There is an awkward silence at the safari guesthouse when a young lady from Texas asks whether “ennia yew boys” have made a deposit at a sperm bank. I imagine such questions are no big deal in the domain of the longhorn bull, but it’s not what you expect to hear over cocktails in an exclusive resort. As bartender, I attempt to relieve the embarrassment by interjecting a flippant remark.
“Miss Eunice,” I say (for that is her name). “I have banked my sperm in a number of hairy safe-deposit boxes!”
“Ah just bet you did, big fella!” she replies with a saucy wink. “But some of yo’ hoomanoidal cousins tug the slug so they can sell their spooge for cash!”
I react to this allegation by slapping my forehead in feigned surprise before making the following response:
“In that case, Miss Eunice, I fear that your enquiries will be fruitless. A gentleman does not discuss his financial affairs with women or children.”
This prompts the southern belle to opine vociferously on what men claiming to be gentlemen are capable of doing and have in fact done. It does, nevertheless, deflect her interrogation from its original purpose.
Discerning readers will have realised, of course, that Miss Eunice was teaching her grandmother how to fertilise eggs. Having spent my youth in a travelling circus, I could have given her a 10-lecture course on artificial insemination with a couple of lab tutorials thrown in for free. Most of our four-legged employees bred in that fashion, although one case I remember involved a girl in the costumes section. She impregnated herself with the sperm of a nameless performer, co-opted for this purpose by her lesbian lover in the trapeze team. All the nosey humans naturally tried to guess who the donor was, but I was more interested in the mechanics of the operation. The happy couple were pleased to satisfy my curiosity by describing the following four-step procedure:
(i) Empty fresh jism into beaker and mix with two tablespoons of Highland Spring mineral water (to give sperm space to swim about and get in shape for big event).
(ii) Add one teaspoon of honey for flavouring and nourishment (human sperm have a notoriously sweet tooth).
(iii) Suck mixture into teat pipette from children’s chemistry set.
(iv) Make gentle love to pipette, squirting fluid into cha-cha while imagining scene from Cadbury’s flake commercial.
It does have a certain panache, as far as recipes go, but not quite the vitality befitting an event as significant as the creation of new life. Dress it up how you want, no child wants to be fathered by a device used to make unstable liquids in a test tube go poof.
For much the same reason, I always feel twinge of sadness to read of middle-aged ladies having the best sex of their lives when their children are well past puberty. How would the young ones feel on discovering that the mother who merely went through the motions when they were conceived is currently experiencing toe-curling bedroom delights? Human couples trying to reproduce owe it to their future offspring to make it a night to remember. As we gorillas say, “Start life with a bang, end it with a whimper.”
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