London, England: Some scientists are calling it “the most significant scientific discovery of the week.” Others are more skeptical.
Felicia Mulberry, 26, of Sussex, was unassumingly making her way through Heathrow Airport with her husband, lorry driver Niles, when airport security agents noticed something suspicious.
“She was clearly concealing a large round object under her shirt. We thought she was trying to smuggle a cantaloupe or a watermelon or something, so we investigated further,” said Metropolitan Police Detective Noel Hemsworth.
But what at first appeared to be a simple customs violation turned out to be a case of good old-fashioned human trafficking. But with a twist.
“She kept saying she was ‘pregnant,’ whatever that means,” said Hemsworth. “So I told her I was ‘pregnant with anticipation to see what she was hiding under there’. I thought that was a very clever line. But nothing could have prepared us for what we saw next! Our imaging devices showed two distinct people under her clothes, the woman, and a child she was concealing! That was strange enough, but further investigation revealed the child wasn’t taped to her belly, it was actually inside her body!”
That was enough to surprise even the most cynical airport security officer.
“Hey, I’ve been doing this fifteen years,” said Hemsworth, ”and before that I did prison security, and before that I worked a late shift in an emergency room. At this point, I’m almost never surprised at what we find in people’s bodies. But a baby? Now I’ve seen everything!”
“I mean it was so obvious,” butted-in another airport security officer who was not asked for comment but had been listening in and offered one anyway. “You could see the head and the arms and the legs on the screen, all moving around and everything. It was clearly a baby in there! I guess the lady was too cheap to buy an extra ticket!”
Perhaps. But some of the more eccentric members of the scientific community have offered an alternate explanation, reanimating a debate as old as life itself.
“This may finally be the proof we need to support the wrongly discredited idea that babies are actually formed inside of women!”, gushed Professor Nerdelbaum Frink of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Springfield. “We’ve discovered life in strange places before. Fossilized bacteria on Mars, for example. Perhaps the still relatively recent mythology of babies being born of women was actually rooted in some modicum of truth!”
Unsurprisingly, many remain unconvinced.
A spokescreature for Planned Parenthood, the global leaders in minority population control and suppression, was shown a picture of the baby inside the mother, and attributed the phenomenon to a combination of “devilry” and “witchcraft.” She then cackled that “Whatever rights that baby had, it abandoned them when it invaded that mother… I mean woman,” at which point she hastily rolled the picture into a tight wad, shoved it in her mouth, and struggled to swallow it.
From inside her palatial mansion in San Francisco’s whites only district, Nancy Pelosi, a fixture in American politics since the early days of Reconstruction, spoke via intercom to reporters gathered around the speaker by her locked gates, adding “We don’t know where babies come from, but we do know where they don’t come from. The idea that you could have an actual living, human baby inside of a woman flies in the face of decades of court precedent, political rhetoric, and special interest money!”
Indeed, since the 1970s, the scientific community has been baffled by a deceptively complicated question: where do babies come from?
Prior, the idea that babies came from women related to them — “mothers” — was hardly novel. Reports of babies living inside of women dated back several millennia to the dawn of civilization, even across cultures that had no known contact with one another. Pre-historic cave drawings in France, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Mesopotamian carvings, Native American oral tradition, and pretty much all available literature on the subject in the developed and undeveloped worlds alike, depicted similar scenes of women somehow carrying children internally, with the ordeal typically culminating in a rather painful experience known as “birthing.” This vulgar process, whereby the baby is ejected forcefully from the body, is believed to have been the inspiration for, and similar to, that which was depicted in Ridley Scott’s popular “Alien” films, wherein a parasitic organism of uncertain origin explodes out of the chest of an unwitting host, much to the bewilderment of all.
But a series of important court cases in the 1970s, culminating in the vacuous Roe v. Wade case, established as a matter of law and fact that politically appointed judges had, to use a complex legal term, no freakin’ idea where babies come from or how they are made, thus invalidating several thousand years of transcultural lore, and generally accepted science, observation, and common sense.
New theories were suddenly needed and were quick to emerge, the most popular being that babies arrived via storks, or regional equivalents such as pelicans, flamingos, and ostriches. But this proved implausible at best, after a series of experiments conducted by some of the world’s leading falconers and pet store assistant managers, who, using backpacks filled with peanut M&Ms to simulate babies, demonstrated that even large birds could not support the weight of an infant. Further, general bird theory failed to account for babies that seem to arrive during the winter, after the avian population had already vacated the region to wherever it is they go when it’s cold. Caves, or whatever. Plus, it’s pretty darn difficult to get a bird to do much of anything useful. It’s a bird, for crying out loud!
Evolutionary biologists scrambled for other theories, such as babies being delivered by large dogs or kangaroos, or that they simply grew out of the ground like vegetables, a theory which did receive some traction in the early 1980s as reports of such babies continued to mount, but DNA testing, still in its infancy at the time, revealed that these “cabbage patch kids,” as they were called, were just plush children’s toys. The mystery seemed to have finally been solved when the New England Journal of Medicine published a peer-reviewed study that argued that babies were actually older people who had gotten younger over time. The paper, entitled “The Peculiar Case of Benjamin Button,” was widely celebrated at first, though it was ultimately rejected when it was revealed, by an Internet video pirate, that it had been copied word for word from a movie of a similar name that nobody had seen.
Left with few alternatives, a frustrated scientific community eventually reached a broad, albeit somewhat unsatisfying consensus, that babies “just kind of happen,” which became the official position of the World Health Organization, and of standardized educational texts in Europe and the United States.
But the airport case has given new life to the old theory of natural birth.
“This sort of thing is actually not uncommon in nature. There are species found throughout the animal kingdom that are known to procreate, with the baby developing inside a person, before being introduced to the outside world. And among mammals, females seem uniquely suited to this role. It’s almost like nature designed them to be able to carry children inside of themselves, though for what purpose is a matter for scholars to debate. Perhaps our evolutionary ancestors used this technique to keep their children warm during the Ice Age? Or because it freed their arms to carry more bags? I have no idea, nor do I know why you are asking me. That will be forty-eight dollars,” said my gas station attendant. When pressed for further comment because I was minutes away from a deadline and needed to hit my word quota, he observed: “It’s really just an academic issue at this point, one that’s fun to debate, but in no way has any practical application. It’s like wondering how Keith Olbermann keeps getting work. Who knows and who cares? By the way, is your company hiring people with degrees in gender studies? Asking for some friends.”
(Disclaimer: The preceding post was satire. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you shouldn’t have read it).