Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬
 Randy Newman Strange Things
 Richard Cheese Down With The Sickness
 Run DMC It’s Tricky
I’m no doctor but I think you should get that seen to immediately Geoffrey. Fret not as I’m sure that Toys “R” Us won’t go into liquidation just because you take a few deserved days off to recuperate. Besides, look at the positives, you’ve now got two times the chance of headbutting Jerry Hall. I’m sure people won’t even notice the mutation so please don’t go worrying your pretty little heads about it. You see, it’s just a natural stage in all our evolution, thanks to those wonderful chromosome thingies. You think porcupines always wore that suit of armor? Of course they didn’t, it just seemed like the best way to prevent getting bullied. All the creatures in God’s kingdom do it and we humans are absolutely no exception to the rule. Take puberty for example, there’s no way a young lad can ever hope to procreate when his testicles are bunched up in his naval. Thus a metamorphosis occurs and he eventually emerges from his chrysalis a raging love sputnik primed to orbit those wombs. It’s just basic science.
Life has a habit of mutating us all over time and the end product is invariably the result of many years of constant modification. Should my trajectory have been completely different, then I would likely be unrecognizable at this point. It’s fascinating when you think about it and the human body is as complex a piece of kit as we are ever likely to come across as it is always up to something, whether we’re aware of this or not. When my nephew was twelve, he expressed an interest in playing pro basketball when he grew up. Lo and behold, he suddenly enjoyed a significant growth spurt and then another, and it appeared that his DNA was doing its darndest to accommodate his wish. While not to suggest that budding porn stars are going to wake up with an extra inch unless they suspend ball bearings from their foreskins, there’s undoubtedly something going on beneath our epidermises and I haven’t the vaguest idea of what that actually might be.
One thing I do know is that we’re forever in a state of transmutation. Often I glance in the mirror only to spot a man whose identity I cannot quite place my finger on and it feels as though something has shifted in my genetic make-up seemingly overnight. It’s not that I’m somebody else, just not quite the same person I was yesterday, and not quite the same person I will likely be tomorrow either. Perhaps that’s why selfies have become all the rage in recent years; to chart our steady evolution with the intention of furthering scientific studies. If this is the case, then I have a marvellous idea for where Kim Kardashian can store her Nobel Prize once she picks up that lifetime achievement award. Speaking of which, there’s a prime example of mutation right there. Wish hard enough for a badonkadonk and those buttocks will soon begin to balloon until which time as they demand their very own zip code. Genius. Now if only it worked for personality.
So I recently got to thinking, what kind of mutation would I opt for if the choice was mine to make? Some flailing tendrils would be nice, just to cut down the time it takes to wash those pesky dishes you understand. Okay you’ve got me, I’d also attempt to beat my personal best on my Rubix Cube, as the additional suction would be invaluable when peeling off the stickers. At no point whatsoever would I put my tentacles to nefarious use as that’s just a poor show in my opinion. That said, I couldn’t be held responsible if they suddenly developed a life all of their own in the high street. I mean, it’s only natural that they’ll head for some place moist right? After all, they are flailing tendrils and no doubt missing the fresh saltwater. That’s my excuse officer and I’m sticking to it dagnabbit. Now please holster that firearm and allow me to continue giving this random bystander an on-the-spot smear test. I think I may need a second opinion you know and will be placing my wish for a matching pair directly before bedtime.
And what about the whole double-header deal? Granted this would mean twice the teeth to brush before bedtime, but it would also offer all manner of exclusive opportunities of its own, and enable you to turn your head in disgust while someone tells you a filthy joke, while bonce number two commits that shit to memory. Of course, you’d have to deal with folk calling you two-faced and not have a leg to stand on, but multi-tasking would no longer pose such an issue, particularly when paired with those handy flailing tendrils. Indeed, the only bona fide downside I can discern would be those twin-fuelled migraines and we’d have to be conscious of how many paracetamol we guzzle incase we exceed our daily dose. Other than that and the inescapable strain to our neck muscles, this would be two breaths of fresh air and I’m placing my order with Heads “R” Us as we speak. Just one more thing, do you think it would be acceptable to appoint the top box of Daryl Hannah as my significant other?
As a self-confessed eighties child, I was right alongside Tom Hanks when he bagged himself an all singing, all writhing mermaid and snuck her back to his crib for bathtime. Regardless of the fact that she was pretty much dead from the waist down, his logic wasn’t too hard to decipher and the pair bonded in a manner most cordial. Indeed, Ron Howard’s Splash went as far as donating a happy ending although, what it negated to mention, was that the honeymoon period soon terminated once she dragged him 10,000 leagues under the sea to request the blessing of her cranky stepfather Neptune. Nevertheless, I’d be willing to give the tail of a fish a workout, and spend my free time lurking on the rocks around private beaches, luring unsuspecting topless sunbathers to the seabed so that any snubbed algae can be granted a long overdue fondle. On the downside, I’d miss my 501’s terribly, and it’s no easy feat rocking a denim sarong you know.
I will say this, for as much fun as it would prove being gifted any of the aforementioned mutations, nobody in their right mind wishes to go the full monty as this one’s a darn sight harder to play down in public and folk have a tendency to judge books primarily by their covers. Perhaps they’ll overlook the one eye despite any persistent conjunctivitis but I’m sure the constant scuttling would grow tiresome over time. That said, you could command the respect of your peers at the local discotheque, and the addition of strobe lighting would leave fellow patrons 50% less nauseated. But I happen to be somewhat partial to humanity and already did the “I don’t belong here” thing back at adolescence so don’t exactly relish a recital. Ultimately we all just want to be loved and being admired suspiciously from a great distance just isn’t quite the same.
Spare a thought for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as these half-shelled heroes soon fell from grace after such a promising start. Granted, the Manhattan police department couldn’t have halted the march of the infamous Foot Clan without them and New Yorkers took them straight to their hearts for making the streets safe once more, but Splinter suffered from chronic agoraphobia and insisted they remain in the sewer, where he could keep his beady eye on them. Consequently, Raphael contracted a severe case of E. Coli after being assaulted by sail-by excrement, Michaelangelo suffered a crisis of identity and changed his name to Michelleangelo before getting date raped by the extras from Ratatouille, Donatello happened across a used crack needle and wound up choking on his own bile, and Leonardo put on 100lbs thanks to scavenging one too many pepperoni feasts from the dumpster to the rear of the local Pizza Hut.
You see, it’s all fun and games until the fifth bout of acid reflux in swift succession. Nevertheless, I’m quite aware that I’m likely mutating as we speak, given that every last puff of nicotine supposedly endorses such transmogrification. When you consider how we bear each blemish and scar as life decides to play hardball, it seems only right that the same shit is going down beneath the veil also. Should you spend your days in a constant state of neurosis, then I believe it will eventually begin to show in your posture and, chances are, you’ll be left resembling a hamster with the dreaded wet-tail. All that negative energy swirling about inside constantly cannot be good for us right? This is why I try my level best to remain upbeat as I don’t fancy ending up like this chap.
Then we have the elderly and their gradual mutation is no less than utterly bizarre. Has anyone noticed now old people tend to grow more miniscule with every passing visit? Nanny Violet may comment on how much we’ve grown since she last clapped eyes on us last but, the truth is, she is steadily reverting back into a fetus and shrinking with every single day that passes. Once a model for Pretty Polly stockings and standing tall at 5″10, the old dear has been on the decline for the last decade and this is what greets us now when she opens the front door.
They do say you can’t choose your family after all. That said, is it any wonder we no longer wish to lean in for that kiss? In case you were wondering who played the part of the Critters, my money is on the cast of Cocoon. You see, mutation comes to us all eventually whether we like it or not and we have to take the jobs when they come. I guess we all need to just make the best of any changes being rung and hope that the end result isn’t too freakish. Our DNA is always looking for fresh ways to express itself and there’s ultimately precious little we can do to reverse its process. I don’t know about you lot but I’m buggered if I’m going to look at any other side than the bright one so I say do your worst chromosomes and I’ll adapt as best I can. Speaking of which, anyone for tennis?
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Grueheads Films 2016