September 21, 2004

A Very Special Rude Cactus

Warning: I’m sending up the warning flare now. This post most definitely falls into the TMI category. And yes, men have these things too, thank you very much. I’ll do my best not to be crass – anymore crass than usual, that is – but I can’t make any guarantees. You see, I have this date…

Yes. I said a date. I can hear what you’re thinking – he’s a married man! How dare he have a date! And how dare he flaunt it here of all places where his wife can see it. And his wife? She’s the epitome of The Hotness! What the hell is he thinking? Let me assure you that not only do I have my wife’s full support but I even have her encouragement.

You’re confused. I can sense it. So let me try to explain a little more. This date? It won’t be a laugh riot. There will be no sweet-nothings exchanged, no frolicking in the park, no carriage rides, no champagne. There will be memories, I’m sure, but they won’t be fond ones. There will be sex, so that's something. I mean, that’s the point of the entire thing. No sex? Pretty much a failure on my part.

A few weeks ago my wife went to the doctor. When she returned she had a “prescription” for me! Yay! For a test. But I'm trying to look on the bright side of it all. Of the nine possible things they could want me to do, all I have to do is number three in a cup (think about it).

In an effort to circumnavigate the globe of my neuroses, let’s review what I don’t have to do, shall we?

Male Sperm Antibody Test, Semen (Direct Immunobead Test): Isn’t it a bit redundant to specify that the sperm must come from semen? Sperm, semen. To-may-to, to-mah-to. Right?

Male Sperm Antibody Test, Semen (Indirect Immunobead Test): See previous. I’m not sure I know what the difference between direct and indirect is. Excuse me sir. Please excuse these rather long forceps up your nose but we need to get that sample indirectly. Just tilt your head back a bit…

Female Sperm Antibody Test, Serum (Indirect Immunobead Test): Hold up! Hold up! To-may-to, to-mah-to, right? I thought that’s what we agreed on. So, uh, female? WTF? I seriously need to get my mom on the phone because apparently she left a few things out of that whole “birds and bees” conversation we had so many years ago.

Sperm Preparation For Intrauterine Insemination: How, precisely, does one prepare sperm for this? Are they taken shopping for a new wardrobe? Maybe some grooming tips? Is it like a reproductive version of Queer Eye? Five sperms that don’t particularly want anything to do with the egg give helpful tips to the few hundred thousand who are raring to go? Perhaps they’re taught to accessorize, sear a nice tuna steak and pick a good wine to go with it.

Semen Cultures: Good morning gentlemen and welcome to today’s cultural tour of Chris’ Recessive Neighborhoods. If you look to your left, we have the Latin Quarter. Famous for their infectious music and spicy cooking, the swarthy residents originated with Chris’ great great uncle Paco, a participant in the Mexican American War. Up ahead on the right – and please keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times - we have Freaktown. Please try not to stare. Next stops – Chinatown and Redheadville!

Sperm Conservation: I recycle. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t start forest fires nor do I dump my raw sewage into streams and rivers. I give a hoot and don’t pollute. I’m even thinking about buying a hybrid next year. But please! You people are taking this way too far.

Sperm Cryptoconservation: The horror! All I can think about are hundreds of thousands of little sperms getting frozen like Han Solo.

Non Surgical or Surgical Sperm Aspiration for ICSI: First, I don’t want to know what ICSI is. I try to avoid having acronyms done to me. Nor do I really care for the sound of “aspiration.” It sounds like an awful lot to put my guys through.

Sperm Urinary Recovery for Retrograde Ejaculation: Que!!
Warden: What happened, Smith?
Deputy: I don’t know sir. It just went off when I wasn’t looking. I totally wasn’t expecting it!
Warden: Lockdown! Lockdown! We have a break! Let’s search every henhouse, outhouse, doghouse, cathouse and urinary tract to find The Fugitive sperm! He looks a lot lie Harrison Ford only much smaller. And with a tail. Or has the one-armed sperm struck again?

So what is it I have to have done? According to the kind andrology services folks, Complete Semen Analysis. In other words, number three in a cup.

Most guys – if they’re being honest with you – will admit that when pressure is applied to an already delicate process such as this, the results will invariably be less than spectacular. This is one of those situations in which the more you think about something, the less likely it is to actually happen. My kind and lovely wife has offered to buy me porn but I’m uneasy with that. Not that I mind porn. There’s just something odd about your wife going out to buy porn for you, selecting porn specifically for you so that you can go get it on with a cup, that makes me really uncomfortable. So, I’m trying to think of other ways to lighten the load…emotionally speaking.

There you have it. I’ll let you know when I’ve made the appointment for this illicit rendezvous but I certainly don’t want anyone to say “Good luck – I’ll be thinking about you” or “I’ve got my fingers crossed” because that’s just really – what’s the word I’m looking for? – oogy.

One last thing - I know you've all got a thousand jokes that have spontaneously come to life while reading this. Please feel free to share. And never let it be said that I don't pull back the curtain for you guys.

Posted by Chris at September 21, 2004 04:44 PM

Get porn of your own. Trust me. I will go no further in the comment section than this:

You do not want to have to rely on the porn that they have. Because it's most likely from the seventies.

Oh, and bring something disposable to sit on, just in case. Cos you won't want to sit down on anything in that room.


Posted by: alektra at September 21, 2004 04:54 PM

Can I just say that I'm more emotionally scarred by the fact that Alektra has insight into this sort of thing than by the post itself?


Posted by: Kerry at September 21, 2004 05:01 PM

Holy Shit Batman, that is the funniest thing that is not funny that I have ever read. I unfortunately have a really good friend from high school who is going through this with her husband at the moment who has given me the play by play on this. Yours was much funnier.

Posted by: goodsnake at September 21, 2004 05:25 PM

do they provide you with a razor with which to shave the hair from your hairy, hairy palms?

Posted by: GranolaSpice at September 21, 2004 05:28 PM

70's porn? LMOA! Okay...when you warned us I immediately thought..."Oh no not a prostate exam story!" ;) Anything to get the little fellas where they need to be is good in my matter how uncomfortable it may be for you in the process. I mean think of the possibility of what Mrs. Cactus may go through for 9 months when you score on your date. Just keep telling yourself small pah-ta-tohs. ;)

Posted by: groovebunny at September 21, 2004 05:29 PM

oh my gosh.

*covering my eyes thinking about 70s porn*

Posted by: samantha at September 21, 2004 05:48 PM


And yeah, if you need it, get your own porn. I once found my ex-bosses 'used' porn stashed in my filing tray in his office. 'Used' porn is not funny.

Posted by: Amber at September 21, 2004 06:02 PM

Will the Mrs. buy me some porn-I can live with it? Seriously, I have a friend who had fertility problems and he had to do all kind of things, which I won't go into, to see what the problem was. His wife had some tests, too, and the results are that they for whatever reason cannot conceive. At a Christmas party two years ago, his wife was telling all of the other women the humiliating procedures he went through and they were in tears laughing. Poor guy. Now that I've scared the bejeebers out of you by revealing this, I hope everything goes OK for you.

Posted by: ken at September 21, 2004 06:03 PM


Every thought in my head died after the 70s porn comment... and was replaced with Barry White songs.

Posted by: bmh at September 21, 2004 06:10 PM

I totally cracked up when I read "number three in a cup", then had to say it out loud and laughed harder. I'm so not mature enough to be in your reading audience.

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at September 21, 2004 06:18 PM

What do you say to a post like that? I bet Austin Powers could think of something witty to chime in with. Me? not so much. All I could think of was you, a cup, and that porn guitar riff. Hey! you could bring your guitar, and play yourself someofthat music (bow-chica-bow-wow)...and uh, never mind, bad idea.


Posted by: myllissa at September 21, 2004 06:45 PM

boom shacka boom shacka boom boom boom

you could always bring an air mattress and bounce up and down on it... you know, for effect. maybe make a tape of sqeaky mattress sounds eek iik eek iik eek iik...

now i can't get that bow chicka bow bow music out of my head... =\

Posted by: monique at September 21, 2004 07:14 PM

You totally do not want sloppy seconds porn...and ummm wear gloves...

Posted by: debby at September 21, 2004 07:32 PM nothing. Good Luck...Oops! Sorry.

Posted by: Nicole at September 21, 2004 09:19 PM

I have to go here - forgive me - I'm totally hearing James Brown - Sex Machine. Sorry sorry sorry!

Posted by: Sue at September 21, 2004 09:33 PM

*cue the cheesy 70's porn music from bmh Bow-chicka-bow-wow..."

Okay, these thoughts keep running through my head: Can't you, um..."donate" at home and drive it right over to the Dr's office? Wouldn't it be easier to "donate" with the little Do they have a little coin operated window that goes up where you put your donation cup once you're through? Do you have to wear boxers for days prior to your interlude at the Dr's office?

You know, I bet the Mrs. would so get you great porn! Oh, oh, have a camera phone, right? Take a few shots of the Mrs. and store them on your phone for use when you REALLY need them.

I'm new to the whole not conceiving thing so maybe these are dumb questions. I just can't imagine having to perform on command.

Oh yeah, and the whole #3 thing? I totally did not get that at first. I do now, but it took me a second!

Okay, so now I have mental images that need to be cleansed. If you need me, I'll be in the bathroom trying to flush out my mind's eye.

Posted by: zanie at September 21, 2004 09:39 PM

ICSI=Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: inject a single sperm into the awaiting egg.

Sorry. Just had to know.

Posted by: zanie at September 21, 2004 09:45 PM

Male Sperm = little baby boys
Female Sperm = little baby girls

The egg alone is female. Your little "guys" are both male and female. Little Baby Catcus will be whichever gets there first.

Posted by: Debra at September 21, 2004 09:54 PM

Today's a TMI kind of day (check out my site).

While I feel for you and the un-fun-ness of this endeavor, I have to say that I'd rather leave a sample than go through the ol' snip-snip again.

But hey...that's just me.

And your own porn. (However, I do think it's quite cool that your wife offered. You should ask her for a raincheck on that for another time.)

Good luck!

Posted by: Joe at September 21, 2004 09:55 PM

I agree with Zanie, can't you do this at home and drop it off at the doc's?

And I feel for you and Mrs Cactus. If you've read my blog recently, you know we're going through something similar; but without the testing or porn.

Posted by: Kelley at September 21, 2004 09:59 PM

My friend Jen was a big fan, for some reason, of interjecting the "bow-chicka-bow-wow" music into amusing situations, so that's stuck in my head now.

Posted by: Heather at September 21, 2004 10:39 PM

Oogy. LOL what a great word. Gotta love it ;)

Posted by: Katie at September 21, 2004 11:28 PM

Chris' Hundreds of Thousands of Li'l Han Solos: What's going on, pal?

Dr. Lando Calrissian: Sperm Cryptoconservation - they're going to freeze all of you in carbonite.

CHoToLHS, all together: AHHHHHHHH!

Yes, I'm a geek.

Posted by: Jay at September 22, 2004 12:38 AM

Oogy..great word

Posted by: amytart at September 22, 2004 12:51 AM

Okay, I'm kind of creeped out that I have now posted 3 times on this one particularly oogy topic but I just HAD to share that they were talking about ICSI on Law and Order tonight. It can't be too bad if they're talking about it on prime time television.

Posted by: zanie at September 22, 2004 03:56 AM

I most certainly will NOT be thinking about it.

But, seriously, I hope it goes well.

Posted by: DeAnn at September 22, 2004 05:31 AM

I should probably not have read this at work :))

Fill 'm up dude!

Posted by: Sweety at September 22, 2004 06:12 AM

Mr. Cactus, this should help you a great deal. When you get there and in the little wack room(Sorry but it is funny) just remember that everyone around you knows what you are doing in there. Doctors, nurses, Candy stripers. After you have been in there a few minutes, slap the door really hard, that way if they have their ears pressed against it that will get rid of them. Also check out all the nooks and crannies in the room, especially air vents, the camera people have made great strides in shrinking their cameras.(oh sorry I guess shrinking may be a bad word when talking about this huh!)

Posted by: Jeff A at September 22, 2004 06:58 AM

A date with a dixie cup...

And my question is, would you really want to handle any magazine that is in that room regardless of how old it is? And why do you have to go in there alone, you and the missus could start a new club. (Like the 'mile high' club) You could call it something like 'cuppa cacti'.

Posted by: wlfldy at September 22, 2004 08:03 AM

Good Lord. That's a lot of ... um ... stuff ... to go through. But your post was actually quite informative. It was information that I could've lived without, but at least you managed to bring the funny. I won't think about it or wish you luck, but you know I hope everything turns out okay for you.

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 22, 2004 08:39 AM

woot! way to analyze that sperm Chris! bow-chicka-bow-wow indeed. :D

Posted by: Stacey at September 22, 2004 08:46 AM

Get your own porn. It'll just be better that way.

Also, do you watch Coupling? One of the episodes in the third season (the last one, I think - it's on DVD #2) has a whole bit about the whole "number 3 in a cup" thing. Watch that. Then you can at least laugh and feel better that you didn't call your friends to bring in snacks.

Posted by: Dawnie at September 22, 2004 09:21 AM

who knew there was a number three...

Posted by: laura at September 22, 2004 09:41 AM

Um. Um. Um.

What does a person realistically say to a post like this, OTHER than what Alektra suggested about bringing something to sit on (GOOD CALL)?


Posted by: PinkStiletto at September 22, 2004 09:53 AM

my only advise is to pick up a bottle of the cheap hand lotion...Suave, with aloe and lanolin works great...not only does it lubricate? it moisturizes too.

Posted by: pettit at September 22, 2004 09:58 AM

There are so many good jokes to say here. Just can't narrow in on one, so here's hoping everything comes out ok. Uh, ok that was totally unintentional, but I'm gonna go with it.

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at September 22, 2004 10:36 AM

Okay, sitting here, nibbling at my lunch, while reading your post, and I just snorted Mt. Dew out of my nose due to laughter. You people are twisted.. lol (And that explains why I check this site a couple of times a day!)

And ya know, I have the bow-chick-a-bow-wow thing stuck in my head now too, but I do think the best line I've seen in this thread was "Fill 'm up dude!" Now, consider this.. You're in the little room, images of bad '70's porn dancing around in your head, you have the cup in hand, you have the terrible porn soundtrack music stuck in your head, and some surfer dude standing behind the door, rooting for ya.. "Fill 'm up dude!!"

OMG, I can't stop laughing... ;-) Wonder if many "dudes" laugh out loud while they're trying to fill up the cup.. ;-)

But seriously, sounds like we're all behind you. (Oh there's another opportunity I'm passing up...) However, try to keep that image out of your head... All your blogger buddies waiting out in the parking lot.. asking the question.. "So how'd it go dude? Overflow the cup?"

Chris, I am so sorry.. *grin* I'll go hide now...

Posted by: dianne at September 22, 2004 01:04 PM

And obviously I have to use the phrase "stuck in your head" a minimum three times per post when it comes to the topic of sex.. Odd. I'll contact my therapist soon.. lol

Posted by: dianne at September 22, 2004 01:08 PM

I feel others have already beat the dead '70s porn horse and for that, I'm sorry I've read this post late. ;-) I hope things, erm, turn out well.

Posted by: bond girl at September 22, 2004 01:10 PM

Actually Chris, Since I AM the "expert" as it were on all this stuff, feel free to contact me. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. I'm serious here pal. Email or IM me.

Surgical Sperm Aspiration for ICSI: It involves a needle with a mini vaccum like device and it removes your man juice FOR YOU. Oh, and the needle vacuum thingie? Lets just say they take it straight from the source, not from where it usually comes out from. Capiche? Make happy with the cup, trust me.

Sperm Preparation For Intrauterine Insemination: I could tell you this in detail actually, and it doesn't hurt YOU a bit. It involves you, your hand, and said cup. The embryologist in the lab does the rest. It, in a nutshell, spins the crap out of your sample in a spinner for 30 min. When it stops, all the 'dud' sperm are at the bottom of the test tube. The good happy and feisty ones are still swimming, if a bit dizzily, up at the top.

Considering ALL that Mrs Cactus will have to go through, your little cup thingie is NOTHIN my dear. I know. I've done it. Beth has all my sympathy and support. (and she can contact me with any questions also!)

Good luck. May your count be "mighty mighty".

Posted by: Scarlett Cyn at September 22, 2004 04:36 PM

Listen very carefully...PUT THE CURTAIN BACK!!!

Posted by: gypsy at September 23, 2004 01:25 AM

Oh man, been there, done that, got the.. er.. t-shirt.

Lots of times.

No, they won't let you do it at home and bring it in (or if you do it'll turn into this funny 9 months kind of thing where you'll need a police escort lest the damn stuff get stale before you arrive)

I brought my wife on several attempts instead of relying on 70's porn or bringing my own. She was just as nervous as me (is that door locked? Did you look under the bed? etc.) and didn't really want to, um, participate in the festivities, for fear of "tainting" the sample.

The nurse or whatever they are that run the test? They've seen it all. Really. But try and make them laugh, anyway.

BTW, our ICSI was successful, but the little guys didn't handle going back into mommy :( Speaking of TMI.

Posted by: ben at September 23, 2004 02:40 PM

Wow, Chris. This is very funny, the comments are funny, and I hope things go well for ya.

I have no advice or suggestions, nor will I be waiting in the parking lot. Remember, though, all these docs & nurses are professional. You will not stand out as the weirdest case they've had. They'll forget you as soon as you leave.

My husband's mom worked as an InVitro Nurse. He heard about SPERM at the dinner table growing up. Like the one idiot at the clinic who nuked the sperm for too long and it was ruined. Poor little guys.

Posted by: Shiz at September 24, 2004 12:58 PM

Rumor has it that inflatable sheep are quite stimulating.

Posted by: Geezitron at September 27, 2004 10:26 AM