Carrot Woman

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I made Carrot Woman by combining my wife's egg, and my sperm, in the fertility lab, as I'd done for patients many times before.

But since this was our baby, I thought I'd include a little extra.

On today's episode of Soaring Twenties, I'm introducing Carrot Woman to the Internet. Since it's a podcast, no one will actually see her; the idea will be out there though, spreading buzz, boosting traffic. It'll be great for the Twitter account I've been managing for her, when she grows out of her Petri dish world.

I settle into the leather swivel chair across from the host, Professor McNubin. She dresses in slacks and blazer, an awkward contrast from my t-shirt and jeans.

"So let's get right to it," McNubin says, before she spends several minutes talking about sponsors, weather, holidays. Then she repeats, "I'd like to get right to it," and she looks at the Petri dish between us, words failing her.

Carrot Woman does a fist-pumping dance in the middle of her Petri dish.

It's hard to appreciate my daughter's creativity, given she's only a couple inches tall. She'll be a magnificent performer someday, after a growth spurt or two.

"Is she a person?" McNubin asks.

"Her baseline is human DNA," I say.

"Whose?"

"Mine and my wife's."

"Good god," McNubin mutters. As she passes her hand over her eyes, onto her forehead, she asks, "Why does she look like a baby carrot with arms and legs?"

"And a face," Carrot Woman squeals. Wiggling her rump in the air, she adds, "And a butt."

McNubin sighs. "Of course she has a butt."

"When we first invented GMOs," I tell her, "we would play-test genetic mutations until we found a good one. Since then, we've learned a great deal about the DNA of crops, including the Super Carrot."

"Is that the carrot that lasts over a year?" McNubin replies. "Outside the refrigerator even?"

I nod. "I wanted to give Carrot Woman extended life."

McNubin opens and closes her mouth before she tries, "This is about immortality?"

I'm surprised by her incredulous tone. As I spread my hands open in front of the Petri dish, Carrot Woman watches with widened eyes. I say, "Everyone wants the best for her children," and McNubin scoffs.

After a painful pause, McNubin leans her elbows on the table, then rests her chin in her hands. "So she's part Super Carrot."

"Super carrots grow about two feet long," I say, "when they're left in the ground, given proper nutrition..."

"Dad's going to plant me!" Carrot Woman shouts, resuming her dance.

"You're burying your daughter?" McNubin stammers, unsure.

"All of this is perfectly safe," I reply.

Rubbing her face again, McNubin says, "All right, we're taking a commercial break. When we come back, audience members: be ready to text in your questions on Carrot Woman, designer daughter of geneticist and biologist Vern Franklin. We'll field the best ten questions."

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