Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Frog Magnet

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

I mean, just when we thought everything had been invented, along comes the frog magnet. Just as the magnets that you and I have come to know and love, the ones that live on our refrigerators and such, are sweet on iron, so the frog magnet was sweet on frogs. Its inventor was a lady named Shirley whose pet frog had died many years before when her big brother tore its legs off. After years of experimentation, Shirley had been able to reattach the severed legs of a lab frog through the use of tiny frog magnets implanted in the test subject. Yes, different parts of the frog kept sticking to its own hips, but a life was saved and that’s all that mattered. Now little girls everywhere would be spared the heartbreak of torn-apart pet frogs. And only twenty-seven thousand frogs had to die in its discovery.

The technology moved on to other uses in the hands of other people, as technologies do. People used frog magnets to catch frogs that had hopped into their houses. Catching tadpoles had never been so easy and kids actually grew bored with the sport. Sadists created monstrous frog conglomerates, attaching hundreds of frogs to one another to make one great green blob of croaking, slimy yuchiness. Perhaps the most sinister application came about when DARPA researchers reversed the magnet’s polarity and created the FL-16, the Frog Launcher. That War on Terror they’d been on about for the past thirty years? Wrapped up within a month. Yes, it sounded too easy, but you try getting hit by ninety frogs a minute traveling at six-hundred miles an hour. That’ll take it out of you, my friend.

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