Only In America . . . TM

Copyright © 2004 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.


Scientists working out of the Kudzu Campus of the University of Georgia have produced the first genetically-enhanced fish - a cross between fish and sytrofoam - that is expected to help clean up the environment.

"We were actually trying to develop an acrylic anchovy for the pizza industry that wouldn't smell fishy or taste salty," Melvin Mishap, Senior Scientist at Kudzu, said. "But then one of the guys brought his pet pirhana to work and put it in the beer cooler, and the rest - as they say - is history."

Over the course of the next several days, the pirhana ate a hole in the cooler, let all the water out, and died. But not before it - she, actually - became pregnant. "We saved the eggs and transplanted them into Icky, my pet catfish, as a surrogate mother," Mr. Mishap said. "The result was that she gave birth to dozens of plastic-eating catish."

"Because of their unique heritage of pirhana mother and plastic father, these fish eat nothing but plastic - and a lot of it," according to Gene Pompano, Professor Emeritus of Icthyology and Geneology at the University. "Loosed into the lakes and rivers, these new wonderfish will clean up the environment by feeding on all of the plastic bags and soda can holders people keep throwing out their car windows. I expect they will completely clean up our waterways in as little as three years."

But, not everyone is happy about the new hybrid fish.

Pauline Perch, President of the Bass Snatchers of America, said that "we are against putting this Frankenfish in any of the sport fishing waters because it eats the fishermen's plastic lures as fast as they can cast them. BS of A members have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fishing tackle since this creature was introduced into our lakes and streams. Unless something is done to get rid of this thing soon we'll all have to go back to the old wooden bass lures or use nothin' but live bait."

Environmentalists have also expressed their concerns: What happens when all the plastic trash is gone? What will these fish eat then?

"Not to worry," says Professor Pompano, "we're working on creating plastic grass that will grow underwater. Kind of a cross between Astroturf™ and kudzu, if you will. Once we get our lakes and streams lined with this stuff the problem will be over."

"Oh, yeah?" Ms. Perch countered. "What's gonna happen when this plastic gorilla grass stuff crowds out all the natural grass and algae? What will the real fish eat then?"

And, so the endless cycle of creation and concern begins anew . . .

Copyright © 2004 Frank G. Van Atta. All rights reserved.