Tuesday, October 15, 2013


It's a conundrum as old as The Twilight Zone: would you prefer to know the cause of your eventual death, or let it be an unwelcome surprise, like a visit from your mother-in-law? Thanks to a headline on the Drudge Report, we now have that choice: DNA company can tell you what will kill you -- for $99!

The DNA kit will give people like me time
to learn chess.
The California-based genetic-testing company 23andMe will study your DNA, thus sparing your family doctor from giving the bad news to your face. No longer will you strive to remember the fatal details; you can bring home the computer print-out to proudly frame like a Thomas Kinkaide painting.

This DNA testing is meant, of course, to act as a preventative. Angelina Jolie opted for a double mastectomy after testing positive for a cancer gene. The surgery was done in February. She announced it in the New York Times' op-ed page in May -- "coincidentally" a week before Brad Pitt started promoting World War Z. And when you take into account that the Times pays something along the lines of $150 for an op-ed, there's about $50 profit for saving her own life and her husband's movie which, until then, had been getting bad buzz. Genius.

"Why didn't I screw Ginger Rogers
when I had the chance?"
History might have been different had this testing come into being earlier. Take Abraham Lincoln. It's believed that he suffered from multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B, which can cause cancer of the thyroid or adrenal glands. Had he known that in 1865, I think he'd have told Mary, "Look, you wanna go to the theatre? Fine. I'm going to bed. In case you can't tell, I'm sick." Or Lou Gehrig. Once he found out that he had the sword of ALS hanging over his head, he probably would have taken the time for a few swings with some cute starlets instead of playing 2,130 baseball games in a row. Then there's JFK, of whom a researcher said, "It is hard to believe that he could have been nominated, much less elected, if the public had known what we now know about his health." One doctor examining his medical records stated that Kennedy wouldn't have lived out a second term. That would have been reason enough to skip Dallas in favor of another assignation with Angie Dickinson. 

I don't have to
drink it to hate it.
As for me, I don't need to shell out $99 to know what's going to kill me. As long as there's Congress; Al Sharpton; network television; anyone named Kardashian; movies based on video games; Alec Baldwin's talk show; modern art; whipped-cream flavored vodka; tofu hot dogs; the Tea party; another Clinton, Bush or Kennedy running for office; censors; the NSA; people who don't retract their retractable dogleashes; commercials; celebrities telling me who to vote for, what to eat or how to excercise; bicylcists who think they own the road; runners who think they own the sidewalk; $15 movie tickets; sour milk in an unopened carton... I know I'm not long for this world.


No comments: