Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A (Brave?) new World

Here’s a little tidbit that came across my desk a short while ago; the kind of news McNugget that either makes you say, “Hmmm, that’s interesting,” or makes you gag. Apparently some medical researchers in England (national motto: if it isn’t eccentric, it’s not British) have figured out a way to let men carry babies to term.
The way this male pregnancy thing works is way too gross to describe to an audience of people wearing expensive clothes. Suffice it to say that according to the researchers, once the doctors have done some really nasty things to a man’s stomach with scalpels, plungers, airbags and corkscrews, they can put a foetus in there until it is done, so to speak, when they can take it back out. Voila! Instant child with major sexual identity issues.
A few things need to be mentioned here. For one thing, I’m not making this up. After extensive research, I was able to verify the accuracy of this story by reading about it in several Sun Media newspapers (Corporate motto: “Are you kidding? We couldn’t make up stuff like this!”).
The other thought to keep in mind is that the men who have this done to them don’t actually have to deliver the baby in anything resembling the way women do. If they did, there would be no more babies since there is not a man born who could stand the pain of childbirth, even under total anaesthesia. Even suggesting to a man that he has to pass something the size of a watermelon will make him faint. In fact, that sentence just caused several male listeners to suddenly stand up very quickly. And finally, remember that these researchers are working in the same country that cloned a sheep. Coincidence? Not likely.
All of this should raise some important questions. For one thing, why are the British getting the funding to do this kind of terribly interesting and bizarre research? Don’t we have Canadian scientists who can figure out some way of giving legs to cod, or how to put wings on pigs or something? We ought to be looking to the skies in anticipation of seeing migrating herds of flying pigs by now, instead of having to rely on the British to come up with all this useful scientific stuff. What exactly are our scientists doing?
And of course, as entrepreneurial free enterprise types, we should also be asking ourselves what are the business opportunities associated with a scientific breakthrough such as this? Well, clearly there is going to be a major market for painkillers. Men, who traditionally faint when they get splinters, are not likely to take well to the idea of having a foetus popped into their bellies.
Then there is the business of maternity clothes. If our society has a tendency to dress pregnant women up as baby-dolls, what is the fashion industry likely to do to pregnant men entering their final trimester? (Boy, there is a sentence we never thought I’d say…). It stands to reason that pregnant men are going to need clothing that will affirm their sense of masculinity while still making it comfortable to carry the baby – something in a very roomy leather jacket, perhaps, and faded, elastic jeans with a Velcro fly so the guys can go to the bathroom every four or five minutes. They might also like some cowboy boots with zippers so the boots can be removed when the feet start to swell.
So even though North Americans scientists may not be able to clone sheep or impregnate men the way the English can, when the time comes, our entrepreneurs should at least be ready with a line of products for every expectant father-about-to-be-mother. The time to get these businesses started is now, before England’s scientists get their next government research grant!
More than happy with the number of kids I’ve got, I’m Otte Rosenkrantz
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