by Jason Love
March 08, 2006
"1,634 ... 1,635 ... no, wait, I already counted that one..."
Dr. Klope had one opening, eight a.m., which is entirely too early for sperm. A man can wake up with driftwood on his beach, but that doesn't mean he's ready to make a fire. It's usually noon before I can manage a French kiss.
At Klope's office I was greeted by a male nurse, who handed me a sterile cup (keyword: sterile). He led me to the bathroom, and, without even leaving a Victoria's Secret catalog, was on his way. In the early days, when I first started experimenting with sperm collection, it didn't take much. National Geographic would do just fine. But these days I need visual aid, audio, a back story.
Fortunately, I found by memory an image from New Year's Eve, 2002. I won't go into details, but chances are that I will have to address them in the afterlife.
Klope says that if I am, shhh, sterile, my wife and I might try "assisted hatching." We could even influence the gender of our baby using "preimplantation genetic diagnosis" (GOD for short). It's part of Microsort Technology, which makes me really nervous because if Bill Gates is involved, we'll end up with babies that crash once a week for no reason at all.
If you ask me, science is already too obsessed with the uterus. Octuplets aren't a miracle; they're a creepy lab result. If stem cell research stays its course, we'll soon be growing babies by the orchard. You'll get to choose the gender and the vintage.
Even sonograms are getting more complex:
"Yes, Mr. Love, it's a boy. He's healthy and coming along fine. At birth he may be a little cranky owing to his claustrophobia. He will have feminine tendencies but is not actually gay. In fact, he'll ultimately develop a taste for hard liquor and trashy women..."
So, yes, my wife and I will stick to good, old-fashioned "intrauterine insemination." That is where the doctor extracts sperm through the scrotum -- gulp -- and plants it in your wife, who goes on to have a child like anyone else, only with payments deserving of beachfront property. There's not much you can do about price when they've got you by the --
"What if we want to have more kids in the future?" asked my wife.
"That's the beauty," said Klope, trembling like Harry Caray. "You just bank the sperm, freeze 'em till you need 'em."
Hmm. Gives new meaning to "self-storage," doesn't it? But again the weird science. How do you sleep at night when your unborn children are freezing down the street? With our luck, we'd wait too long to use the sperm and end up having Eskimos. So it goes.
My wife can't hear any of this over her biological clock. She's so ready for motherhood that we're playing peekaboo amongst ourselves. Then friends show up with their own babies like a never-ending ad for reproduction:
"But wait -- there's more! You get photographs! Balloons! New clothes! ..."
I myself am spooked by friends having babies. The guys seem so ... broken. You have to look twice to make sure it's them.
"That's Rusty, all right, but look at his face: the vacant eyes, the ten o'clock shadow, protruding tongue. He's definitely been domesticated."
You see them pull up in their Dodge Caravan with Sponge Bob seat covers and go, "Is this the same guy who used to find things on the floor and SMOKE them?"
But these things won't spoil our mood of expectancy (keyword: expectant). We just have to make it through the sperm count. Klope says it should be ready any time now: "6,234 ... 6,235 ..."
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