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Kissing Cousins

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

I just finished reading a book about Albert Einstein, written by Walter Isaacson, and I don’t know what possessed me to do it. It was hard reading, and the author used a lot of words I was unfamiliar with like “usufruct”.

            Perhaps I wanted to read it because when I was a kid whenever I’d say something particularly brilliant, as I did on a regular basis, members of my family would say, “Who do you think you are, Einstein?”

            For any younger folks reading this, I can’t stress how big a figure this little German was back in the fifties and sixties for his Theory of Relativity, E=mc squared. I read the entire 500-page book and I still can’t explain it.

            In a survey of incoming freshman at Princeton University in 1939, Einstein was voted the second greatest living person in the world. Of course, I must really question just how exceptional these Princeton students were because the person they voted to be the greatest person in the world was Adolph Hitler.

            I also must question exactly how smart Einstein must have been because according to his second wife Elsa, Einstein didn’t drive because “It was much too complicated for him.” 

            Then there is this tidbit about the German genius – he married his cousin. Not a second or third cousin but a first cousin. In fact, his wife Mileva was a first cousin to Albert on both sides of his pedigree.

            If Einstein was so smart he should have noticed the early warning signs of inbreeding because Mileva herself suffered from serious mental health issues.

            Towards the end of her life, she suffered a debilitating stroke and afterwards, for three months prior to her death, she kept repeating the words, “No, no, no!”

            Of course, my wife has been doing this to me for 47 years, and she and I are in no way related, other than being man and wife.

            Einstein’s first son turned out OK but their second son, Eduard, was deeply disturbed, became increasingly violent and had to be institutionalized in an insane asylum.

            Einstein was no dummy, though. When he divorced Mileva he wrangled a deal leaving him with all their assets. All poor Mileva got was the promise if Albert ever won the Noble Prize, the money that went with it would all go to her. She had to wait 17 years for the payoff.

            I was telling my friend ReRide about this divorce decree and he moaned, “Why didn’t I think of that? I just became uncoupled from my third wife and she got the house, the kids and any money found in the couch.”

            Of course, the odds of ReRide winning any Noble Prize are about the same as Hillary voting for Donald Trump.

            Einstein got married again and proceeded to cheat on Elsa as he did with Mileva. Einstein didn’t believe men and women were ever meant to be monogamous. He certainly wasn’t.

            He also called himself “A militant pacifist,” and when asked to name his religion he said he was a “Deeply religious non-believer.”

            Einstein’s second wife, Elsa, was a vegetarian who dearly loved hot dogs. Figure that out. Einstein solved the problem by declaring hot dogs a vegetable.

            I myself have seen the dangers of allowing two beings who are closely related to mate. Although I never saw any evidence of inbreeding with our cattle, I did see it with our small farm flock of sheep from which we raised club lambs for FFA and 4-H kids.

            One day, our legendary herd sire, Studly, broke down two fences to get in with a bunch of ewe lambs he sired that were just reaching puberty and darned if one didn’t get in the family way.

            Since they were just sheep, I thought I’d chance it and see the science experiment through to the end. Darned if the ewe lamb didn’t give birth to a babe that couldn’t stand on her own four feet and had a kink in her neck that made her look sideways upon the cold, cruel world.

            The poor baby didn’t live two weeks, and it emotionally scarred both my wife and I. That’s when I learned my lesson to never let two closely related animals, including humans, mate. 

            I call it Einstein’s Second Theory of Relativity.

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