Today I learned potatoes are depressed. And I find that sad.
Technically, potato depression is not the same as human depression. When potatoes are depressed, they don’t email their therapist 40 times while downing 3 glasses of boxed chardonnay and listening to “Fix You” by Coldplay on repeat. Potatoes aren’t depressed because they just lost out on a great job. Or because they got dumped by the love of their life. Or because Vice President Quayle forced a kid to spell “potato” wrong.
Potatoes are depressed because humans are short-sighted assholes.
See, potatoes reproduce through cloning. I’m sure you’ve seen a potato that’s been left too long in the cupboard start to grow those little sprouts?
It may look creepy, but it’s also how potatoes reproduce. If you cut up those old potatoes and plant them in the ground, those little sprout fingers will germinate and make new potatoes. The potato basically just keeps cloning itself over and over. Kind of like the Kardashians.
But here’s the thing. Cloning may make growing potatoes easier for farmers. But it’s not so great for keeping genetic mutations out of the gene pool. For example, stunted growth is seen frequently in cloned potato crops. And there’s nothing sadder than a stunted tuber. This is how you wind up with depressed potatoes.
Their gene pool is shrinking because we keep inbreeding the same potatoes over and over. That means that cloned potato sex leads to offspring that are worse-off than their parent potatoes.
Inbreeding is never good. Just ask the British monarchy. Their bloodline is so muddied with inbreeding, that they developed a prominent facial deformity named after a European royal family affected with the same trait — the Hapsburg jaw.
This deformity was the direct result of Royal Brits banging their first and second cousins one too many times over a period of 200 years. God save the Queen…from sleeping with her cousin.
So remember Gleeksters, inbreeding is bad. It leads to depressed potatoes. And to Eric.
But here’s the good news. Scientists are working on a way to genetically weed out the bad genes in potatoes. So we may, once again, have happy potatoes in the future.
Don’t you just wanna pinch his happy tater cheeks?