Redheads need not apply


London Sperm Bank
Image by Stéphane Moussie via Flickr

Have you ever thought about donating sperm? Okay, apart from you Steve. No? Me either, but apparently thousands not only think about it, but can earn as much as $1200 a month by barely lifting a finger.  I know what you’re thinking and I never thought I’d be writing a column where I would be repeatedly using the words sperm and masturbation. Oh, come on you knew we were going to end up there. I had originally intended to write a column about the mysteries of food science. You know, like who thought it was a good idea to make green ketchup, what was Crystal Pepsi all about and what was being smoked at McDonalds when they came up with the McDLT?  A hot side, a cool side, please just put the burger together for me, but all that will have to wait.

How have I ended up stooping so low? Good question. For the record it was all a simple misunderstanding. I was at the weekly writers’ meeting playing “Angry Birds” on my phone as usual.  I heard the editor mention there was an issue that needed to be covered where tact and sensitivity was required. Now in my defense I thought he said SPAM donation. I love SPAM and I’ve always been a big supporter of Food Banks. I’ve even memorized the SPAM song from Monty Python, so I told the editor I’d be a perfect fit to write the story.  I mentioned I loved its taste and would be prepared to include a photo of myself making a donation at the bank. I even offered to shoot a video that could be put up on the paper’s website. Of course now with the benefit of hindsight I realize why the entire writing staff was staring at me.

Hey, did you know there were elephant sperm banks? It’s true. North America’s first elephant sperm bank is nearing completion at the Pittsburg Zoo. Officials are waiting for government approval to import 16 liters of elephant semen from a sperm bank in Africa. I wonder what dirty magazines they give the elephants to look at?

I know it’s too late for this year, but mark next year’s calendar because May is “National Masturbation Month”. It’s been around since 1995. Personally, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around “Borderline Personality Disorder Month”. That’s in May too. If you think a whole month might be too big a commitment there’s always the “Masturbate-a-Thon”. It only lasts for two days. The organizers suggest asking for pledges of $10 an hour from every donor. Don’t worry, the cash donations are totally tax-deductible. I wonder what’s written on the receipt?

Okay, let’s get back to the business at hand (that reminds me, did you know someone took the time to catalogue over a thousand terms for masturbation? I’m guessing someone’s still living in their parent’s basement). The issue that cried out for this column to be written is the wanton discrimination of an entire group of men from the ability to earn an honest living by the labours of their own hands.  Cryos International, the world’s largest sperm bank has decreed that redheaded men need no longer apply because no one wants a redheaded child (In an unrelated story there are unconfirmed reports of a dramatic decrease in the number of repetitive stress injuries occurring in Ireland). Cryos denies this decision has anything to do with the comedian Carrot Top. The company’s media representatives refused comment on Conan O’Brien. If you’re looking to start a business though, Cryos wants you to know franchises are available.

Now let’s get to the part you guys really want to know about. Sperm donors for companies such as Cryos need to be university students (or graduates) between 18-39 (no redheads) and willing to make deposits (you know what they mean) at least twice a week. Donors must abstain from sex, drinking alcohol and smoking for at least 48 hours before each deposit. (Do they want university students or not? Make up your minds). ATTENTION: Before the basketball team disappears you need to know you don’t get paid for it in Canada (against the law), so wait for your away games. 

Just a few final words to the newly unemployed redheads, idle hands are the Devil’s workshop (Yes, I know it makes no sense here but give me a break, it gave me the chance to write “idle hands”. Nothing says classy writer like another masturbation reference). Seriously guys, I don’t know why you haven’t thought of this yet. It’s called hair dye. Look it up. It’ll be at least nine months before anyone figures it out.

Originally published in The Cascade newspaper

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To B or Double-D, that is the question


You may be surprised to learn that university newspapers are minimized by “professional” news people as not being seen as a source of serious journalism. We are accused of not focusing on the important issues in the world. Well, let me assure you this columnist is certainly not going be accused of ignoring important issues. War, crime, poverty and violence; a look at current news sources show how important these topics are.  So, with that in mind I think that it is essential in my first column to cover an issue that is being sadly overlooked. That issue is of course, breast implants. Yes, breast implants, more specifically breast augmentation. This issue is a sensitive one and as I’m sure you’ll agree, a topic such as this cries out for empathic handling by a sensitive and caring columnist. Unfortunately, she was unavailable.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that breast augmentation is the number-one cosmetic surgical procedure undertaken in the United States and has been for the last five consecutive years. (269,203 procedures in 2010) Over two million women in the U.S. have breast implants (I’m not making this stuff up). You might be wondering who is getting all these implants and isn’t there a danger of creating a silicone shortage? The average age for women getting their breasts augmented is 34, but that didn’t stop Jenna Franklin of Warsop Val in England. The parents of this 15-year-old girl went along with her choice of a 16th birthday gift (as any responsible parents would do); getting a breast enlargement. As Miss Franklin explained to The Guardian newspaper, “You’ve got to have breasts to be successful.” This teenager no doubt has a great future ahead of her.

Just in case you think Jenna is the only deep thinker among us let me refer you to the story of Joan Lloyd, who at the age of 65 made the rational decision to dip into her life savings in order to increase her breast size from A to F. Joan reports that now, after the surgery she dates men as young as 24. She says that, “some of them don’t even know how old I am.” I’m sure her four children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren are very proud. Not to be outdone, 83 year old Marie Kolstad also recently underwent breast implant surgery. The New York Times reports her reason for the surgery was, “I want my children to be proud of what I look like.” (No word yet on the age of the men she is now dating.”)

Silicone gel-filled breast implants
Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps you may be considering getting breast augmentation surgery and have many questions. For example,
1. “Will my implants explode while I am flying?”
Put your mind at ease. No, there is no danger of your breast implants exploding at high altitudes (they might temporarily expand a little, but that generally isn’t considered a problem). OR

2. “Will I have to change the way I do things day-to-day?”
Generally you will not have to adjust your life, however when shopping be very careful when turning quickly in the glassware department (you break it you buy it) and you will need to practice the following phrase: “Hey, my eyes are up here.”

For other questions you will want to ask your surgeon. It is suggested you take someone along with you to that meeting for support. (NOTE TO MEN: If you are present during the consultation refrain from repeatedly asking the doctor, “what’s the largest size available?”) (NOTE TO WOMEN: Avoid looking at any photos of Tori Spelling’s boob job. All I’ll say on this is “Eewww!”) It is important to be aware that many women will not agree with your decision to have breast augmentation. Radical feminist Sheila stated in an interview that breast implants are a “harmful cultural practice” rather than a liberating one. On the other hand, she stopped shaving her legs and armpits around 1973.

You may think that breast augmentation is strictly for women. Well you’re wrong. Breast augmentation for men (technically Pectoral Augmentation) is gaining in popularity. Hey it beats having to exercise. One fake pec recipient told Fox News, “”People buy cars, right? People buy property. I thought, ‘I’ll buy a set of pecs.’ Like shopping at Crate & Barrel.” Who could possibly argue with that logic? But that is a whole different article. Did I mention that silicone breast implants were invented by men? Go figure.

Originally published in The Cascade newspaper

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