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Chapter 28
August 6, 2017

Ignorance is Birth [ARNS]

by LAURIE NEIDERGAARDEN, Alternate Reality News Service Medical Writer

With attention firmly focused on President McDruhitmumpf's adventures in Fenwickland (with illustrations by John Tennienniel), you might think that his government is paralyzed and unable to act, like a scorpion that has just stung itself because it wasn't smart enough to realize that it was looking at an image of itself in a mirror. In fact, this is not the case: the McDruhitmumpf administration has let loose all manner of dangerous policylets on an unsuspecting public.

For example, it recently decided to cut $213.6 million from a Health and Human Disservices (HHD) programme that support research into scientifically sound ways to prevent teen pregnancy. That's right: the McDruhitmumpf administration has virgin ears (probably the only part of its body that can be described that way) that it doesn't want sullied with talk of how teenagers get knocked up. Preggers. With child. In the family way and out of public sight.

"Studies my sweet patoot!" explained Health and Human Disservices Secretary Tom Pryceiswrongsowrong. "We don't need to study the causes of teen pregnancy. We know what causes teen pregnancy: * SEX! * * SEX! * causes teen pregnancy! That's what! So, you can take all your fancy schmancy 'studies' and stick them up your hindparts!"

To help teenage girls not get pregnant from * SEX! *, HHD has created a pamphlet of alternatives to doing * SEX! *. They include:

  • going shopping;
  • frolicking on the beach with a guy named Frankie;
  • gossiping with your girlfriends about guys named Frankie over the phone;
  • talking on the phone with a guy named Frankie until the sun comes up (preferably from at least four states away);
  • watching graphic gym class videos about * SEX! *ually transmitted diseases starring guys named Frankie (it's amazing what you can find on YahooTube!).

To test the validity of this approach, which is alternately referred to as "abstinence only," "just say no" or "maintaining youthful ignorance of basic biological functions until well into adulthood, say late middle age or later," the Alternate Reality News Service convened a panel of pregnant teenagers: Tanya, Shaniqua and Butch. This is a partial transcript of what they had to say:

TANYA: My boyfriend Charlie "The Tuna" Gropplefingerous told me that I couldn't get pregnant if I was chewing a wad of bubble gum while we did it.

BUTCH: And, you believed him?

TANYA: It was strawberry flavoured!

BUTCH: And, you believed him.

TANYA: I had ten wads in my mouth! I could barely breath!

BUTCH: So, you believed him.

TANYA: It's not like anybody had ever explained to me how it worked! How was I supposed to know that chewing gum didn't have any magical non-pregnancy making powers!

SHANIQUA: Matt bastard said he was gonna stop before he came.

BUTCH & TANYA: (together) And, you believed him?

SHANIQUA: He was such a cutie-pie so dreamy.

BUTCH: And, look at the nightmare he got you involved in!

SHANIQUA: You so smart, how come you so pregnant?

BUTCH: Immaculate conception. (pause) What? Somebody handed me a drink at party, next thing I know I wake up naked in a tire in somebody's pool. The pool wasn't even in the backyard of the house where the party was! I don't remember having * SEX! * with anybody, so I must have gotten pregnant without having * SEX! *. That there is what you call your basic immaculate conception!"

The Alternate Reality News Service is currently reviewing the value of these kinds of panels.

"This is deplorable!" token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam deplored the decision. "Now all they need to do is pass a law banning teenage girls from wearing shoes while they cook, and they will have created a religious Reduhblican's wet dream! Seriously, were any women involved in the decision to pursue this policy? Any at all?"

Vice President Michael Pendenatendance must have heard the indignation in her voice from six states away, because he smiled ingratiatingly and responded, "Well, of course women were involved in the decision. I asked the woman who cleans my office if she thought we needed more research on teenage pregnancy. She...didn't seem to speak much English, but she nodded pleasantly, which I took to mean that she agreed with my position that we did not. Agreed with me 100 per cent."

"Why would we need to consult women on this?" Secretary Pryceiswrongsowrong, appearing to be honestly confused, wondered. "Men have been diagnosing women's illnesses for thousands of years. And, if this medical regime was good enough for Medea of Theopacropalis, you bet your ass it'll be good enough for Mary from Cripes, Texas!"

[WARNING: OBLIGATORY REFERENCE TO MARGARET ATWOOD'S CAUTIONARY FABLE THE HANDMAID'S TALE]"It all feels like something out of Margaret Atwood's cautionary fable The Handmaid's Tale," commented token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam. "Yuck!"[/OBLIGATORY REFERENCE]

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