Could inches become extinct?

The Green Lake-based Journal of Insipid Discovery is reporting this week that a scientist has made the first meaningful communication between humans and measurements, after holding a conversation with several inches last month.

According to the report, Dr. Ramon Vega of Appleton State University was able to ask three inches about their lives, hopes and dreams. In previous attempts Dr. Vega had only been able to make small talk with the measurements. “They seem really nice,” Vega is quoted as saying. “Very bright, very quick on the uptake. One of them has a great sense of humor, too.”

The success has led to great acclaim from both scientists and laypersons. “Wow, a guy who can talk to inches! He’s like the Doctor Doolittle of, uh, stuff!” said Lori Cameron, an office manager from Appleton. Wayne Van Dreesen, a biology teacher at Green Lake West High School, was equally impressed. “To me, Dr. Vega’s work is just the beginning. There will be many more achievement in the field of, uh, stuff.” Vega has received additional grant money to continue his research, as well as the second-ever Golden Drill Bit award from Holstein’s Hardware. (The first was given to a man who managed to hammer a lead spike through his right eye and survive.)

However, sources at the Journal say there are more controversial elements to Vega’s research which have thus far gone unreported. One reporter, who wished to remain anonymous, said one of the inches made a stunning confession: “He [the inch] said he married a centimeter a few years back, and their kids are mixed-measurement. And now he measures himself in metric units, instead of inches. He doesn’t always call himself an inch, anymore.”

Some analysts fear that this news could mean the end of the once-legendary English measurement. “If inches start using metric measurements, there’s no question this is the beginning of the end of their kind,” explains Dr. Wesley Cheddar of the American Inch Institute, in Seattle, Washington. “Inches are already outnumbered by centimeters around the world… this is not what American inches need. They have to stay strong to ensure their future… otherwise we’re slipping toward extinction, just like the rod and the hogshead.”

Other scientists are critical of Cheddar’s stance, however, emphasizing each inch’s personal choice over societal needs. Dr. Terri Ann McNeil of the Society for Intermeasurement Cooperation said that “Wes Cheddar is a metric-phobic prat… we can’t force inches to intermarry if they don’t want to.”

Vega’s office had no official comment regarding the inch’s alleged revelations, except to say that the “logical next step” in the research would be to see if a mile actually talks its length in a minute.

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