Monday, March 29, 2010

Gregor Mendel - Player?

Thanks to my biology book, I now am well versed in the findings of Greogor Mendel, the scientist and monk who postulated that heredity derives from particles rather than a blending of parents. He experimented with pea plant flowers and seeds. One night, after an excruciatingly tedious day of crossing some stamen and carpel of some F1 generation purple flowers, and with some encouragement from some of the other monks, Mendel agreed to go to the local karaoke bar. Now the local karaoke bar, being near the monastery, was pretty much a Gregorian chant revival bar where they had a scroll wrapped backwards on a crank for a teleprompter and with the occasional, though at that time experimental, lute accompaniment.

Gregor's father had named him such on account of his own love for the old chants, but Gregor, a shy and meticulous fellow, was largely tone deaf due to a childhood accident in a bell tower. But if you put enough of the grog in Gregor, he could be known to bark a few quatres.

So here is Gregor, squinting at the scroll, mumbling his way through "Alma Redemptoris Mater"(which was the Justin Bieber hit of its time) and sporting pollen all over his tunic. He is almost all the way through when he catches the eye of a lady in the back corner of the establishment. He finishes and, encouraged by the eye contact and the potency of the grog, makes his way over to her, desperately brushing to get the pollen off his chest. He has a mission. He knows that he is conducting all kinds of precise heredity experiments back at the monastery, but with the grog, being locked up all day long with a bunch of dudes and seeing flowers and pea pods get all the action, he wants to make memory out of this night by performing a little heredity experiment of his own.

"Hey baby, I saw you scoping me out while I was chanting. I had to come over because you are looking fine beyond all this age."


"You know, the age of reason."


"I know you probably have a name, and that your mother and father gave it to you, but it's nothing compared to what they gave you that you've got going on all up in here."

"Thank you. My name's Lilly."

"It would have to be. I'm . . . my name is Stamen. Stamen Mendel."

"And what do you do, Stamen?"

"I make flowers do it while I watch."

"Wow. I just clean houses. I'm kind of a neat freak. You have a little pollen on your shirt."

"Why don't we get out of here and I show you what I can do."

And that worked. Mendel was a lot smoother than he looked. Most people don't know this, but the great great grandfather of Howie Mendel was created that night. You go, Gregor.

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