Saturday, 11 October 2014


                        'I'm afraid they are not very good swimmers.'

My English teacher once told me that the secret to writing was to understand that all words dress differently and that to be able to use them properly you have to see what they are really wearing.

I don't know what I was waiting for but I think I was expecting the doctor to come out with words like hypogonadism or flagellum or oligozoospermia. The kinds of words that wear bullet proof vests and night vision goggles and carry M14 sniper rifles. But he used different words. Words that wore Bermuda shorts and Converse trainers.

Apparently my sperm are trying to win an egg and spoon race with a pair of chopsticks. Apparently my sperm are jumping out of aeroplanes with umbrellas instead of parachutes.

Throughout the consultation my wife sat next to me with a look on her face that I knew well.

It is a little known known fact that cows have four parts to their stomach to enable them to digest grass. They are called the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum. Similarly my wife is the only woman in human history that has a secret place somewhere between her mouth and her brain, a place where she is able to store her words until absolutely necessary. Words that you would cross the road to avoid. Words that wear shoulder pads and helmets.


                                                                    (C) Ally Atherton


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