Anyone have a less than common job? A job that requires you to chuckle, smile timidly, and say "Funny you should ask" or "Oh boy" or "Well, um, there's no short answer" whenever someone asks you about it? A job that you can't just describe in a few simple words? A job that the majority of the world would have no idea even existed?
Well, I do. And it makes meeting people for the first time slightly awkward. Especially if small talk is in order. And mingling. And alcohol. I always dread the inevitable question: "So, Mama H, what do you do?" And I smile. And I chuckle. And I look at Cowboy H. And I try to deflect.
"Oh, I sit at a desk."
"Yeah, I'm a research assistant."
"Um, for a company you've never heard of."
"Uh, well, its called, uh, Animal Reproduction Systems."
Now, unbeknown to them, my new acquaintances are going to hear about stallion penises, and mare vaginas (or artificial ones), and sperm counts, and semen extenders. All because they asked "So, Mama H, what do you do?" It started so innocently.
See, I work for Animal Reproduction Systems. We make all kinds of products, supplies, and equipment for large animal reproduction (i.e. artificial insemination programs for horses, cows, pics, etc.) We make semen collection devices (Artificial Vaginas, or AVs), sperm counters (Densimeters), semen extenders (E-Z Mixin and E-Z Freezin).
Explaining all this isn't really that bad for me, I can say penis without batting an eyelash, but for my new acquaintances, its rather embarrassing. And, if Cowboy H is nearby (and he usually is because he loves witnessing this conversation) it only gets worse. Because he has to bring this up:
"Hey, honey, tell them about the elephant, the elephant dick."
Sigh. I just love him.
My first major "project" at my job was developing an artificial vagina (AV) for the elephant breeding program at the San Diego Zoo. Here, take a look:
To give you some perspective, I am almost 6 feet tall. Which means the AV is more than 3 feet tall. Which means, well, elephant penises are about 3 feet long.
I bet those female elephants thank us each and every day.