, as it turns out, because Rebecca wanted what I should have suspected all along, a pet, but not just any pet. Oh no, nothing is ever linear with Becca.

“I want a combo cat-rabbit-dog, a CRAD. You know. They play with string, and they hop, and you get to take them for walks.”

Where to get a CRAD?

You guessed it, at the omnipresent lab.

For the next few I waged war against Google and YouTube gene-modification. I told Rebecca that there was no available CRAD store, at least not yet, and no in state lab busy making wheat, cow udders, and conjuring pet mixes on the side. I thought for a moment I’d introduce Dr. Mengele into the discussion, but decided that might not be such a good idea. Becca might flee to South America, or convert to Judaism in spite.

In the end I built a lab, or better said sought a Lab, a beige Lab I named Udder, since Becca had nothing better to offer. They are now the best of friends even though Udder doesn’t meow or hop, let alone lactate. Udder is of course a he.

In the theater of the absurd that is our little home of two how else, pray tell, could it be?

About the Author:

Joel Stein is the assumed named of a humor columnist who doubles as a senior marketing representative. He does have a not-so- assumed daughter named Rebecca.