Sunday, December 19, 2010


Recently I received a mailing from A. Bitterman at Reading Reptile in Kansas City, MO. The people of KC already know that Reading Reptile is the greatest kids' book store in town, if not in all of these United States. But they may not know that it is also the world's largest repository of genetic material culled from authors and illustrators.

The mailer contained a pair of tweezers, nail clippers, two cotton swabs, a collection dish, a SASE, and a letter which I excerpt here:
It is our intent to become the preeminent DNA bank for the children's book industry. Students of the art will now be able to study not only the work of the great masters, but their genetic make up as well. In this way, aspiring writers might determine whether or not they have "the right stuff" to make it in this competitive, and oftentimes unforgiving, profession, before they inflict their misapprehensions on an unsuspecting public.

Your samples will not, under any circumstances, be used in government research, or for cloning purposes, without your expressed permission in writing.
I'm going to go ahead and give you that permission, Bitterman. I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong.

The letter also details the extraction procedure, which includes tweezing 2-5 hairs (with roots) from any part of my body (I chose head), paring at least 4 nail clippings from my fingers and/or toes (I chose toes), and using the cotton swabs to collect saliva from the inner cheek of my choosing (I chose face).

Then I packaged up my samples for their return back to Reading Reptile.

Anyone who visits my samples might drop me a line to let me know how they're doing. And if anyone in the greater Kansas City area happens to notice a lot of new residents who look like me at various ages, please encourage them to get in touch. I might be wanting a new kidney at some point.


Kelly Polark said...

Wow. This isn't weird at all!
Are you sure the package wasn't from A. Crazyman instead of A. Bitterman?
But that being said, I hope one day to be published and they'll want my saliva too!

Sarah Romano Diehl said...

that is amazing.

Unknown said...

That's incredibly strange. Awesome.

Nina Crittenden said...

Very interesting...
Happy New Year, Mr. Rex!

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Angie H. said...

Ick and cool, all in one post. Maybe someday I will break into the collection and make a hybrid of my favorite authors. This could be the cumulation of all of my scientific training. Mu-waa-haa-haa (evil laugh, in case that didn't translate)

Dad said...

"collect saliva from the inner cheek of my choosing (I chose face)."

Great line. I laughed.

Anonymous said...

I will be your eyes and ears. I live about 3 blocks from the Reading Reptile and already keep A. Bitterman under surveillance. Believe me, Adam Rex clones are the least of our worries. ;-)