Less than twenty-four hours after our own Prof. Bolaji Aluko was named the Vice- Chancellor of a new Federal University, I mailed my patent application to The Patent Office in Washington DC. I requested an expedited examination.

People close to me know that I’m not just a comedian wannabe. Before I became a failed writer, I was an engineer. With a team of student engineers, I designed a water hyacinth harvester. After many years of service on River Oluwa, it is now on display at the Museum of Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State. I also designed a melon seed thresher that can save rural women millions of hours they spend dehulling melon seeds. Unfortunately, no company cared to mass produce my machine even though I had mapped out plans for subsequent generations of the machine to allow women to introduce melon seeds at one end and get egusi soup at the other end.

Since 2009, when I read that Nigerian cartoonist, Sanya Ojikutu, invented the ShareBuds Ms 2-in-1 stereo earphones, I have spent my quiet moments working on what I call the Dr. Damages Sperm Count machine®. It is part of my plan D.

You know the way you walk into a pharmacy, go to the blood pressure machine, fold your sleeve, slide your hand into the machine, press the red button, watch as the cuff tightens around your arm while waiting for the machine to read your blood pressure. That is the kind of machine I invented for checking sperm counts.

Below is what I wrote in the introduction I sent to the patent office.

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For those who live outside the Western world, this may be a problem that has not yet reached the bedroom near you. But all across the modern world, the sperm count of men are falling faster than dictators in the Arab world. It has gone from 60 million a pop to 20 million a pop. In the days of our fathers, when men were men, sperms used to come out over 120 million a pop. The drop in sperm count is so bad now that fertility clinics are swamped-men donating sperms are crushing those testing to see what their sperm counts are.

Even though a man needs just one sperm to fertilize an egg, a man needs to produce millions of sperms to have a chance that one will get the girl, sorry, the egg. The sperm dilemma reminds me of the Christians’ code about the journey to heaven; ‘many are called but few are chosen.’

Did I see you squirm? Were you not a sperm? Were you not the one that first made it to the egg before several millions released in one pop? Apparently, you have forgotten how you swam faster than the rest. Relax, buddy. Whatever is happening in your life today, you are already a winner. You defeated over 60 million other folks in the most important race in life.

Don’t ever forget that. You’re as much a winner as Bill Gates is. Rascals like Ibrahim Babangida are not bigger winners than you are. So there is no need to suck up to them, carry their bags or sell your soul for the morsels falling from their pockets. You are smart enough to get your own oil blocks, if that is what you want. You started a winner and you have the right to end the race as a winner. You don’t have to join the Winners’ Chapel to be a winner. Everyone born on this earth is already a winner. Don’t ever let the burdens of this life make you forget this. Chances are that over a billion sperms perished in the course of your making. So cheer up.

There are various reasons why sperm counts are falling. Some say it is due to the traces of Prozac in the water we drink. Some say it is in the radiation infested air that we breathe. Some say it is in the genetically modified food we eat. Some say it is in the kind of underwear men put on. Long ago, Scottish man, Adam Smith, said men must go back to wearing kilts. Briefs are bad, said Bill Clinton. Boxers are bad, said George Bush. Going commando is great for quick action, said Olusegun Obasanjo. Satin slips are highly recommended, said Barack Obama. Slips, by the way, are often called ‘shimmy’. But nobody seems to know where to buy slips these days. The Salvation Army stores do not carry them anymore. I checked all stores along the I-95 corridor.

Everyone agrees that the problem with sperm counts is part of the environmental degradation that came about as a result of industrialization. It is part of the waste industrialization left behind. Wastes like magi cubes, Oxford Cabin biscuit, Alabukun, orange juice from China, Geisha from Japan, tight jeans and De Rica.

Whatever the cause is, men are carrying about sacks of scrotums that can no longer produce sperms. This phenomenon is becoming a worldwide embarrassment.

Alarmists like New York Times Maureen Dowd are predicting that sooner than later, men may no longer be necessary. Some sperm banks are busy buying up sperms and storing them in super cold rooms for use centuries from now. Mind you, they separate sperms into three categories – those from Ivy League graduates, those from regular college graduates and others. I wonder to which category Adamu Ciroma’s sperm would go to should he donate? I’m sure the laboratory technologist will label his, TOXIC.

When the last man produces the last drop of sperm, every other birth will then come from women inseminated with sperms bought from the sperm banks. You thought crude oil is expensive now, wait until you know how much a drop of sperm will cost in future. If I were you, I would begin a massive investment in sperm banks. Take your money away from collapsing brick and mortar banks and put them in the cool sperm banks.  That is the world to come. Smart people like Prof. Gabriel God-Almighty-Grand-Unified-Theorem Oyibo are beginning to prepare for those days.

In the meantime, many men will want to know what their sperm counts are. Many who are working hard to inseminate need to know when the count is high enough to embark on the enormous task of shooting the millions of slimy sperms through the Red tunnel, into the Hanging tube and down the bla bla bla channel.

And that is where I, Dr. Njakiri Damages, come in. This bright machine of mine will not only create lives, it will also save marriages. Yes. In case you have not noticed, one of the reasons why divorce is high is that women are tired of men who walk around with sacks of scrotums that don’t produce enough sperms. The women would rather live with the beautician, Mukajuola, their spokesman said.

I designed a machine that can help out men in this crisis. Men will be able to walk into a pharmacy, go to a Dr. Damages Sperm Count machine®, pull their pants down, slide their kini into the machine, press the blue button, watch the fluffy cuff tighten around all their kini and wait for the machine to read their sperm count.

Unlike the blood pressure machine, my machine will give customers receipts. This is important because if a man’s count is high and he needs to rush to his wife’s job and pull her out for an immediate dash to the nearest bed, he needs something to show the wife’s boss at work.

“I’m at my peak,” the man would say to his wife’s boss, dropping the receipt on her boss’s desk, “I have to borrow her for three to five minutes.”

You never know, some good bosses may offer their long office desks in exchange for being allowed to stay around to see how it is done.

Doesn’t that make you wanna check your sperm count?

***
I went this far to explain why my machine is a very important gadget that deserves international protection. I hope the examiners at the patent office will recognize my genius in no time.

In the immediate, though, I updated my resume the other day. This is a resume I plan to forward to Prof. Bolaji Aluko, the brand new Vice Chancellor of the brand new Federal University of Mangrove, Otuoke, Bayelsa State. I had wanted to add to my resume that I invented a sperm count machine. In fact, I have already written that I have a patent. Then I remembered Philip Emeagwali 2.0 and had to erase it. Before Philip Emeagwali 2.0, it was okay to project your anticipations and to anticipate your projections. Now, you cannot.

To beef up my chances of getting a position at Prof. Aluko’s university, I called the University of Phoenix. After a fifteen-minute conversation and emailing of a few forms and documents, my academic adviser assured me that I could now add a PhD to my resume. If it were not for Philip Emeagwali 2.0, I would have done so. But for now, I have to make do with Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, PhD (candidate). I understand that I can hold on to that title for another ten years or until my patent is granted – whichever one comes first. Please correct me if I’m right.

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