People are always asking me what I am. I’m a MegaStar, I tell them. But what are you, they say. How d’you mean? I say. I told you, I’m a MegaStar. But… they say. But what? I say. Nothing, they say, and that’s the end of that.
The thing is, I know what they want to know, and why. I just don’t let on. They want to know what my ingredients are, all the special things you need to put in the pot and mix together to come up with one of me.
One of me
Well, I never paid very much attention, to be honest. A MegaStar is a MegaStar and it’s a very rare and very special thing to be, and it’s so rare there’s only one the world and I’m just incredibly MegaLucky that that one and only MegaStar just happens to be me. All the same, I do find that as I get older, I’m developing more of an interest in my family history. So when Mum offered to do me a DNA test, I said okay, why not? Apart from anything else, I said, there ought to be a record. A MegaStar’s genetics are matter of supreme historical, cultural, aesthetic and scientific importance.
So she sent off a cheek swab, and this is what came back:
Now, lest there be any doubters amongst you, I should perhaps add, that Mum has had my DNA tested twice before (twice!), in an effort to understand my behaviour (her words), which is frankly bizarre, as my behaviour has never been anything other than entirely understandable, and if anyone’s DNA needed testing for behavioural clues, I’d respectfully suggest that it’s her DNA, not mine. Anyway, leaving that aside… my Rottweiler parentage has come up in all three tests, so I think we can call that conclusive. For some reason people seem to find this amusing, I have no idea why. In my youth, it is true that my Rottweiler genes were perhaps closer to the surface. Here’s a picture of me from the early days, not long after Mum adopted me, when I was about a year old…
Me, during my first Winter with Mum
I have changed in appearance considerably to become the dog you know and love today. My leg’s the least of it:
The dog you know and love today
I believe the Rottweiler was my mother because though, sadly, I cannot remember her face, I do have a deep buried memory (I think it is a memory, not just a dream) of being nursed by a majestic creature, and a red muzzle licking me clean.
My other components are harder to picture, and I have no recollection of my father at all, so Mum did me a family tree, with pictures, including a guess at what my father might have looked like. I stared long and hard into his soft, grey face and imagined how astonished, and delighted he’d be, to know he had a MegaStar for a daughter.
My Family Tree
And then, of course, Elsie got all jealous cause Mum hadn’t done a tree for her and even though it’s like the most totally obvious thing in the whole world ever, and even though it’s so obvious, she never even needed a DNA test, Mum still did Elsie a family tree, which is here, and I haven’t changed it at all, cause I wouldn’t, not at all, I mean obviously, not at all, so this is Elsie’s family tree:
Elsie’s Family Tree
But they didn’t just test for my ancestors, but for my health markers too, which is really why Mum did it, and it turns out I am totally clear of all the genetic disease markers they test for. Except they haven’t yet found the gene for IOHC, which I do have, and I wish they would, and maybe now they’ve got my DNA, that will help them find it.
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make a MegaStar – or how you avoid making one, says Mum, which is really mean, but she’s only joking. I mean, obviously she’s only joking. You’re only joking, aren’t you, Mum? Mum???