Some old friends visited with us recently. We hadn’t spent time with them for way too long, and it was a great evening. They have adult children, young grandchildren, and a relatively young grand-dog.
We can’t really match them story for story, topic for topic. Their grandchildren are close by and they have many stories about adventures with and because of the munchkins. All are entertaining. Two of the grandkids are in school and one is a toddler. The grand-dog is still a puppy and hasn’t really developed his own personality yet. Eventually he’ll have stories as well but for now, the kids are the story fodder.
They also shared a non-kid, dogless, child-free story with us that I found quite interesting. It involves one of those “find out your ancestry and ethnicity” services. We watch a lot of public television and at least one of those services is an underwriter, so I knew such things existed.
What I didn’t know was exactly how the process seems to work.
Let’s call the company WhoAmI.org. All they require is the same thing detective shows need to “eliminate you from our inquiries.” Just spit in a bottle or run a cotton swab around inside your mouth. Everything WhoAmI.org needs will be in the bottle or on the swab. Amazing!
OK, hold on, don’t leave. I’m getting to the cool bit.
One of our friends spat in a bottle and sent it off. The results came back fairly quickly.
‘You’re 22.5% Alsatian, 19% Aborigine, 7% Norwegian, 51.5% Hillbilly.’ ‘Other people similar to you are Betty Crocker, Benjamin Moore, Mozart, and Ralph at the muffler shop.’ ‘We include a list of living people, not including Ralph, who are certainly some kind of blood-kin.’
Several of the ‘certainly some kind of blood-kin’ were as expected, relatives already known: siblings, uncle, aunt, etc.; however, one of them was a total unknown. WhoAmI.org offered the ability to contact these ‘kin’ via e-mail, through the website. They do not expose the participants to trolls.
Our friend followed up with the unknown. Damn! Her efforts paid off. Turns out the unknown is the adopted illegitimate offspring of a relative. Nobody in the family knew about her and vice versa. She was understandably excited. Her birth-mother was over the moon. Biologic father wasn’t thrilled but has warmed to the knowledge. Cousins have come out of the woodwork.
Fireworks and felicitations all around.
What a cool thing. And all from “eliminating you from our inquiries.”