The Queen and I are putting some thought into a yetiette, so we bought a few books about what prospective mothers (and, hypothetically, fathers) need to do before getting pregnant. The advice for women is usually, like, 330 pages long; the part for men is typically a few paragraphs tacked on before the index.
Allow me to summarize each parent-to-be’s pre-pregnancy duties:
Get a complete battery of physicals
Stop consuming alcohol
Stop consuming caffeine
Eat a well-balanced diet
Keep testicles away from plutonium and heavy machinery
Needless to say, The Queen’s a little bitter about the inequity of the preparations. She’s gotta swear off coffee and red wine and cheeseburgers, she has to visit the doctor and the gym, she has to take pre-natal vitamin supplements that contain more minerals than The Museum Of Geological History, and meanwhile my job, when it comes to conception, is essentially “show up”.
I have become a teetotalist, because some of the books recommended that prospective fathers forego the sauce. But the reasons they cited were pretty lame, of the “well there’s really no proof that alcohol has any effect whatsoever on male fertility, but if we don’t tell you to do something your wife is gonna be way annoyed, so why don’t you put the kabosh on the Schlitz Tallboys for a spell, okay?” variety.
Actually, there is one thing all the pre-conception books advise fathers-to-be to do: stop using illicit drugs. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to me. Which is a shame, because if I had a nice, unhealthy addiction to something, I could quit cold turkey and then I would get beaucoup credit from The Queen, what with the agonizing detox and horrific withdrawal process, etc. But that’s the thing about living in Seattle, you know: you always mean to get hooked on heroin, but you put it off and put it off because you figure you can do it any time you want, and then next thing you know the opportunity to get strung-out and score major Queen Kudos has passed you by.
But don’t make the same mistake as me! If you’re male and thinking about having a kid someday, take my advice and smoke some crack today! You may not feel that a crippling drug addition is really the right thing for you at this stage of your life, but, you know, when it comes to parenthood you gotta look to the future. That’s the thing.