Jul. 8, 2002: The Arab terrorists have made sure we can’t live in peace…

… Now it looks like we can’t even die in peace.

Ted Williams, a member of the baseball Hall of Fame, passed away a couple of weeks ago. He was the last major leaguer to hit over .400, finishing the 1941 season at .406. Williams’ career with the Boston Red Sox included 521 home runs and a .344 lifetime batting average. Baseball aficionados say his numbers would have been even more impressive had he not lost five years serving in World War II and the Korean War. Williams was an extraordinary talent. The slugger claimed his eyesight was so keen that he could see the strings of the baseball coming toward him at upwards of 90 miles per hour. Truly, we will never see his likes again. Or will we?

His children have been in a heated dispute over whether or not to freeze Ted Williams and sell his DNA sometime in the future. His daughter strongly expressed her opposition, saying it was “immoral.” His son, an entrepreneur if there ever was one, proposed that if they couldn’t freeze the whole body, maybe they could just freeze daddy’s head. I don’t understand how all of this works but I think the younger Williams reasons that the old man’s DNA could be sold to the highest bidder who I assume could then use it to make a person that could hit .400 anytime he or she wanted.

I haven’t checked with my own kids but I have a strong feeling that saving my DNA is not a hot topic of conversation between them. I suspect they both shudder to think of someone walking around this earth in the future acting like their father. There is no question this person would be easy to recognize. He or she would get lost every time they went to Macon and would always pay full price for anything they bought one day before the newspaper ran ads announcing a half-price sale.

There is another reason not to freeze me or my head. My head and I despise the cold. Ever since we attended the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, the two of us have developed a strong aversion to snow, ice, wind, frozen ears, runny noses and having to wear three coats and four pair of gloves to breakfast.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that freezing somebody’s DNA doesn’t merit further study. There are some people probably worth a second visit. We could use all the Mother Teresas we could manufacture. Same with Billy Graham and Thomas Jefferson and Nelson Mandela and Vince Dooley. But you can bet your last molecule that if we can duplicate these outstanding individuals, somebody will figure out how to create another Saddam Hussein or Eminem or the goofy judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That doesn’t sound like much progress to me and it sure isn’t worth getting yourself frozen for.

On the other hand, maybe the smart folks who know about all this stuff could greatly improve the original product. Maybe instead of hitting .400 all the time, a future Ted Williams could hit .600 and not only see the strings on the baseball but take a quick snooze while waiting for the ball to get to the plate. Maybe we could whip up a new version of House Speaker Tom Murphy that would agree to wear a seat belt when driving, like the rest of us mortals. Maybe we could clone a kinder, gentler Ted Turner, which would probably necessitate the new model having its jaw permanently wired shut. If we could keep ol’ Looney Tunes quiet, we might even consider making another patriotic statesperson like the Right Honorable Cynthia McKinney, the pride and joy of Georgia’s 4th district, although right off hand I can’t think why we would want to do that, even if we could.

Let me get this clearly on the record. I am unalterably opposed to the notion of freezing the deceased and using their DNA. However, if somebody offered to make me a couple of Marilyn Monroes on a trial basis, I would certainly be willing to reconsider my position. And she wouldn’t even have to hit .400.