The phone rang. It was my doorman calling. “Hello Mr. Mike.” My doorman calls me Mr. Mike. “The Man from the Department of Sterilization is here to see you.”
Department of Sterilization? My doorman man is from Turkey. I figured he misunderstood. Perhaps it was the exterminator or somebody like that. So I said send him up.
A knock on my door. I opened it. A man wearing a trench coat entered. “Hello,” he said. He politely tipped his Irish gentleman’s tweed hat. “I’m from the Department of Sterilization and I’m here to sterilize you.”
“Whaaaaaaat?” I said. “I didn’t consent to being sterilized!”
“Au contraire,” he said. “Didn’t you read the terms and conditions of your internet service provider? In paragraph 637, it says that in exchange for using the internet, you consent to being sterilized.” He showed me page 637 on the screen of his cell phone.
“Are you a social worker?” said I.
“How did you guess?” said he.
“Well I withdraw my consent!” I said. “You can’t force me to be sterilized! I would never cooperate with such a blatant violation of my rights and intrusion upon my privacy!”
“That’s quite true,” said the Man from the Department of Sterilization. “You most definitely do have a choice in the matter. No one is going to coerce you. But if you refuse to be sterilized, I’ll have to permanently suspend your internet privileges.”
“I don’t care,” I said “I would never cooperate with such a blatant violation of my rights and intrusion upon--- Wait. What? Did you say no more internet?
“That’s what I said.”
I must admit that when he put it that way, I began to have a change of heart.
Sensing my lingering reluctance, the Man from the Department of Sterilization said. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re recalling that inhumane chapter in American history when the government tried to sterilize people with special needs. Let me assure you that we learned a lot from that failed experiment. This time we’re going to get it right. This time we’re doing it humanely. The sterilization procedure is quick and painless and completely non-invasive. All you have to do is drink this.”
He reached under his trench coat and pulled out a tumbler full of a bubbling, steaming concoction. It looked like mixture of lava and snot. “Don’t worry ,” he said. “It tastes like lemon drops.”
So before I could give myself a chance to reconsider, I gulped down the potion.
The Man from the Department of Sterilization was pleased. “There now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Well I must bid you adieu.” He tipped his hat again. As he exited he said, “Enjoy the internet.”
Sometimes I have to reassure myself that I made the right choice. I mean, when I think about it rationally, I realize that I really wasn’t planning on having kids anyway so it’s not much of a loss compared to losing the internet.
And the Man from the Department of Sterilization was right. It did taste like lemon drops.
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