Columns / Discourse / April 11, 2012

Father of six hundred: a satire

Bertold Wiesner and his wife Mary Barton founded a fertility clinic in London in the 1940s and helped women conceive 1,500 babies. It was thought that the clinic used a small number of highly intelligent friends as sperm donors, but it has now emerged that around 600 of the babies were conceived using sperm from Mr. Wiesner himself.

– The Telegraph. 08 Apr. 2012

First off, Bertold, congratulations. 600. Wow. The world record once thought to belong to that bald guy from “The King and I” is now yours. You are officially more successful at replicating your DNA in mass quantities than most species of fish. Bet you’re looking forward to June: Father’s Day you’ll get even more socks than you know what to do with! Although with healthy plumbing such as yours, I’m sure you’ll think of something.

Some people might admonish Bertold’s actions as irresponsible and potentially harmful to the half-siblings unwittingly wandering about — they might accidentally marry and make children who are even more unwitting. But these people need to see things from Bertold’s perspective.

In the 1940s, London was suffering one of its greatest sperm droughts on record. World War II was finishing up. London Bridge was falling down. Londoner’s faith in the goodness of humanity was shaken by all the bombs that exploded their buildings, as was their faith in the goodness of buildings.

The sperm donors were simply unable to remain excited for the time it takes to wank into a plastic sperm receptacle. They didn’t have Viagra back then and the pornography available was usually just pictures of women’s knees. All of Weisner’s “highly intelligent friends” came to his clinic and tried their darnedest, but most of them just ended up filling out a crossword, freaking out, and running away, kind of like those nerds in “The Big Bang Theory.”

And sure, of course, there was plenty of stupid-sperm, the term that those in the biz use to refer to sperm that comes out of stupid people. But if women wanted stupid-sperm they could go find it on the walls restrooms. No, London women weren’t going to settle for stupid-sperm. Instead, they lined up in droves outside of the local sperm bank, literally begging to be impregnated. All hope was lost until Bertold came to the rescue (if you see what I mean), and then after showing up, he ejaculated. Wiesner’s small amount of seed lasted for all 600 women waiting outside; it was a World War II miracle!

I do feel kind of bad for Wiesner’s offspring. Bertold’s example has left them pretty big shoes to fill, and by big shoes I mean shoes big enough to fit 600 babies that they better start fathering while they can. God knows, it’s not as easy to start a privately owned mom and pop sperm bank as it used to be.

Ben Lee

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