Old business

McChump Industries announces
race horse cloning operation


New business

Encouraged by the news that Scottish researchers had successfully cloned a flock of 9 lambs, trailblazing McChump Industries today announced a plan to convert its struggling racing ostrich operation near Curio, Arizona, into the world's first commercial racehorse cloning facility.

Reached on his cell phone in his '68 Rambler Classic mobile office, McChump #1 provided a glimpse into the company's philosophy: "Why dick around trying to breed a winner when you can just clone a proven commodity?" he asked, rhetorically.

Why, indeed.

For more information on this novel project, we decided to visit McChump Industries' on the spot operations manager, McChump #2, on the site of Industry headquarters in western Arizona.

About 10 miles past the crumbling remains of the stands and ramp built for Rebus Knebus' abortive Leap to the Center of the Earth, we pulled in at the gate of McChump Industries World Headquarters. Remembering our Western manners, we pulled the gate taut behind us, looped the wire over the end post, and parked in what appeared to be the visitor lot. Kicking our way through the raucous pack of ranch dogs, and picking our way carefully around large piles of sun dried ostrich guano, we made our way towards the Industries' double wide world headquarters building. Meanwhile, hundreds of the big birds, apparently startled at our presence, promptly buried their heads in the sand and exposed their delicate parts to the blazing Arizona sun.

We found McChump #2 out back of the trailer, working under a long, open air, corrugated tin roofed, lean to structure, fastening lengths of garden hose and assorted plumbing fixtures to a long row of large galvanized, oblong shaped, portable cattle watering tubs.

After the obligatory howdys and a little chit chat about the weather ("Hot, ain't it?") we got down to the interview.

Q. How big an operation do you envision?

A. "Well, we figgered we'd start out with about 100 cloning vats. That'll give us leeway for a little variety - 10 Meadowlakes or so for those who like 'em precocious, 10 or 20 Sunday Silences for people who want to win a Triple Crown, a mixture of 20 or so Lures and Paradise Creeks for the turf buffs, and maybe 50 Cigars and/or John Henry's for people who can afford to wait awhile on a horse. Once this thing takes off and we're making the buku bucks, we can buy out that trailer park over yonder and expand the spread a little. But right now we're a little short on cash 'cause of the crappy purses we're gettin' in ostrich racing right at the present".

Q. How do you intend to get hold of the genetic material to start this operation? Suppose the owners of these horses don't want to cooperate, or would rather do the cloning themselves?

A. "Well, first we're gonna offer 'em free beer. If that don't work, well ... I don't want to say too much, but let's just say we have operatives with pitchforks following horses on some of the best stud farms in the world".

Q. Where did you get your cloning equipment? That stuff must be very difficult to come by.

A. "We got it directly from the same hardware and home brewing supplies store in Scotland where these scientists bought their stuff".

Q. Didn't you buy American?

A. "No, we didn't. If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!"

Q. I see. Aren't you afraid that some racing purists might find this practice objectionable?

A. "Well some of 'em, I suppose. But at the same time, you've got people out there who only want to see the absolute best horses racing, or who think there hasn't been a decent horse born since 1968. They ought to be ecstatic".

Q. I don't understand what you mean by that last ...

A. "Heh heh heh. Say no more." (nudge nudge, wink wink)

A thick ooze of greenish gray liquid was starting to seep into one of the tubs from its attached piece of garden hose, so McChump #2 had to cut our interview short and tend to it. As we left the McChump Industries compound, we passed several large vans coming in, bearing the logo of the Hellmouth, CA, based microbrew and indoor gardening supply distributor, "Panama Red's Brew 'n Stew". The smell of active yeast culture was staggering.

In other news, a rash of mysterious grave robberies of famous racehorses of the past, including Man O' War and Secretariat, was reported over the weekend. Sheriff Luger Axehandle, of Heater County, California, said he was at a loss to explain the desecrations.


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