The newspaper headline read: Male Contraceptive Pill Shows Promise, Pilot Study Finds. Hmm, I thought, a study of pilots who practice safe sex, how interesting. Is this what the FAA is spending my hard-earned tax dollars on? No wonder they're called "the friendly skies."
It didn't take long to figure out that the study in question had nothing to do with pilots, after all. This "pilot" study concerned an experimental birth control pill for - get ready, you're not going to believe this - MEN! That's right, I said men. The weight of responsibility is shifting, guys, and I think we'd better get ready to duck!
For years, the article said, scientists (obviously with nothing better to do) have been trying to come up with alternatives to condoms and vasectomies, currently the only two forms of contraception available to men (since abstinence is out of the question). Now, a group of Italian scientists believe they have the answer in the form of a birth control pill for men.
As I read on, a couple of things about this study struck me as odd. So odd, in fact, that I began to question its scientific validity (I've got to stop writing this column when "The X-Files" is on).
Odd Thing #1: The study was published in a medical journal called, "Fertility and Sterility," which sounds like a very confused publication to me.
Odd Thing #2: The study was done in Bologna, Italy. Give it a minute, the irony will come.
Here's how the study worked: a group of eight men (no pilots) were given two pills a day for 16 weeks. The pills contained two synthetic hormones which "sharply suppress the sperm count," effectively making the men sterile and unable to produce offspring.
Big deal. An afternoon with my sister's kids will have the same affect.
Two of the participants experienced no decline in sperm count and were probably pretty obnoxious about it to the rest of the group, whose counts declined considerably. One fellow in particular that we'll call, Little Tony, ended the study with a sperm count of zero! Ouch, I guess that makes him - what - the winner? Can you say, "Everybody out of the pool?"
The study concluded by saying that it may take years for a male contraceptive pill to hit the market, but hit the market it will. One day soon, men will be on the pill.
I have just one thing to say: ARE YOU PEOPLE CRAZY??!! Putting men in charge of birth control is like putting PeeWee Herman in charge of nuclear missiles. Sure, it seemed like a great idea at the time, but...
Here's a little scenario that will prove my point. John and Marsha (a happily married couple) are about to have an intimate moment, when Marsha says, "Honey, did you remember to take your pill?"
Here, Marsha has made two fatal mistakes. (1) You should never rely on a man to remember anything, and (2) A woman should never ask a man a question and expect a coherent answer when he is in the throes of passion. Don't talk to us, ladies. Don't ask our opinions on world events. Don't ask us to think at all. You may as well be asking us to do quantum physics in our heads because no matter what question you ask, all we can say is, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
We are not irresponsible liars. We are men: little boys with big toys, that's all.
What those researchers in Baloney, uh, Bologna, didn't seem to understand is that the real challenge isn't in coming up with a birth control pill for men, but packaging a pill in such a way that men will actually enjoy taking it. Personally, I suggest putting them in aluminum cans and stamping "Coors" on the side.
If that doesn't make your man take his pill, ladies, try enrolling in the "medicate your pet" school of thought. Wrap the pill in a biscuit and tell him it's a pig-in-a-blanket. Mix it in with his morning bowl of Nut-N-Honey. As a last resort, put it in a tube and blow it down his throat while he's asleep.
Sounds extreme, I know, but trust me, it's the only way a male birth control pill will work.
Just keep thinking about PeeWee Herman and those nuclear missiles.
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From "Small Business Q&A" With Tim Knox
Tim Knox is a nationally-known entrepreneur, author, speaker, and radio show host.
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