Fresh versus frozen 

Grant's impending demise calls for drastic measures

If Grant's gonna die soon like he says he is, I hope he does it without making a mess. I seriously hate those messy-death deaths, though you can hardly avoid them anymore. It seems like every time you turn around there's people falling from above and splattering at your feet. Or someone's getting beheaded in front of an audience of millions, and I can't think of a more embarrassing situation, really, than to have your head cut off in front of a camera, then to have that videotaped for any old ass to watch again and again. Jesus God.

But back to Grant. He went onto some Mexican website (www.soyidiotogrande.com) to take a 20-page survey full of weird parapsychological questions, and at the end he was asked to click a button to discover the actual day of his death, which the website says will be next February, and Grant believes the website. I found this out when he hesitated to go skydiving with Hector on Hector's 25th birthday last Sunday.

"Good for you," I told Grant, because at first I thought he was being sensible, which makes me wonder when the hell I'm ever gonna learn. I've known this man more than a decade now; this is a person who gave away all his possessions and moved to Mexico with nothing but a backpack full of prescription sunglasses, only to move back six months later because he got bored. Sense is the last thing to dictate Grant's decisions, followed only by the fear of death. Grant could care less if he croaked this minute, I swear to God, which of course infuriates me, as I would miss the shit out of him if he died, and I think that merits some consideration in his decisions, such as the decision not to skydive. But no.

"Bitch, I've got four months left to live," he huffed, referring to the website results, "I ain't spending them in a wheelchair trying to operate the controls with my tongue. I got stuff to do."

"Well, goddamn, get the life-insurance application then," I said. "If you're gonna croak in four months, you gotta make sure I'm cared for, not to mention your baby, which I plan to have so I can grow your replacement. So hurry up and knock me up. Gimme some sperm. I know you got it."

"Get it yourself," he said. "I donated 20 tubs of the stuff back in the '80s when I was working my way through seminary school."

It did not surprise me in the least that Grant financed Bible college by beating off to gay porn, but the new perspective on the cache of preserved sperm kind of threw me. I'd always known it was out there, but I never really thought of it as a resource until now. Wow, perfectly good sperm, I thought. People pay a lot of money for that.

"Really?" I said tentatively, because until then I didn't think I was serious, then my ovaries started speaking up, and I hadn't heard from them in years. "But that's expensive. Why should I pay for it when I know you're full of free sperm? Ask them for a spare cup at the coffee counter. You could do it right now. Go."

Grant shook his head. "You're gonna want the frozen stuff," he argued. "Of course I could give you sperm fresh from my body right now, but the frozen stuff is me from 20 years ago. I made a much better specimen 20 years ago."

And here I had to agree with him, not that I have ever come into direct contact with any of Grant's sperm -- though last year I did sit in the backseat of his Honda Element, which, wrung out, could probably produce enough to populate a planet -- but I have been in contact with their result. His daughter, Mary Grace, is in her 20s and she qualifies as a walking goddess. And she's smart, too; she moved abroad when Bush got elected, for one. But she is a product of young sperm from a young Grant. I don't have the same selection. My selection is limited to old sperm from a young Grant, or young sperm from an old Grant. Plus, I'm not at all convinced either wouldn't produce the fall of society, and I'm undecided over whether that would be a good or a bad thing.

I clutched my head. Christ, there are so many decisions that a responsible mother has to face these days. Like, if I choose the old sperm from the young Grant, I can have it injected fairly innocuously, whereas if I choose the young sperm from the old Grant I know he'll insist on implanting it using his own equipment. But then again, the frozen sperm isn't going anywhere seeing as how it's frozen, whereas the fresh sperm, according to Grant, is due to go out of production next February.

"I pick the fresh sperm," I told Grant. "On one condition; you can't die. I'm not getting knocked up with your big-headed baby just so you can croak in three months. You at least have to be there when I pop the sprogette. Beyond that I'll assess your usefulness on a month-to-month basis. Deal?"

"Deal," he said, "now get out of my way. I have to go jump out of a plane."

Hollis Gillespie will be appearing at "How Reading Changed My Life...," along with fellow authors Jack Pendarvis and Ramona Debreaux, at the Atlanta Central Library, 1 Margaret Mitchell Place, on Thurs., Nov. 16, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. www.focalweb.org.

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