The Road To PAX, Part 1: Funding continued

Monday, August 17, 2009
When last we spoke, I was cowering from a tooth spitting, plasma swilling undead hobo Santa. I warned you that our quest for money got worse but you came back anyway. No sense wasting time, let's get to it. God help you, reader.

When it came my turn to find some funds, I too turned to bodily fluids. I was determined not to go anywhere near a needle however, and since no one will pay me for my spit I was left with one option; sperm donation.

I called the local sperm bank to make an appointment only to be greeted by an automated message listing the minimum requirements for donation. Good family medical history, check. No STD's, check. At least five foot eight, che- wait, what?! There's a height requirement? What's next, blonde hair, blue eyes and a fanatical devotion to the Fatherland? Finally, after a list of other requirements that ranged from weight to relative opinion of Dianetics I got through to an actual person.

They call the first appointment a try out since they have to test the specimen to see if it's appropriate for commercial use. I vowed to walk out the moment they brought out any costumes.

The office itself shared the seventh story with a lawyers office. Why a lawyer would choose to share a floor with the local sperm bank I can't really say but I certainly knew where to go if any part of the process was uncomfortable.

The interior of the office consisted of four rooms. A reception area about the size of a bathroom, an exam room complete with framed photo of a many breasted Hindu goddess, an office occupied by a doctor who vaguely resembled Cruella DeVille, and a cryo-storage room/lab. This last room also housed a small microwave which I imagine they use to execute the unruly sperm.

Upon my arrival, a somewhat rotund med student with hair stolen from an episode of Scooby Doo had me fill out some paper work and escorted me down the hall to a locked door with a keypad. This door opened on a short hallway with another door at the end. Walking through the hall, I pass their office supply room and just around the corner from the door are rows and rows of cryo-storage banks. I quickly put all thoughts of how many people contributed to that frozen throng out of my mind.

The room I was shown into was smaller than their supply closet and looked like it had been decorated in the early seventies. On the table were a few copies of Playboy and Penthouse while a metal rack on the wall held a small collection of VHS tapes. The door to the room had a window. Why was there a window on the door to a room where dubious and very private things are expected to occur. Was it there for people who get off on office supplies and cryo-banks?

Let me just say that donating sperm is probably one of the most uncomfortable things a man can do. I was trapped in a tiny room confronted with a grim understanding of the biological composition of every stain. When I turned to the magazines for comfort I found man crotch and football on almost every other page. I winced when any of the pages stuck together.

I turned to the video rack on the wall, thinking I could use them to shut out the rest of the tiny, dirty little world I found myself in. When the copyright came up 1972 on the first one, I quickly swapped it out with another. It, like all the others was old, blurry and worn out. That and I wasn't, shall we say, intrigued by the content that much.

You see, porn, especially of this style (the quick and dirty "we are two or more people of opposite gender in a room. Shall we intercourse?" kind of thing) doesn't really get me going. I'm a picky man. The magazines were crap, too many ads for cars and interviews with mildly popular alternative bands. Where was the D.H. Lawrence, he's sexy. Not the man himself mind you. I find he looks like Mr. Toad had he played Darkman.

Of course it didn't help that Line was sending me a text every five minutes for the entirety of my stay there.

In the end, I did what I had arrived there to do and left with most of my dignity intact. I called a week later, and they had decided not to use my sperm as I was a couple thousand swimmers shy of their 20 million minimum.

So our funding efforts continue. We will find a way to fund this trip if we have to sell our kidneys to do it. I hope to see you there.