please send $10 cash to 650 Humboldt St #2, Brooklyn NY 11222 and we will provide a semen catalog

Alaska is where I lived. It was there where conception was widespread come summertime. Always with their babes mewling about them, many spoke of birthing more mewlers, preferring to conceive in the open sun of summer than times of lesser light. But I had no preference for a specific conceiving light, for it was my first conception. Any time was fine with me. And life went on, after conception, as it always had. Except, as the nights grew longer, I grew larger. The sun hardly rose. We all froze. I was big, many months into it. It was then when waddling along a path, wobbling along the crest of a hill, I fell. But I got up again. Then I slipped and it seemed like ten minutes, rolling, rolling, rolling. Sliding, too! Snow caked every inch of me once I stopped. Within a me-shaped igloo, that's where I spent the next few months. Warmed only by what the local children provided: a nose of carrot, a scarf and top hat, eyes of coal. Little did I know at the time, I was the first snowman to give birth in Alaska! It was cold, mind you, very cold. The umbilical cord I cut with an icicle edge. Only snow to eat. Ice-crystals, the only entertainment. And guess what happened next? Spring came, the season my child and I, we thawed our way to freedom, where everyone complained of pollen! Then summertime again, when everyone not conceiving complained of tourists! In times of total coldness, please remember that it could be worse: you could be in Alaska, the world's first snowwoman to give birth. I think Percy Bysshe Shelley said it best when he wrote about a similar subject thusly: "If winter comes, shall it cleanse spring's behind?" That is what I learned from my first pregnancy, that spring is never far behind. 

After the Alaskan Incident, Sammy (my daughter) and I relocated to the warmest place we could. That place was as far as we dared venture from Alaska by rail: Vancouver. It was there where I worked for several years, hired by interested parties to visit the zoo each day to admire the sea lions. It was a very good job, being a professional Sea Lion Enthusiast. But I must not have admired the sea lions with enough enthusiasm, for they were shipped away. And I was out of work! But I had saved enough money for my daughter and me to get the hell out of B.C.! Fuck yeah: we took that Sea Lion Enthusiast money, hightailed it to the hottest spot on earth! That's right, to a spa in southern Costa Rica, near the base of Volcan Matabijou . . . It was there where I spent my time in a wonderful bath of steaming mud. All the coldness stored up within me, it was like a hundred miniature horses giddy-yapping away. Not only did I lose my stable of coldness there, but I was also impregnated in the steaming mud bath, by someone, a Swede we now suspect, who had ejaculated (apparently) in the mud (shortly) before I had bathed. (In the buff.) Many moments later (time passed fast, for we had much fun there) I birthed my first son (Svenito). His skin was perfectly Swedish. Yet his eyes were as brown as the (brown) mud in which he was conceived. The moral of this story is that you can get out of Alaska! You can admire sea lions professionally! And you can have a genetically superior child without worrying about the sexual inferiority that runs rampant these days among the Scandinavian. That is what I learned from my second pregnancy, that it can be done. You, too, can enclose in parentheses any words you choose. (Your will will find a way.)

Speaking of parentheses, did you know that, in the Spanish language, interrogatory and exclamatory sentences begin with upside-down question and exclamation marks!?! I surely didn't. And so, it was quite a surprise when in Medellin, Colombia, looking at a simple newspaper abandoned at a touristy café, that one of these upside-down exclamation marks began to speak to me. No, it didn't really speak to me. But it glowed. And I thought I could hear it speak. It looked like this -- ! -- but upside down. And glowing golden, not merely bolded like that! The golden upside-down exclamation point wiggled its way from the newspaper print. And it slid down the page like a slippery sled, or a sledder, hell-bent for my loins! Before I knew it, the upside-down exclamation point had asserted itself in my knickers! I must admit it felt muy rico. Wiggling in there, it felt like the wiggliest worm! I held the paper to my face to hide my flushed cheeks! Then, as quickly as it had begun, the upside-down exclamation point returned to its former place on the page, preceding a headline in Spanish I did not understand: "El Sol Solamente Sonreia Cuando Estas Desnuda Enfrente De Un Gran Teatro Llena De Murcielagos Y Otras Animales Que Pueden Volar Sin Ver Pero No Entienden Que Los Aguilas Del Futbol Americano Van a Ganar Este Ano Si  Todo Vaya Como Todo Debe Pasar." Many months were spent at that café, awaiting the return of the upside-down exclamation point. I stared at the newsprint beseechingly, but one visit from that super-wiggily wonder worm was enough, however, for soon afterwards I gave birth to my third and most "special" child: a beautiful upside-down semi-colon. Semi-colons are not so necessary, of course. Upside-down semi-colons do not even have a place in any of the world's six-thousand languages. For this reason, I have never gotten around to naming my third child. Let alone determining its sex. But I do keep my precious little dot-and-curlicue in a locket around my neck. I feel all the better having it there: it is good policy to keep any sort of  semi-colon close at hand; one never knows when puncutation (of any kind) might come in handy. But that is not what I learned from my third pregnancy. The lesson learned was this: "Best beware what you read, since you never know what mark might knock you up; it could be a letter, a number, an apostrophe, a %, an &, an *, a $, a #, an @ etc: so while you're curled in bed with the squiggly print of newspaper, magazine, or book (no worries about words read online: they're the reproductive equivalents of castrati), let this lesson I learned be a lesson you learn as well. (Especially beware the em dash.)" 

Speaking of em dashes -- my fourth child, it was in Israel that I had it. Lack of stimulation found me bwaziddling myself with a long and rather warm machine gun bullet I'd found on the street. Of course I cleaned it first! And a few weeks later, it was apparent (readily) that I was pregnant once again. Passersby heard my stomach tick within me as I sat on buses, as I strolled the busy markets. I'd smile, point to the roundness I left bare in the hot Tel Aviv heat, saying things like "No worries, it's just the baby." My unborn baby time bomb, it grew and grew. And toward the ninth and presumably final month of my fourth pregnancy, I stayed away from everyone, not sure what would happen when I gave birth. But after 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 months, still no child! It was terrible, especially since the ticking kept me up nights. But then, unable to stand it (really more a tolling than a ticking), I had a C-section. And once the ticking time bomb child was almost out, the doctor noticed the timer, replacing the space where there should have been a baby's face, was set for ten seconds from that exact moment! 









                                                And so it is with great regret that I admit to being abandoned by my fourth child. I have been in pieces ever since. Like all things important to one's life, the lesson I learned from my final pregnancy was as simple as it was hard to follow: "Birth no babies born of bullets, born to kill." Most certainly, that is a lesson to live by. One I wish I had learned long, long, long ago.

[Forever after at

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