Bear News Beartown News

NOVEMBER 1, 2001

White House Memo

From: White House
To: Albert Gore

We found some more votes. You won. When do you want to take over?

George W. Bush

Critical Letter

To the Editor:

I'm 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!

Yours truly,

EDITOR'S 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.

Paleoanthropology Division
Smithsonian Institute
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078

Dear Farmer Brown,:

Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labled "4326-G5, layer 4, southwest corner of horse barn, humanoid skull."
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 fossilized bone.
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 monkey wrench.

Yours in science,
Orville Wright
Curator, Antiquities



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