A while back, before we had a couple of children running around, we got married and in the deal I got… wait for it… health insurance!!!! For many of our fans I realize this is not a big deal, but here in the ol’ U.S. of A in 2006 this was huge. I started getting my teeth tuned up, got some shots, scored some of those long wooden handled swabs and gauze they have in the “free” bins in the exam rooms where they leave your ass sitting around forever. Then, just for shits and giggles, and since it was covered and we were talking about having kids, I went for a sperm count. I was kinda curious, I’m not going to lie.
I went to a tasteful, if you don’t have a lot of taste, faux-Mediterranean building near our house. Remember when everyone was sponge painting everything (I think that is really why Martha Stewart had to do time)? Looking at it from the street, you would have no idea that there were rooms for masturbating in it. I took the elevator up to a floor labeled Family Creation Services, or something equally creepy.
I approached a large desk where a lovely young woman checked me in and told me to go wait for my name to be called. This was a little awkward, to say the least. I was in a waiting room with multiple families, couples, and single women, some obviously pregnant and some looking for a horse for the race I guess. There were one or two other men there by themselves who were pretending that they weren’t about to be a “one man band” shortly. I thumbed through an eight months out of date Time magazine.
“Whiskey?” a thin Asian woman in a lab coat asked from a side door. I got up, pretending not to be super self-conscious when everyone glanced at me. I imagined the thoughts in their heads: Is he shooting blanks? Is he a sperm donor? Is he some kind of pervert here for free porn? I hope he’s not my sperm donor! Is his sperm available, because damn!
I followed her through the door into an all white, featureless hallway, and through another door into a small room with a loveseat, a coffee table, and one of those really shitty TV/DVD/VHS combo things with some weird off brand name on it. She handed me a specimen cup and a lid. “There are adult films in the drawer, let me know if you need anything else,” she said and turned and closed the door. A million jokes flooded my mind.
I looked around, there were lots of magazines that I wasn’t about to touch without latex gloves, a couple of bottles of lotion and lube, and an enormous collected air of awkward shame. I just knew there was a hidden camera in there streaming live to the internet, although based on the adult material offerings, the person who stocked the room didn’t know the internet existed. Anyway long story short I went with a DVD, I think it featured a woman who doesn’t use money to pay the plumber or something.
Afterwards, I’m sitting there holding a cup of well, you know, baby batter. It occurs to me that no one told me what the hell I’m supposed to do with it. I look around; there’s no little window like when you give your pee for a drug test for some lousy job. I open the door into the sterile hallway to see if maybe there is a window or a drawer or maybe a sign… nothing. At this point I begin to worry that my batter’s spoiling and that maybe my boys are dying in the cup and I will be falsely diagnosed or, worse, have to go through this whole process again. After a painful few minutes silently hoping someone will walk along to help me, I can’t wait any longer. I open the door to the reception area, they left me no other option.
I walk out of the door and stand there for a second, then the receptionist and I lock eyes. I hold up the sample a bit like a fella whose scotch had run dry might wave down the bartender. She turns bright red and says, a little loudly for the situation I think, “Go to the other end of the hallway!”
Everybody was staring at me. I lowered the sample. “Put up a god damned sign!” I retorted. Some woman clapped her hands over her kid’s ears, and most of the men chuckled. I slunk back into the hallway, headed to the end and, around a blind spot, found a counter where a gloved lab tech took my sample like I was handing him coffee.
I had to walk back through reception to get out, of course. I figured I was famous in that room by then. I did the Richard Nixon flying V’s as the elevator closed.