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My hero

A propos of yesterday's post, I was thinking about the "who would you die for?" trope and trying to figure out why it felt so familiar.  Then I remembered: we talked about it here a couple of years ago, in the wake of Ayelet Waldman's declaration that she loves her husband "so much that I would toss any one of my children in front of a bullet if that was the only way I could save his life."

Coincidentally, Waldman pops up alongside Rebecca Walker for another reason.  See if you can follow this: In addition to Stephanie Rosenbloom's discussion of Walker's book, the same issue of The New York Times featured a review of two new books on motherhood, Walker's and Peggy Orenstein's Waiting for Daisy

Orenstein's book, which chronicles her experience with infertility, is on my desk right now, and will get its own post as soon as I manage to stop cackling about this quote from the Times review:

Her friend Ayelet Waldman, author of "A Playdate With Death" and the rest of the "Mommy-Track Mysteries" series, helpfully suggests Orenstein receive Yom Kippur blessings next to the father of Waldman's four children, the writer Michael Chabon. "I call him 'the Sperminator,'" Waldman brags. "He can get anyone pregnant."

I messaged that to Julia.  "SPERMINATOR!" she replied, awed, I am sure, by the majesty of it.  "SUPERJISM!" I countered, with my characteristic maturity.  And thus was born...a hero.


He is Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist Michael Chabon by day, fearless impregnator by night.  Clad in his trademark bulbous white helmet, powered inexorably forward by his custom-created Flagell-O-Matic Personal Propulsion Device™, he surges onward...ever onward...through gummy tides of hostile mucus, weathering a devastating hail of antisperm antibodies, and infiltrating the near-impenetrable fortress town of Fallopitopia, where he bides his time before the final onslaught against his toughest opponent ever: a desperate 42-year-old's leathery zona pellucida.

The SPERMINATOR is vulnerable only to constricting underpants, latex barrier devices, and his deadliest foe, Dr. Toxic, whose resourceful band of henchmen are known as the Nonoxynol 9.

So, ladies, if you have a persistent fertility problem that only a professional can solve, don't be afraid to call on the SPERMINATOR.  Standing next to him didn't seem to help Peggy Orenstein much, but, hey, even a superhero can have an off day, right?