To: Albert Gore
some more votes. You won. When do you want to take over?
George W. Bush
writing this letter, quite frankly, to say I abhorred the
column you wrote last month! It was weak and insipid, and
words synonymous. In short, it lacked courage!
NOTE: Farmer Brown of Beartown has been unearthing "junk"
on his farm, carefully labeling them with scientific
names, and sending the stuff to the Smithsonian. This is
a typical response.
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078
for your latest submission to the Institute, labled
"4326-G5, layer 4, southwest corner of horse barn,
We have given this
specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret
to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it
represents "conclusive proof of the presence of
Early Man in Beartown two million years ago." Rather,
it appears that what you have found is the head of a
Barbie doll, of the variety one of our staff, who has
small children, believes to be the "Malibu Barbie".
It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought
to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite
certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior
work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction
with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a
number of physical attributes of the specimen which might
have tipped you off to it's modern origin:
1. The material is
moulded plastic. Ancient humanoid remains are typically
2. The cranial
capacity of the specimen is approximately 5 cubic
centimeters, well below the threshold of even the
earliest identified proto-humanoids.
3. The dental
pattern evident with the "skull" is more
consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is
with the "ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams"
you speculate roamed the Beartown wetlands during that
period. This latter finding is certainly one of the most
intriguing hypotheses you have arrived at in your
submittals to this institution, but the evidence seems to
weigh quite heavily against it. Without going into too
much detail, let us say that:
A. The specimen looks like the head
of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
B. Clams don't have teeth.
It is with feelings
tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to
have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due to
the heavy load our lab must bear in it's normal operation,
and partly due to carbon dating's notorious inaccuracy in
fossils of recent geologic record. To the best of our
knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956AD,
and carbon dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate
results. Sadly, we must also deny your request that we
approach the National Science Foundation's Phylogeny
Department with the concept of assigning your specimen
the scientific name "Beartownicus super-android".
Personally speacking, I, for one, fought tenaciously for
the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was
ultimately voted down because the species name you
invented was hyphenated, and really didn't sound that it
was genuinely Latin.
However, we gladly
accept your generous donation of this fascinating
specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a
humanoid fossil, it is, nevertheless, yet another prime
example of the large body of work you seem to submit to
us here so effortlessly. You should know that our
Director has reserved a special case in his own office to
display the specimens you have submitted to the
Institution over the past several years. The staff
anxiously awaits what you will send us next as you
continue to dig in your barnyard. We eagerly look forward
to your proposed trip to our nation's capital, and we are
urging the Director to pay for it. We are especially
interested in hearing you expound on your theories about
the "trans-positating filliftation of ferrrous ions
in a structural matrix" that makes the superb
juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex femur you recently discovered
take on the deceptive appearance of a fifty-year old