Natalie Portman’s father, Avner Hershlag, a Long Island fertility specialist, self-published his first novel, Misconception, a self-dubbed “reproductive thriller”, last year. According the the New York Observer, it’s “a tale of cloning experiments gone bad and the compromised embryos of a U.S. first lady,” and is currently generating interest from major publishing houses. Hey, who wants to bet the first lady in question is a fictionalized Sarah Palin? Old Jews never shut up about Palin. Eh, at least he’s not commenting on all your pictures on Facebook. Anyway, the fine folks at NYMag dug up an excerpt, and there’s a penis-measuring scene in the first paragraph, so it’s got that going for it.
This time I won’t let the doctor pull down my underwear. No way will this man feel my balls again and measure my penis with a yardstick. I hate him. I hate the clinic.
For six months, Mom’s been dragging me every week to this nightmare of a place, to see the awful doctor. The freezing stethoscope and his cold hands give me the creeps. Why would the bastard think his white coat gives him the right to embarrass me in front of the nurse, telling her with his smart-ass attitude to look at my private parts, pulling my elastic without permission?
“No pubic hair,” he dictates to the nurse behind the curtain. Now he takes his “oddballs”—this ridiculous-looking string of different-size plastic balls. He measures them against my balls.
Guess it didn’t get much lower than that. Thank God he isn’t asking the nurse if they grew from last time. His cold hands mash my balls. Gross. “Soft,” he adds.
Now for the yardstick. “Penis one and a half inches. Any change?”
“He’s a little boy with a weak Y chromosome. His penis and testicles will always be small.”
Thanks for making me feel so good. So special. I wish I’d never met you.
“What will he be like as an adult?” Mom’s voice sounds shaky.
“Tall and skinny. With a micropenis and two microtesticles.” Why don’t you rub it in, mister? I think you should show me yours. “He’ll most probably have no sperm. So, he’ll most probably be, hmmm. sterile.”
You think I didn’t get it, right? You just told my mother I’ll never be able to have children.
“Oh, and one more thing. These kids are frequently low achievers in school. They sometimes have to attend special classes. Usually they don’t make it to college. But they can do menial work…”
I don’t have anything snarky to say here. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t legitimately intrigued. I don’t think I’ll be buying it though. Hits a little too close to home for me. Hey, the fact that there’s a medical condition known as “micropenis” leads me to wonder: is there such a thing as “microvagina”? And can it be administered in pill form?
[Before you make a bad joke about it, yes, there has already been a crappy rom-com called “Miss Conception.”]