This morning, while reading ‘Curious Articles News’, a rather curious article caught my eye. It claimed that the vice president, Dick Cheney, is considering a “species change”, which apparently is akin to a sex-change, only a trifle more drastic. Now, you may scoff, you may laugh, you might even throw your head back and guffaw loudly, as you slap your legs hysterically (I’d close the curtains if you are actually considering these actions), but remember, ‘Curious Articles News’ was the august journal which first broke the Watergate scandal. Admittedly, this was ten years earlier than Watergate itself, under the headline, ‘Nixon Buys Tape Recorder’, but it portended uncannily of events to come, and even showed a photograph of a microphone behind a pair of curtains – as it turned out, curtains of an identical colour to those in the Watergate building (albeit six inches shorter, and with a longer cord, but you get the drift).

My first thoughts were, “God! I’ve forgotten to buy the nails!” (my wife was building a shed, and had asked me to purchase some odds and ends for her). My second thought was, “A species change?? Surely they jest?”, but no, this was backed up with iron evidence. Apparently, species change operations had first been pioneered in Germany in 1933, by the Austrian Nazi doctor, Professor Hermann O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan injected DNA taken from a fruit fly into a colleague, who, on coming round from the anaesthetic, began hovering over a mound of ripe bananas. The doctors present managed to restrain him with an oversized swatter made from some planks. The patient was sedated and returned to his bed, but escaped, only to be discovered scampering under the rim of a nearby lavatory, being chased by a spider. Another early experiment involved mixing genetic material from a chimp and injecting it into another chimp. The researchers couldn’t make up their minds which genes had been passed on, until the second animal began playing the saxophone. Hitherto this experiment, only the ‘test monkey’ had been able to play. A surprising result was, the second animal was able to play ‘Autumn Leaves’ – a tune unfamiliar to chimp number one. In addition, both animals began dressing as beatniks. The research had to be abandoned, however, when both monkeys began taking heroin, wearing dark glasses and snapping their fingers.

The newspaper then went on to describe the Cheney connection. According to its sources, Cheney is understood to be adamant as to his desired species, and since childhood has:

-Harboured secret desires to chase cars and howl at ice cream vans
-Sniffed the pants of several members of Congress, and
-Has been seen gnawing on bones and growling at approaching strangers.

It would seem, therefore, that Cheney has definite ‘canine’ tendencies. This presents problems for the Republican party. Should Obama choose to reveal these clandestine secrets, what will be McCain and Palin’s collective response? Will they attempt to brush it aside, or claim that Jimmy Carter’s legislation from the seventies, the infamous ‘Hey, It Doesn’t Bother Us If You Want To Pretend To Be A Pooch’ Act (1976) is to blame? As they say, we need to know.

NEXT WEEK: I discover who ‘they’ actually are.