Oh God. Oh baby.

–popular 20th-century pre-orgasmic incantation

In my early 20s I was an idiot, but I looked good. So I took a job as a doorfellow at Mom’s Saloon in Brentwood, replacing Jack Wagner, who‘d just accepted a higher-paying position on General Hospital. It was that kind of a bar. The clientele were mostly mild-mannered, athletic, alcoholic, college-age sport-fuckers. Some of them were women, and some of these women took time out from their mild-mannered athletic alcoholic collegiate sport-fucking schedule to compliment me on being such a good-looking idiot. Often the compliments and always the propositions would begin with a reference to my physique. You see (he said sheepishly), through my late teens and well into my 20s, I worked out with free weights. A lot. So much so that I was sometimes mistaken for being either a gymnast or a complete idiot. (As I mentioned, I was an idiot, but not completely.)

I was the kind of idiot who would politely reject (most) sport-fucking invitations on the grounds that, while I did enjoy being desired, I didn’t want to have sex with people who went around hitting on weightlifter types. At the same time, my experiences at the bar had made me increasingly comfortable with the idea that men have no business propositioning women at all. Sexual propositioning just seems like something that women should decide. Women are the ones inviting someone in, so to speak. Men must have the decency, I figured, to wait for invitations and not go around flaunting our obnoxious outboard genitalia like door-to-door salesmen, like telemarketers cold-calling you at home just as you‘ve settled down to a well-earned meal. Say, baby — what do you say you and I go, you know, get out of here and go somewhere, you know . . . else? Dinner? Drink? Coffee? Howzabout you and I find us someplace we can, you know, get down, get busy, get pregnant and spend the next 30 years propagating a culture that still can’t do any better than Bush and Gore? You up for that?

(See how impolite?)

Now freshly 38, I don‘t have to worry about it. I’ve made a full recovery from my overmuscled doorfellow days and have entered the long dark beigeness of middle age. I‘m not hideous, mind you, just unremarkable. On a good day, I might appear to be a sort of Trotsky action-adventure figure (actual size).

Like so many of his bovine peers, Action-Adventure Trotsky no longer has an appetite for the traffic jams, bad loud music and nightclub restroom lines that filled, even fueled, his 20s. On those increasingly rare occasions when he does go out, he often clams up and fidgets in a corner somewhere, half-longing to be some good-looking musclebound idiot fielding lascivious propositions from a queue of equally good-looking, equally shallow and equally idiotic (but much less muscly) babes.

Where does one go to meet others who share one’s disdain for socializing? The answer is that one does not go, one stays. One stays up late, at home, blathering telephonically with one‘s co-worker and ex-girlfriend (on those rare occasions when she manages to sleep at home). Tonight we discuss cloning, dating and possible combinations of the two in the coming decades. For example, regardless of one’s sexual history, proclivities or proficiencies, we wonder, would there be any benefit to having sexual relations with one‘s clone?

I figure . . . maybe. Or what the hell. It’s at least worth a try. Just because I‘m technically heterosexual now doesn’t mean I won‘t be autometahomosexual five or six years from now, when Kustom Klones merges with MSTimeChevronStarbucks. My ex also votes yes. Yes, oh yes, she’d definitely want to have sex with her clone(s), and I can‘t blame her. ”At this point I’m not really looking for a lover who understands me,“ she says. ”I‘m looking for a lover who is me. So that would probably work.“

Okay. Fine. Knock yourself out.

In 1997, TimeCNN polled 1,005 ostensibly adult Americans and determined that 93 percent of us felt that cloning humans was ”morally unacceptable“; 66 percent felt the same about cloning animals; 74 percent felt that human cloning goes against God’s will; 19 percent didn‘t; and 69 percent claimed to be scared of the whole clone and kaboodle.

Notice that the old poll (with its ±3 percent margin of error) doesn’t so much as mention sexual relations with clones, so rather than contacting those same 1,005 respondents, I conducted a poll of my own, randomly interrupting co-workers of all genders, bents and marital statuses, asking them to continue where CNN‘s survey left off: If you were cloned, would you consider having sexual relations — of any kind — with your clone? Yes? No? Maybe?

Of the 20 respondents, 40 percent said yes (several of them enthusiastically), 45 percent said no (several of them adamantly, with scrunched noses), and 15 percent said maybe, with one of the maybes specifying, ”If one of us was mute.“ In other words, 40 to 55 percent of L.A. Weekly employees might just respond favorably if told to go fuck themselves.

* * *

”In order to save the world from sin, we must clone Jesus to initiate the Second Coming of Christ.“ So say the dozen or so members of the Second Coming Project (www.clonejesus.com). SCP cites several biblical passages in support of its project. For example, ”He will cut him to pieces.“ (Matthew 24:50 — more at www.clonejesus.compred.html). ”Utilizing techniques pioneered at the Roslin Institute in Scotland [www.ri.bbsrc.ac.uk], by taking an incorrupt cell from one of the many Holy Relics of Jesus’ blood and body that are preserved in churches throughout the world, extracting its DNA“ and so on, SCP wishes only to clone Jesus, implant its Blueprint of the Savior as a Young Clone into some volunteer womb, then sit back and wait for the peace to begin. At press time, the birth is scheduled for 25 December 2001, so the SCP had better get cracking. But why stop with just the one? Why not clone dozens or even thousands of cute li‘l saviors? Kind of like The Boys From Brazil. But nicer.

Americans for Cloning Elvis (www.geocities.comVienna1673) See ”Second Coming Project,“ above.

Florida’s Sun-Sentinel presents The Clone Zone (www.sun-sentinel.comgraphicsentertainmentclonezone.htm), three Shockwave online cloning games: Classic Clone-O-Matic, where you mix and match sheep and cow ”DNA samples“; Celebrity Clone-O-Matic, where you do the same with Bill Clinton, Rosie O‘Donnell, Tara Lipinski, Mick Jagger and Sandra Bullock; and new Celebrity Clone-O-Matic 2, where you can make ”horrible mutant monsters“ out of Tom Cruise, Hillary Clinton, Pamela Anderson, Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio. Over 3,000 genetic combinations in all.

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