July 26, 2005

left my hotel in the city everything was clear and set

summer heat, by jim reverand

* From the Department of Things You Shouldn't Have to Think About

From this month's Harpers.

From a decision issued in February by an appellate court in Illinois. In November 2000, Sharon Irons sued Richard Phillips for child support; in May 2003, Phillips countersued, charging Irons with fraud, theft, and intent to cause emotional distress. The court found Irons innocent of fraud and theft but held her liable for causing Phillips emotional distress. Phillips was ordered to pay child support. Both are doctors.

"Plantiff and defendant began dating in January of 1999. Plaintiff informed defendant he did not wish to have children prior to marriage and intended to use a condom if and when they engaged in sexual intercourse. During the entire course of their relationship, the parties engaged in intimate sexual acts three times. Vaginal penetration never occurred. On or around February 19, 1999 and March 19, 1999, defendant 'intentionally engaged in oral sex with plaintiff so that she could harvest his semen and artificially inseminate herself.' Plaintiff asserts that defendant took his 'semen, sperm, and genetic material without his permission, for the purpose of conceiving a child.'

"Defendant responds that plaintiff did not loan or lease his sperm, and there was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request. She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm to defendant it was a gift -- an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee. Plaintiff's donative intent was clear, she argues. 'Had he not intended to deliver his sperm to me, he would have used a comdom and kept it and its contents.' Plaintiff cannot show he had the right to unconditional possession of his sperm. Plaintiff presumably intended, and he does not claim otherwise, that defendant discard his seman, not return it to him."

-- related: for fiction on the subject of stolen seamen semination see a.m. holmes' excellent short story "Georgica," from the collection "Things You Should Know." This story is about a women who spends nights at the beach waiting for drunken lifeguards have sex, then collects the discarded condoms for her personal use.

* "Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves." - Elias Canetti

* Jandek to play live in Austin, Texas (August 28, 2005); New Orleans, Louisiana (September 2, 2005); and New York city (September 6, 2005). These are the first U.S. live shows in Jandek's almost 30 year career.


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