Senseless because-I-can Sarcasm : Genetic roulette

The results of genetic roulette: My genes are not talking to each other right now.

All of my life, I believed one “Truth.” 

One of my parents was purely Irish and the other was half Irish and half French Canadian.  In other words, I was supposed to be 25% French.  But…somewhere in my deep, dark ancestral past was a Native American and one of my grand, or great-grandfathers fled France to avoid a death sentence.

Well, crack me up with a game of genetic roulette!  Truth isn’t quite what it used to be.

Thanks to a test tube to spit in, and a half-price genetics test, my writer’s imagination has gone into overdrive.

First of all, I was hoping to find Neanderthal in my genome.  I might be eligible for all sorts of scholarships as an endangered species, and can you imagine how much fun it would be to introduce myself at a party?

“Hello, I’m Joelle, and I’m 4% Neanderthal.”  

That would be quite the ice breaker, eh?

More along the lines of reality is this scenario:

Deep in our darkest past, the Vikings descended upon Northwestern Europe, spreading their “seed” throughout the area.  As the bastard children of countless Viking conquests spread Eastward into what was to become Germany, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland, their penchant for fighting and stealing spread throughout the land.

One of those, a paternal great (or great-great) grandfather, well endowed with the “criminal” gene, filtered down from Norway, finding his way into France 200 years ago….and (DRUMROLL) killed a man.  I’ll name him Thor Eriksson just because I can.  This man had the same genetic predisposition for learning languages as my paternal grandfrather–and as my son (who speaks 3 fluently and 2 others passably).  Thor had to escape France in a hurry — or die — and having the gift of picking up a foreign language in a year, he looked, acted, and sounded just like a Frenchman.  But…he needed a name!  And fast!  

What does the criminal mind do when he’s desperate to get out of a country?  He finds a boat sailing for Canada and learns how to become a sailor in record time.  

This isn’t a stretch of truth.  All you have to do is read the posts about my grandfather, Albert LeGendre.   His life would make one helluva movie:

Unfortunately, the “learn to speak a language fluently in one year” gene requires a “Y” chromosome.  Not one of Albert LeGendre’s granddaughters has this ability.  My son, however, learned to speak Spanish so fluently during his year as an exchange student in Spain, that his accent can’t be distinguished from the indigenous people of Spain.  Oh, and he took Calculus in Spanish during his 2nd semester there.

Yep.  He’s a real “black sheep,” that one!  The rest of us are as dignified as bar maids at a fight club.

But, alas, I digress.  Back to my story.

The man who would be dead sailed to Nova Scotia, and ran as fast as he could to the remote wilderness of Canada.  There, he found work as a trapper.  Who would look twice at a half-savage man with a wife whose heritage included French Canadian, Native American, and possibly Cameroon from a slave who had escaped two generations prior?

By the time his son was “of age,” he had learned fluent French, English and possibly Viking, from his father and fooled everyone in the quaint little town of Roxton Pond, Quebec, into thinking he was a “traveling” school teacher.  Whether or not my great-grandfather’s name was really Hector is a mystery.  I mean, really?  Who the hell names a child Hector in Quebec?

If he was anything like my grandfather, I probably have more 4th cousins roaming around in Canada than I know about.  I have no doubt that he left a few children in Cuba during his tenure as a spy (around the time of the Spanish-American war).

Being endowed with the criminal gene, Hector zeroed in on a frail young woman no one else wanted to marry, just so he could have a rich family to support his wife and kids while he traveled to wherever criminal minds find trouble.

In the meantime, his wife died when my grandfather was 3 and he went to an orphanage with his siblings.

Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more truth in that story than there was in my grandfather’s rendition of his life as a rich aristocrat with a degree in Electrical Engineering who fooled an electric company into believing it.  He worked as an Electrical Engineering manager for years, ran an entire facility, and he did it well.

“So then…” you might wonder, “What did a half-price genetics test tell you?”

I think the first 2 words (an obvious disclaimer) says it all.

Ethnicity Estimate
Ireland & Scotland 47%

England, Wales & Northwestern Europe 43%

France 4%

Norway 2%

Native American—North, Central, South 1%

Germanic Europe 1%

Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples 1%

Finland  1%

The Viking in me finds that very, very funny, and the fact that I’m more native American than Elizabeth Warren and as African as Queen Elizabeth.

I had to laugh at the fact that Finland was the final entry into the bizarro genetic lasagna, as if it’s the most terrible of tragedies to have Finnished last?  


©Joelle LeGendre (Anyone who wants to steal this post would have to be insane.)