I’m always looking for a way to advance science, and three recent articles pointed out some possibilities. Unfortunately, I’m too afraid of the water to become a dolphin snot collector, and although I would be only too happy to harvest semen from a snot otter, that involves travel. So that leaves poop donation.
It has only been recently that dolphin snot has hit the news. The promise for research breakthroughs seemed endless. Could we one day cure the heartbreak of plankton-induced asthma? Develop a new marine adhesive from porpoise boogers? Sadly, none of this is on the horizon. Dolphin scientists are excited about snot collection only because it is a good source of dolphin DNA, which has proved invaluable in the study of, uh, dolphins. Previous attempts to scavenge DNA from a dolphin involved remote techniques using a crossbow or a long pole. This worked well, as far as it went, but only allowed researchers to study irritable dolphins, with no controls for amiability. With the new snot collection discovery, they now need only use a bucket and a boat and locate a pod of dolphins with kelp allergies, and it’s DNA city.
Snot otter semen is, to my mind, even more valuable. “Snot otter” is the perfectly adorable term of endearment for the hellbender, a species of salamander that used to be common in streams in the eastern United States. The hellbender is to a regular salamander as Rush Limbaugh is to Johnny Depp, but we love them anyway. There is no higher use for snot otter ejaculate than the creation of more snot otters, and that is precisely what is being proposed. I’m certain I’m qualified. I love salamanders very much, even the rare massively ugly ones, and I think that would come across. And there are aspects of snot otter fondling that are very similar to activities I might have already perfected over the years, if I do say so myself. Snot otters are currently in steep decline, and it isn’t because they finally got a good look at each other. It’s no doubt due to something stupid we did, so I’d love to help. Maybe next time I’m back east I’ll check on craigslist for people who want their snot otters stroked. I’ll probably find some, too.
But my contribution to science is most likely to be in the field of fecal transplants. There is a need out there for good healthy shit, and I am really full of it. I’ve already updated my driver’s license to reflect my donor status, and in the event of a serious accident, collection should be a snap: I probably will have donated before impact. The transplant recipients are people with difficult infections, colitis, and other intractable intestinal woes. Evidently someone has discovered that if their intestines are scrubbed clean and re-injected with healthy crap, everything clears right up. I’d be tickled to give some of mine away. I can always make more. And TurboTax already has a calculator for charitable contributions to tell you what your shit is worth.