Saturday, April 14, 2007

Save the Semen, Inc

The Sunday morning editorial caught my glance. The editorial reported that Monica Lewinsky has supplied a dress, which will be tested for the President’s semen. DNA typing will be used to confirm or refute the sample as that of Mr. Clinton.

The statement conjured up a variety of images and questions, but mostly I wondered why the dress was never dry-cleaned.

“Well,” I thought, “obviously she wanted to save it.”

”Presidential memorabilia,” I supposed.

Then, I visualized the dress framed as a conversation piece in her living room.

“This is where the President sprayed his semen as he withdrew. Bill is so thoughtful. He didn’t want me to get pregnant.”

My flight of fancy continued, and I wondered if she had a rogue’s gallery of similar articles of apparel, with sexual stains in kind. I tossed my head to shake away the disgusting images of eruptions that dried and defiled a kaleidoscope of silks, cottons, and other fabrics.

“Revolting,” I thought.

“Think pure thoughts, keep to the straight and narrow, and walk tall with your head erect, like a pillar of goodness,” I chastised myself.

My cynical side intervened.

“Perhaps she intentionally kept the un-laundered dress as evidence?”

This Machiavellian thought appealed.

We live in an age where the forensic use of DNA to “fingerprint” blood, skin, and semen samples is common knowledge. Surely the “genetic revolution” will be a term applied to the 21st century, just as the adjective “industrial” was linked to the 19th and “computer” to the 20th. That Ms. Lewinsky should save semen tells as much about the technological direction of our society as about her personality.

Ideas continued to percolate with my second coffee. Perhaps the extra pulse of caffeine did the trick. Suddenly I saw the potential for a ninety’s-style product and service.

I decided to establish Save the Semen, Inc, and market a “Save the Semen Kit,” with after-sale service.

The market for this product and service go far beyond the use envisioned by Ms. Lewinsky.

Some might save the sample for genetic analysis to screen potential suitors. In this scenario, my company would offer testing for desired traits or inherited problems, all, of course, at an extra cost.

Other individuals might save the specimens like some collect trophies. Save the Semen, Inc would offer specially designed display cases, with crystal containers for the effluent of the affluent, and test tubes for the flow of the rank and file. A logbook would be available – a supple, leather-covered model for the rich, and a hard cloth-covered option for the organized poor.

Perhaps men might collect samples to prove virility? I envisioned a marketing partnership with Pfizer, the makers of Viagra, the medication for erectile dysfunction. The headline on the kit would read, Show them you have the right stuff! Perhaps some men would collect specimens to mark chapters in their sexual lives. I envisioned possible inscriptions under the vials; first wet dream, successful masturbation, first woman (or man, I guess), nuptial result, silver anniversary, and so on.

If the dates added up, the “Save the Semen Kit” could be used to provide postnatal evidence for paternity. This led me to consider a male consumer backlash and I wondered if there were legal restrictions on the un-authorized testing of a bodily fluid.

The liability issue concerned me but the legal implications were obviously complicated and in evolution. Confidentiality in the bedroom seemed a fertile ground for loose interpretations and I eventually decided legality was a limp excuse not to pursue the project.

Of course some would use the semen for seedier purposes. I imagined the information as evidence to blackmail a former lover, boss, or married colleague. I didn’t like to think any product would be used for such a base purpose, but after further reflection, I recognized a potential countervailing benefit.

“Widespread use might change behavior. A man might think twice about an extra-marital liaison if he new evidence might leak out; that he’d leave a “pecker print,” so to speak.”

As the possibilities swam though my thoughts, I considered the technical hurdles. Most women would prefer to dry-clean or launder the garment in question. Therefore, the kit should be designed to soak out the semen. The solution must preserve the integrity of the DNA and prevent the sample from spoilage with storage.

Condoms might interfere with collection since some have spermicidal chemicals mixed with a lubricant. I decided Save the Semen, Inc should supply a line of condoms lubricated with DNA-friendly chemicals.

By late morning, and after a stiff gulp of the last dredges of the morning coffee, the idea evolved from production onto marketing.

Initially the promotional campaign would focus on advertisements in the major woman’s magazines. As momentum grew, newspaper stories would appear, followed by talk-show appearances. I heard my introduction by Leno, “Tonight, to articulate about ejaculate, I’m pleased to introduce . . .”

Once the thrust of the campaign was evident, I envisioned a coast-to-coast “Save the Semen” bumper sticker campaign. By the end of the first year I saw Save the Semen, Inc, thriving on the New York Stock Exchange.

Lunchtime found me pumped up on all the coffee and crazy ideas, but with enough common sense to realize the idea was too far out for mainstream America.

“The Christian Coalition will never go for this,” I realized.

“Oh well,” I thought, “the idea still has the makings for a good short story, and I have just the right title,” All the President’s Semen.

No comments: