Wednesday, August 20, 2008
My Father, The Sperm King of Canada
My father is a fertility specialist and a tireless advocate for reproductive health and freedom. Indeed, this month he is due to receive an honourary doctorate from Carleton University for his advocacy work. This in addition to the Order of Canada which he has received previously. During the late sixties he did some significant work in artificial insemination and the freezing of sperm. Indeed, he has some sperm samples frozen in Northern Ireland which he has visited (and defrosted) when he returns there on holiday.
Once, when I was about thirteen, I attended a lecture that he gave. He was introduced as "The Sperm King of Canada." When my friends would talk about what their parents did for a living, I would boast that 'my dad makes women pregnant."
When my girlfriend (now my wife) first came to visit my parents, when I was about 18, my father took us to his clinic. He first showed her defrosted sperm under a microscope. Then he showed us the ward where the newborns were. Then we went to the part of the clinic where the contraception was. Now, if it were anyone else, it would appear obvious that he was sending us a message, but, because I know my father well, I know that he was not. He was so engaged and enthusiastic about what he did, that he just wanted to show us it, unaware of how odd it might appear to my 19-year old girlfriend.
A sperm with delusions of grandeur, relative to an egg.