Sunday, November 12, 2006

Down for the count

A few nights ago, I sat on the couch in the living room, minding my own lack of business with my laptop located in what I thought was a perfectly sensible place: atop my lap.

My wife Kara walked into the room and pointed at me. “You should put your computer on the dining room table and go work in there,” she said. “Some people at work today were talking about how typing with your laptop on your lap messes with your physiology.”

“My physiology?” I asked.

“Well, they said it lowers your sperm count,” she replied.

I stopped clacking on the keyboard and looked up at her, scooching the computer towards my knees. Even though I’d never heard any such thing in my life, and I sincerely doubted that there could possibly be any truth to what she was saying, better safe than sterile.

Back when I was single and living in my own place, the only female influence in my apartment was Mama Celeste, and she hardly ever strolled into the room to randomly start discussions about male fertility. She was too busy providing dinner seven nights a week. Since getting married, though, I’ve found that reproductive conversations will just pounce on you, like Hobbes greeting Calvin at the front door. Not that Kara was necessarily bringing up reproduction as it pertained to the two of us, but her concern for my gametes sure seemed to be heading in that direction.

To find out if there was any real reason for her concern, I did a quick Google search from the safety of the dining room table. It turns out that some researchers did recently reach the very conclusion that Kara passed along to me. I was relieved to discover, though, that the problem wasn’t due to any sort of radiation. Electric things kind of freak me out like that. I don’t even like sleeping with the alarm clock too close to my head.

It seems that computers’ prophylactic effects are related to the heat that comes off the bottom of the laptop, so there’s no need to fashion any radiation-blocking aluminum foil underpants for your loved ones. Those would probably just make the problem worse, anyway, like you were preparing them to be a baked potato. If anything, asbestos underpants would most likely be the best investment, if you can find any; check with your local fire department.

Computer use does seem to be getting awfully hazardous lately. Not only do computers turn perfectly normal people into infertile, orc-slaying nerds, but some laptop batteries can catch fire rather spontaneously. You may have caught that news item on your way to the emergency room. The article I read regarding laptop use and its effects on fertility didn’t mention what happens if one’s laptop bursts into flames while resting on one’s lap (probably because they couldn’t get anyone to sign up for that study), but I think, regardless, it might be time to turn the laptop into a tabletop.

Kara continued, “Not that it’s any big deal now, but, you know, someday. We might as well not take any chances.”

I said, “You know what the people in my office were talking about today? The best way to change diapers and the semantic differences between spit-up and throw-up. Apparently, spit-up is the good kind.”

The most disturbing thing out of all of this is that Kara apparently has much more interesting conversations at work than I do. Even if I’d known the little tidbit about male fertility and laptops, I just can’t imagine how I would have broached that particular topic with my co-workers.

“So, Vernon, did you notice that the boss seemed a little testy today? Speaking of testy, guess what my wife told me?”

You can shoot Mike Todd with a fire extinguisher online at


  1. What a coincedence, Gordon Ramsay was talking about a similar problem this weekend. He said due to the heat coming off ovens which are at the right height... or should I say wrong height, Chefs experience similar issues.

    Apparently heat in the crotchinal area is not so good for the swimmers!

  2. I didn't allow my husband to sit in a sauna, wear tight underwear or have anything hot near his nether regions for years...just in case. I guess it didn't matter because we adopted our daughter afterall. So now I like to threathen him with hot things near I threaten him with a red hot poker, scalding water and anything else I can think of. It gets my point across. lol

  3. Did you read anything about yellow M&Ms?

  4. hot things near the swimmers??? all I got to say is.

    FISH FRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. tBerry -- That's why I eat cold cereal for dinner, 'cause I only like my nuts toasted if they come that way in the box.

    Sheri -- Nice of you to look after your boy's boys. Now put down the welding iron, woman!

    JP -- I got too horny from the green ones to notice.

    Burf -- I've spent the past few minutes trying to think of a witty response involving fish, and perhaps ketchup. I better quit before I sterilize myself any further.

  6. Gordon (bully) shouted: send BUSTER THE NOTEBOOK. HE DOESN'T NEED ANY MORE KIDS.

    Works for me.

    Dangerous thing. I'll take it off your hands...(and only off your hands, not off anything else)

  7. LOL @ "asbestos underpants." Something tells me Kara and Mike might be starting a family soon... Better stay away from that laptop.