I recently received a bill in the mail for $250, that unlike my more run-of-the-mill bills (water, electricity, garbage pickup, etc.) I will choose to no longer pay. Joy of joys, I am no longer in need of this service. The bill is from the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine (heretofore referred to as ACRM) for 365 days of cryogenically preserved sperm storage, but guess what? I’m not paying it anymore. They can close my account. Freeze my assets — or rather, thaw them. Unfortunately, while it’s relatively easy to make a deposit to your ACRM account, it takes everything short of an act of congress to close it out.
When I provided the specimen almost two years ago the process was simple. I got my own small room complete with reclining chair, remote controlled TV/VCR, some heavily thumbed-through porno magazines, a 7-minute X-rated video and dimmable lighting to set the mood. Come to think of it, they had everything except Marvin Gay’s Let’s Get It On playing in the background. The magazines were pretty tame as far as men’s secret reading material goes and the video was so bad (girl on girl, each of whom wore an ill-fitting wig) that when I returned to to the center to make a subsequent deposit, I seriously considered leaving one of my own movies behind for the next guy to enjoy. The funniest part to me though, aside from having to drive on three expressways and pay $250 to do what I could have stayed at home and done for free, was that the first instruction on their laminated list of things to do is wash your hands so as not to contaminate your specimen. Then they invite you to flip through their germy stack of last year’s Playboys. If you took the CSI cam to this room, the TV remote alone would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Old germs and sperms aside, I couldn’t wait to get out of there so within minutes of discovering Miss February’s likes and dislikes I was dancing with myself.
Flash forward to present day minus 48 hours when I called and inquired as to how to close out my account. I was told that I’d receive a consent form in the mail to thaw and dispose of my 6 vials of mini-me’s on ice. Low and behold the form arrives and not only do they need my signature on this paperwork that warns me that after signing I can no longer use these vials for a pregnancy — no kidding — but also I have to sign this before a notary. Furthermore if I myself am a notary, which I’m not but if I were, I must find another notary to notarize the consent form. Lucky for me, my boss who is a notary, was kind enough to sign it, seal it and not ask too many invasive questions.
Being the paranoid soul that I am, I pictured the kind people at ACRM not thawing and disposing of my two-year-old kevpops but instead just peeling the label with my name off the vials and sticking them in the anonymous donor drawer next to the samples from serial killers and third-year college freshmen. I called and asked if I could witness the vials being destroyed. Alas, my request was respectfully declined mainly because the vials aren’t disposed of on site but instead sent in a medical waste container to a company that incinerates them. “So you don’t just leave them out on the sidewalk,” I asked. The woman on the other end of the phone assured me they did not. Additionally the ACRM claims to not accept anonymous donations so the likelihood of my future daughter having a half-brother raised by a kind loving lesbian couple is slim. I can’t imagine someone would opt for a cancer-ridden sperm donation but even still, I wonder if there isn’t some Isle of Dr. Moreau experimenting going on. Until some 18-year-old sheep-boy hybrid comes knocking on my door trying to collect unpaid child support I guess I’ll never know.
One of my most recent fascinations is looking at the site meter at the bottom of my page to find out what words people typed into a search engine in order to find me. If you’ve stumbled across my blog as a result of googling the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine because you have an upcoming (pun intended) appointment, let me fill you in. Yes, you will get a private room in which to self abuse. No, you do not get to ask the nurse for assistance. Yes, the door locks, but yes, you can hear people walking around outside so you presume they can hear you inside. Yes, you will be provided with a run of the mill lame porn flick in which women share adult novelties, but no, if you’re into midgets or transexuals or both, the center will not have a video to suit your needs so you’re advised to bring your own. Yes, you will first sit in a waiting room with at least one other guy, and if his ethnic makeup varies significantly from yours, yes, you will wonder what happens if they mistakenly swap your sample with his. No, you do not have to aim at an actual beaker or vial at the climactic moment, but yes, you will have to make love to a plastic cup, which in all honesty is about as enjoyable as it sounds. No, the lab tech will not comment about the amount or make judgemental statements after you hand her your cup like, “Just not in the mood today?” No, no one will be timing you. Furthermore, under no circumstances can you knock on one of the other closed doors before leaving and announce, “Your mom’s on the phone.”
If on the other hand you have stumbled onto my little corner of cyber space by googling midgets or transexuals or both, I’m sorry this blog did not meet your expectations. Keep hitting the “Next Blog” button in the upper-right corner. You’re bound to stumble across such a site sooner or later.