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An egg is a thing that makes babies, says Mr. President. It’s round, consisting of a yolk surrounded by albumen. Only men can make albumen…
Wait, do you mean women? Females? A zoologist in the front row asks. Women don’t lay eggs.
No, I mean men. Human males are the only living creatures on earth who can lay eggs.
But lots of animals lay eggs, Mr. President. Humans don’t actually lay eggs. We’re mammals.
Not true, says Mr. President. When a man is young and virile, if he eats enough spaghetti he will produce, in one of his four stomachs, a substance called albumen. If his digestive system is full of albumen when he fornicates, he will get pregnant.
Um… I hate to break this news to you, Mr. President, but men can’t get pregnant.
Like I SAID, the President continues, albumen is a fantastic, great substance that is ideal for nurturing new life. A sperm and a little egg come together into a miraculous collaboration to form a big egg. The big egg then incubates in the man’s stomach, and he lays the egg when triggered by an exciting financial win, or the finalization of a great business deal.
Well, at least he knows how sperm and egg coalesce, gynecologist says to ecologist in back row.
A physicist towards the back of the conference room raises her hand. Mr. President, just how big are these big eggs men lay when they experience financial success?
They are the size of a grapefruit, the President declares.
And from what cavity do men deliver these grapefruit-sized eggs?
From their butts, Professor. And I don’t appreciate your sardonic tone.
The virologist, still sitting in front row, digs her fingernails into her palms, composes herself. Mr. President, have you ever seen a woman deliver a baby? Human babies do not gestate in grapefruit-sized eggs wedged up men’s butts. They come bloody and screaming from women’s vaginas.
Claps and cheers, stadium-style. You go girl! The biologist calls.
Furthermore, the virologist continues, female mammals fertilize their eggs internally. An oocyte, generated on a monthly cycle, lives inside a woman’s ovaries, until a sperm fertilizes it, at which point it becomes an embryo.
Which, if all goes well, an endocrinologist intervenes, becomes a FETUS.
Don’t say the F-word! The president scolds. As you know it is now banned in the CDC budget vocabulary.
And why exactly is that? A surgeon in the fourth row asks.
Let me get one thing straight with you all, the President says, pointing his tiny finger at the crowd. My administration is working extremely hard to disseminate correct information…
Do you mean inseminate? Gynecologist asks. The crowd laughs.
…To distribute real news, because the public deserves not to be misled by corrupt science and fake news sources.
A paleontologist intervenes. The truth is that mammals give birth to live young. They include placentals, like humans, marsupials, and monotremes. Oviparous animals do not experience embryonic development in utero, within the mother.
The President does not budge. The truth, sir, is that men lay grapefruit-sized eggs and they come out of our butts. Whether you elitist doctors, scientists, and professors like that dirty secret or not is your problem.
A cardiologist cooks up a different approach. Mr. President, don’t you have five children? Did you give birth to them by laying eggs from your butt?
Madam, I find it highly inappropriate to be asked such a personal question when our international reputation for being credible and trustworthy is at stake. These facts I am relaying today have been suppressed by leftists; left-wing lies will no longer be tolerated on my shift.
The cardiologist perseveres… Fine then, can we just go back to the spaghetti-albumen man for a minute? Albumen is a substance that forms around an unfertilized yolk. There’s no making babies in that equation. Now, it is feasible that a woman could eat a romantic spaghetti dinner, have sex, and get pregnant. I’d venture to guess that that happens quite frequently.
Yes! There is solid proof, the President follows up, that spaghetti aids in the reproductive process. I hope this is a bi-partisan issue that we can all agree on.
Yes! In fact, we can all agree on that!
But Mr. President, amongst heterogamous animals, the family Sygnathidae is the only group that includes male species who can nurture embryos. These species include pipefish and seahorses.
Madam, I am NOT going to waste my time discussing seahorses when the American people need me.
A new voice chimes in. Mr. President, I’m a reproductive specialist, working primarily in IVF. The only possibilities for male birth would be an ectopic plantation into the abdomen, which would kill the patient, or transplanting a uterus into a male, which has not yet been successful. Even if an embryo did grow temporarily, the ensuing fetus would ABORT…
Abortion should be illegal! The president yells. And doctor, if this ridiculous thesis is true, why do men have nipples?
Just because men have nipples, a chemist interjects, does not mean they can lactate. Prolactin stimulation is necessary for such action, which could be produced by starvation, a pituitary tumor, or prolonged thorazine usage. That heavy a dosage of an anti-psychotic should only be administered in mental facilities.
Mr. President might benefit from that heavy a dosage, the chemist whispers to the biologist.
An opthamologist asks: By the way, if you’re asking about men making breastmilk, aren’t you admitting that they don’t lay eggs? Egg-laying animals aren’t mammals, as specified previously.
Except for the platypus and spiny anteater! Platipuses distribute milk in folds of skin rather than through nipples, an astronomer inserts.
I stand corrected, the opthamologist says.
I never said men made breastmilk, the President says. I asked why men have nipples. Get your minds out of the gutter. Why do you people always twist my words? Sad!
Trinie Dalton has made seven books that move between prose and collaborative collage. Her work has been published by Two Dollar Radio, Akashic Books, McSweeney’s, Picturebox Inc., and Abrams. The Pit gallery in Los Angeles made her most recent book of micro-essays, Destroy Bad Thoughts Not Yourself. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the English Department at CSU East Bay.