Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Lengths We Go To

Sitting in the living room on a quiet morning, enjoying my coffee, reading about the winners of the Hugo Awards and vaguely pondering which player I should take next in my on-line fantasy football draft. Y’know, like you do.

Suddenly, Ms. Swimmin pops up from her chair on the other side of the room.

“Hey, do you know where the tape measure is?” she asks.

I look around, spot it not two feet from where she was just sitting and point it out to her. Turn back to my coffee and internet.

“Okay,” she says, grabbing said tape measure, “I need you to stand up and take off your pants.”

Friends, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, one thing I think I know for sure, one piece of Manly Advice that I will pass on to my hypothetical future son, it’s that when your wife tells you to take off your pants, you take off your pants.

Having obligingly dropped trou, I figure she wants to measure my waist or something. Maybe she’s found a pair of sweet vintage grey flannel trousers on eBay and wants to see if they’ll fit me. This has never happened before, and doesn’t seem likely, but I do love me a pair of sweet vintage grey flannel trousers, and there’s a first time for everything.

“I’m going to need better access to certain parts,” she says.

“I…um, what? What are you going to measure?” I am at this point, I must confess, just a wee bit terrified.

It turns out she’s just come across an article about a study that states:

Men who have a shorter perineal length, also known as the anogenital distance (AGD)*, have lower sperm counts, poorer quality sperm, lower sperm concentrations and lower motility, the study has found.

* Yes, that is just a fancy way of saying “taint.”

She explains this and says, “I’m curious, okay?” she says.

“Wait, are you actually planning on measuring from balls to bunghole?” I say.


I prop a leg up on a nearby chair and, fortunately, she is able to get the measurement she needs without actually sticking a tape measure…well. Anyway.

I am pleased to report, and I am sure you are all pleased to learn, that though my count is low and motility is almost non-existent, my…ahem…”anogenital distance” appears to be above average.

So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.


Insult to Injury

I have to let all the inappropriate, thoughtless and insensitive comments from people we know, all the idiocy from popular culture telling us that people without kids are barely people at all, all the self-righteous, holier-than-thou bullshit from internet commenters on any article in which IVF is mentioned, all the myriad of ways that every single day reminds me of the giant gaping hole in our lives roll off me like water off a duck’s back. I have to do this because if I don’t do it, it’ll all drive me crazy. I have to force myself sometimes to have a sense of humor about, because if I don’t laugh I won’t be able to stop crying.

But then I scan the gossip-column headlines and learn that the King of the Assclowns, the Walking Sperm, the Man Who Impregnates Women Just By Looking at Them, the King of the Douchebags:

Mr. Ex-Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, father of FIVE, in case (unlike me) you're lucky enough not to know who this is

has reproduced again. This guy who’s essentially famous for impregnating Britney Spears and owning a brain barely able to allow him to walk and chew gum at the same time, the guy who makes The Situation look like a Rhodes Scholar, has passed on his DNA to five offspring. Five. And I can’t even do it once.

Thank you so much, Universe. I know the nads aren’t good for much of anything, anyway, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy being kicked in them, all the same.