Republic of Jesters

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Back Peddle #2 – Artificial Selection

Robert was driving his mom’s old Honda Civic down the I-94 towards Ache Lake for a long weekend getaway with his friends. They had been planning this camping trip for months, and now that the time has come, Robert couldn’t be any more excited. On top of that, he hadn’t left the Twin Cities for at least a month so he was happy to get out of the rush of the city life by spending some time in the woods. He doubted that he’ll get any rest and relaxation though. His friends can get pretty wild, and seeing as there will be no one around to hush them, Robert predicts that things will go beyond their average rowdiness.

Despite all the friends that said they were coming, Robert was riding solo. He didn’t have any classes yet, and he had just quit his job a week before, so he decided to go out a day before everyone. He was the reconnaissance man. He was going find a spot right by the lake and pitch a tent before anyone could take it. This weekend meant the world to him; they had been coming to the same lake on the same weekend for the past three years, so Robert wanted to make sure that their camp site was going to be in the best possible location.

There was a minor issue though. In Robert’s rush to get out of the city, he forgot to pack a jacket. Right now it was sunny and 86°F, but the forecast predicted some rain, and on top of that, the nights can get uncomfortably chilly. Robert didn’t want to go back to the city and grab a jacket - it would take too much time and his dream campsite might get taken by some undeserving folk - but he also didn’t want to risk not having a jacket. So he figured that the best way of dealing with the dilemma was to stop quickly at one of the roadside towns and buy himself a cheap jacket for the weekend. He was camping anyways; it wasn’t the most fashionable occasions, so anything that looked like it would keep him warm and dry would do.

His best bet was to get a jacket at a Wal-Mart, but he was unsure if any of the towns on the way were big enough to support a Wal-Mart. He was well past the Minnesota exurbs, so the towns had been getting smaller and smaller the further he travelled. They must have some sort of Wal-Mart equivalent, Robert thought; somewhere he could get a jacket without leaving too much of a hole in his wallet.

Then it hit him: Thrift stores. Surely he could purchase something at a thrift store that would cover him up, and he could get it for a miniscule amount. Who knows, he might even find something that could get a laugh out of his buddies.

He turned into the next town. Robert hadn’t bothered reading the sign so he didn’t even know what the town was called. But he figured it would have a thrift store and it would probably be on Main Street. These towns were all the same after all.

Soon enough, he found a thrift store that was operated by some Christian denomination that he had never heard of. It would do. He parked his car out front and entered the store. The cashier said hello, and Robert asked if they had any jackets. “They’re near the back by the VHS tapes,” said the cashier. She spoke so quickly that at first Robert thought she was speaking another language, but then he realized she was just a motor mouth. She really goes against the grain, thought Robert, seeing as small town Midwesterners were known for their slow speech. But here’s this lady who’s speaking well over the WPM average of a big city resident. That’s odd.

Once he deciphered what she had said, Robert thanked her for her help and headed to the back corner with a smirk on his face.

The store was small, and there was only one other vehicle parked out front, but there must have been fifteen other people in the store. And they all looked the same. The men had on black pants with suspenders, plaid shirts, and non-obnoxious cowboy hats, or other types of country suiting headwear. Some of them had their faces shaven, but most of them had beards without mustaches. The women were also dressed conservatively. They each had below-the-knee skirts that tended to be plaid, some sort of non-revealing top, and a polka dot bonnet. Robert hadn’t spent much time in small towns, and had never been to this one in particular, so he thought that this was probably just the way the locals dressed.

Robert passed a few of the men in one of the aisles. The aisles were narrow so he came in close proximity; close enough to catch an unpleasant smell coming off them. It was body odor, no doubt about it. Robert tried his hardest not to show physical signs of repulsion. City kids weren’t accustomed to body odor. They didn’t know how to handle it. It was hot out today, he thought, and if these men were doing farm work before, then their scent is excusable. Put yourself in their shoes, or boots, and then you’ll understand. Robert was working out all the ways to justify the stench. Who knows, maybe this town had a boycott on deodorants and antiperspirants due to their aluminum content. In the long run, they’ll reap the benefits when they have lower occurrences of Alzheimer’s, so maybe a life of stinking is worth it.

He made his way to the jackets and was happy that no one was also checking them out. The selection was slim pickens, probably because it was summer, and no jackets really stood out. There were plenty of denim jackets, but Robert wasn’t into wearing anything that had seen endless days of labor. Plus, denim gets too heavy when wet. If it was going to rain on him, he didn’t want wear something that felt like a ball-and-chain. There were also corduroy and fleece jackets, but none of them piqued Robert’s interest either.

Then he saw it. Hidden in the rack was a baseball jacket that looked to be his fit. He had always wanted a baseball jacket, but never found one that fit well or was a reasonable price. But this one, this one was special. It was blue with gold and red elastic cuffs, and on the front was a ‘W’ logo with a goofy looking fish holding a baseball bat. The back had ‘Winnipeg Goldeyes’ lettering that was stitched onto the jacket. Robert had never heard of the team, and didn’t know much about Winnipeg, but he didn’t really care. He wasn’t much of a sports fan and he didn’t have an allegiance to any particular baseball team, so as long as the jacket looked good, he didn’t care what team it was. To him, it looked good, so he tried it on.

The arms were a little puffy, but that was to be expected. Robert has always been tall and thin, so clothing never fit quite like he had wanted it to. In this year, 2005, most Americans were wider than they’re tall. The clothing industry catered to the majority, so people who were tall and thin got the short end of the stick. That’s just how it was. Despite the puffy arms, Robert was satisfied with the fit. It would do for the camping trip, and he might actually wear it around the city once the weather gets bad. It was worth the purchase, so Robert brought it up to the cashier.

Unfortunately, Robert had been slow on the draw and was behind one of the townsfolk. On the counter lay a pile of clothes. The rest of townsfolk had already left, and it seemed as though they all left their clothes with him so that he could purchase them. Maybe he’s the towns sugar daddy thought Robert.

As the cashier was ringing the items up and bagging them, the man looked over at Robert. He was a tall man with a blonde Abraham Lincoln beard and a straw boater hat. He looked Robert up and down which made Robert feel awkward. To cope with the awkwardness, Robert tried to look interested in the items on the shelf closest to him. It was a bunk cover-up, considering that the shelf was displaying women’s summer hats, but oh well; it beats getting sized up.

When the man had packed up and left and Robert got to the till, the cashier asked in her speedily manner, “Is that all for you today?” Robert said it was. Once the man was out of the door, the cashier said, “Thank God for those Hutterites. If it wasn’t for them we would probably be out of business.”

Robert didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, but was sort of curious. Instead of simply nodding or saying yes, he asked, “Hutterites? Are those people from a different town or something?”

“No, no. Well, I guess you could say it’s like a town. Near here is a Hutterite colony. They always come in to buy them clothes and such.”

“A colony?”

“Yep. They got a bunch of land just north of here. I’ve never been there, but judging from what they wear, I bet you it’s real old timey. Kinda like watching a western movie or something.”

“What makes them different from any other farmers around here?”

“Ohh, they’re way different. First thing: they don’t speak English. Kinda weird hey?”

Robert noticed that they were speaking a foreign language when he squeezed passed them in the aisle. He couldn’t quite figure out what they had been speaking though. Out of curiosity, he asked, “What do they speak then?”

“Some sort of German. It ain’t quite the same as German, more old fashioned. Or so I’ve heard. Not that I’m an expert on German or anything.”

“Oh, okay.”

This had been Robert’s attempt to wrap up the conversation, but the women just wanted to ramble on. “Yep. They sort of stick to themselves too. They try to make the least contact with outsiders. Or I guess outsiders to them; regular Americans like you and me are outsiders to them, and I guess they’re outsiders to us. Maybe it has to do with the language thing. But then again, they know how to speak English when I’m ringing up their items.

“And I heard that they don’t ever have to buy food cause they supply it for themselves. Got everything they need at the colony. Well, ‘cept for clothes or else they wouldn’t be coming here. Ain’t that something?”


“And they always got money. You should have seen how thick that man’s wallet was when he paid for those clothes. Holy moley.”

This seemed odd to Robert. If they kept to themselves and provided for their own necessities, then how did these people get money? How did they find the time to go out and make some money within American society? It bewildered him, so he had pry, even if it meant that he would get to the campsite half a minute later. Besides, explanations were quick from this woman. “How did he get that money?”

“They’re not much into interaction and all, but they ain’t against transactions. You know what I mean? They make enough food for themselves and they still got plenty left over to sell at the farmers market. Or other places. You should see some of the chickens they sell.” The women spread her arms with her palms facing each other to show how massive the birds are. “They’re like ostriches.”

“Hmm. I’ll have to check it out sometime.”

“They’re tasty too.” The cashier must’ve ran out of breath because she finally stopped yapping for a second. Robert thought there was something wrong, but then she said, “Do you want a bag with your purchase?”

“No thanks.”

Out front of the thrift store was the man that had stared down Robert when they were in front of the cashier. He was standing beside a white van that must’ve had fifteen seats, all of which were occupied; except for the driver’s seat. Robert tried to his hardest not to make any eye contact with him. He wanted to get into the driver’s seat and out of the parking lot as soon as possible. However, right before he could get his hand on the door handle, the Lincoln beard man came up to him.

“Hello,” said the bearded man.

“Uh, hi.” Robert looked away from his car and at the man.

“You’re not from this town, are you?” The man spoke English in a slow and correct manner. What a change from the speed talker that Robert had just been talking to. Robert just might have to make some adjustments so that he can understand this guy.


“Are you from any of the townships around here?”


“Are you from any of the counties around here?”

“Nope. I’m from the Twin Cities.”

“Okay. Good. Good. And what do you do in the Twin Cities.”

“I go to the university there. I’m in the social sciences.”

“Okay. Good. Good.”

Robert shrugged his shoulders. “Hey man, what gives? It sounds like you’re interrogating me or something.”

“May I ask a favor from you?”

“Hmmm. I don’t know man. Performing tasks for peculiar strangers wasn’t one of my plans for the day.”

“Please. You could be of much help to my colony. It won’t take much time. I promise you.” The man paused for a second. “I can pay you $200.”

Once money came up, Robert mysteriously became interested. “200 bucks? Really? What do you want me to do?”

“I know it may sound unusual, but would you be willing to impregnate my daughter?”

“WHAT?” This was the most outlandish request Robert had ever heard. ‘Would you be able to impregnate my daughter?’ Who says that?

That old stereotypical situation involving a pitchfork yielding farmer chasing a young man away from his daughter popped into Robert’s head, but this time with some slight adjustments. In this case, the farmer was holding a thick bundle of cash and chasing the young man to his daughter. Robert didn’t know what to think of the situation and got into his car as quick as he could.

“Wait,” yelled the man. Robert had already started the car, so he brought the window down a crack. “Maybe I should do some explaining to help you understand the situation.”

“Yah, that’s right. You have a whole lotta fucking explaining to do.”

“Hey now. We can talk civilized. You wouldn’t want the Lord to hear you cursing, would you?”

“I don’t think the Lord would want your daughter to get knocked up by a complete stranger.”

“He would most definitely. If you knew the reasons, then you would understand that the Lord has sympathy for my choices.”

“Ohh yah. You better have reasons cause right now I feel like you want me to knock up a cow or something so that you can do some experiments on it.”

“No. No. Why would we do such a thing?”

Robert was getting frustrated. This wasn’t going anywhere. He put the car in reverse and started backing out when the man yelled once again.

“Wait. Wait. Look. The reason why I am asking you for this favor is because I don’t want my grandson to be plagued with the same disorders that are claiming the lives of so many of my brethren. It would be most grateful if you accepted my offer.”

“Huh? So that’s what this is all about?”

“Yes. We are in need of some out-breeding at our colony.”

“So your gene pool is shallow and you need a new few more drips.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Hmm, don’t worry about it.” A thought occurred to Robert: why was he the chosen one? Out of curiosity, Robert asked, “Why does it have to be me? That’s what I don’t get. Why don’t you ask some other schmuck that you found in a thrift store?”

“Because you fit our criteria.”

“Which is?”

“You are tall, you have blonde hair and you have blue eyes. Our forefathers from the old country had these features, and we wish to keep them for future generations. Also, you are going to school, which shows that you are mentally capable. These are features that we revere, and with your help we can pass them on.”

This was just too weird. Tall, blonde, with blue eyes? Why was it always these characteristics? Robert was reminded of those Nazi mating camps that attempted to create a ‘superior’ Aryan population. Lebensborn. He learned about those ages ago but he still remembered that they were an attempt at eugenics. He felt a little uncomfortable sitting through that class, what with him having all those characteristics and all, but he knew that he wasn’t superior to any of his classmates. Stemming from that initial stigma, Robert was repulsed at the thought of contributing to a eugenics project now. What had he got himself into?

But then again, maybe he could help these people. They were a little strange and he didn’t know much about them, but maybe they deserved his help. They were just simple folk after all; they probably weren’t planning some elaborate scheme to rip him off, or prank him, or something along those lines.

So Robert was indifferent to the situation. He would have to make a big decision, and he would have to make it soon. What he needed most was some time to think it through.

Finally breaking the silence, Robert asked the man, “Look, you gave me an unusual request that I wasn’t prepared for, so would you give me a few minutes to think this over?”

“I understand and will honor your request. When you have come to your decision, tell me. I will be in the van.”

Robert looked at the situation from several angles. It wasn’t every day that one’s given such a proposition, so a lot of thought had to be put into the decision. A great debate was needed in order to figure out if he was willing to knock up a complete stranger, or to just simply walk away.[1]

On one side, the man did have good reasoning. Aside from the whole Aryan aspect, the man just wanted to ensure that his grandchildren had a lower risk of certain genetic disorders. If these disorders could be prevented, isn’t that a good thing? And who knows, maybe a ton of people in that colony had suffered from or were currently suffering from severe disorders who could have been saved if they had been products of an ‘out-breeding event.’

Unbeknownst to Robert, this had been the case. Members of this man’s colony, at conception, were at high risk for over 30 genetic disorders. Some of these disorders were non-lethal, such as albinism, but other ones posed much greater risks to one’s health, such as cystic fibrosis or Meckel syndrome. These people had been cursed by the founder effect. It wasn’t their fault. Their ancestors started out as a small population, where one of those individuals was a carrier, or maybe even sufferer, of several of these disorders, then he had a lot of children that could’ve passed these genes on to their children, because they didn’t have much of a population to mate with. Several generations later and you still have this problem because these people are genetically isolated from other populations. In all, this means that these defunct genes have stuck around for centuries because there have been few attempts at sequestering them.

This is where out-breeding becomes advantageous. If Robert were to take this man up on his invitation, then he would be doing a favor for a number of people who are yet to be born. He may not be aware of the specific disorders that he could possibly prevent, but he knows that the less disorders the better.

Another way of looking at the request is that it’s an opportunity to participate in an evolutionary cheat. If the meaning of life, from a biological perspective, is to produce as much offspring as you possibly can so that future generations have a higher proportion of your genes, then Robert has possibly found a loop hole. For humans, one of the drawbacks to going around and fertilizing or getting fertilized by every fertile member of your species is that you have to deal with the repercussions. For a woman to do this, she would have to spend her whole life being pregnant, ingesting large quantities of food, while still trying to find a way of supporting herself. The life of a brood mare is no fun (besides that event that causes the nine months of constant belly growth) and is impossible in terms of resources unless someone, or something, is supporting you.

As far as males go, there are only two legitimate ways of circumventing any repercussions. In American society, one is deemed a scumbag[2] if they go around knocking women up left-right-and-centre and then fleeing before they have to deal with the responsibilities of raising a child. So if one wants to increase his gene content in the next generation without having to deal with the resource intensive child raising process, and without being labeled a scumbag, then there are two evolutionary cheats: sperm donors and impregnating a Hutterite.

Robert had never looked into either of the options, or even thought about them for that matter, but here the second option had presented itself. He wouldn’t consider himself a scumbag because the child would be raised in a seemingly tight knit community, and besides, the man had asked him to do it in the first place. Also, Robert would be fulfilling the meaning of life (in some regards), which would be quite an accomplishment for his age and inexperience. Altogether, it was a win-win situation.

However, Robert was bothered by a few crucial details. One thing is that the child would still be a carrier of several of these disorders, and if he or she was to remain in the colony, then there was still a risk that his grandchildren, or the Lincoln beard man’s great-grandchildren, would be susceptible to them. Why propagate one’s genes when they’re coupled with deleterious ones? Maybe this had too much foresight, but it still concerned Robert.

Although, it could be looked at another way. From what Robert had seen, the other Hutterites in the store looked normal. Well, close to normal; the outfits had been a little unorthodox, from a mainstream perspective, but in terms of health they seemed to be normal. They didn’t show signs of any defects, so maybe he is just making too big of a deal out of the whole quality of his offspring. Besides, maybe the child that he makes with this guy’s daughter would be involved in some out-breeding as well, then the whole dilemma was solved. Although, Robert didn’t want to think about that; that’s just too strange.

On the cons side were a few more questions to ponder. What does the daughter think of this? Is this a mutual arrangement, or is the father forcing her to do such a thing? What does she look like anyways? And shouldn’t people have a relationship before they reproduce, instead of just meeting for one occasion? The whole thing seemed very animalistic, like two amphibians broadcasting their gametes into a puddle. And wouldn’t this whole ordeal just make Robert even later to the campsite? He had been worried about the cashier taking to much time, and now he was thinking about going on a tangential adventure?

In the end, the winning argument in the debate was Robert’s desire to lose his virginity. He was twenty years old at the time, and was getting increasingly desperate. It’s not that he was practicing abstinence either; it has more to do with the fact that the opportunity had never arisen. This was probably due to Robert’s complete lack of self-confidence that originated during his formative years.

Throughout his teenage years, his face, back, and neck had been riddled with pimples. He always had multiple zits on his face, and once he got rid of a troublemaker, a new one would sprout up in another area. It had been a gauntlet of acne. Robert avoided mirrors because he knew it wasn’t getting any better. He didn’t want to look at himself, so he figured that other people didn’t want to look at him either.

Naturally, Robert was never quite able to build any self-confidence and because of his insecurities, he never socialized with females. Talking to girls was alien to him. Throughout high school, he avoided them like they were mirrors. So now at twenty, he was still shy around them and could only make rudimentary conversation. How was on supposed to lose his virginity without being able to hold up an interesting conversation with a member of the opposite sex, especially when that someone is opposed to date rape and prostitution?

But now he had the opportunity to lose his virginity without having to converse, or resort to roofies or a lady of the night. Who knows, maybe losing his virginity could help him build the confidence that he has been lacking and soon enough he could get laid in a more conventional way. This opportunity was once in a lifetime, so he might as well not waste it.

Having decided his course of action, Robert walked up to the driver’s side window of the van and tapped on it to get the man’s attention. The man looked over and unrolled the window.

“I’ll do it,” said Robert.

“May the Lord bless you.”

“Uh huh.”

The conversation stopped for a few moments. The bearded man expected Robert to respond differently to his blessings, so things got awkward. Having come to the realization that this boy wasn’t familiar with the customary response, the man gave Robert the instructions. “I will lead you back to the colony. Follow the van. It is about fifteen miles away from here. It should not take too much of your time.”


Robert got back in the Civic, waited for the van to back out, and then he did the same. He followed the van through a network of roads that progressively became smaller and rougher. At the twelve mile point (Robert’s estimate) the paved road turned into gravel. As far as Robert could see, he couldn’t make out any buildings around. He was going into the depths of nowhere, and he was beginning to worry about finding his way out of it.

Finally, the van turned into a road that had some buildings off in the distance. Bordering the road were cornfields on each side. The plants were half-green half-yellow; a state of pigmental purgatory before the harvest. In a way, Robert was going to be like these plants. Not that he was becoming a sessile organism that photosynthesized and turned half-green half-yellow before the harvest, more in the sense that he was going to participate in artificial selection. The bearded man selected Robert to breed with his daughter because of a few of Robert’s traits, much like the natives selecting for certain traits which turned the puny yields of teosintes into the massive modern corn cobs that people seem to enjoy so much these days. These crops in front of him were a product of artificial selection though, whereas Robert was going to be involved in the process.

But then again, everyone is involved in the process and they’re also products. We select our mates for a number of trivial traits, and more often than not, they tend to be traits that wouldn’t have any advantage in nature. ‘Is he cute?’ ‘Is she rich?’ ‘Is he funny?’ ‘What’s her bod like?’ The answers to these questions are trivial in nature. These traits only have a fitness advantage within society. Put a cute rich man out in the wilderness and see how much progeny he can produce. Now that would be an interesting experiment. But it’s artificial selection nonetheless, so if one were to look at this way, then Robert wasn’t the only one who was like these plants; it was all of human society.

Robert redirected his attention to the road. The van in front was kicking up a lot dust, so Robert’s view was clouded. He let the van get farther in front, and once the dust cloud was smaller, he started making out the buildings that were off in the distance. They surprised Robert. He expected these people to live in rustic hovels or something from the medieval times, but that wasn’t the case. There were a couple of huge barns that were made out of metal along the outside of the colony and giant grain silos farther in. They looked like they have been recently constructed too. As they progressed down the road, Robert was able to make out a church and a series of houses towards the center of the community.

The van took a right onto a road, made its way up towards the houses, and then stopped. Not knowing what to do, Robert parked his car behind the van and remained in his car. The man walked up to his window and said, “Wait here. I need to inform my daughter.” Robert complied.

As he was waiting, he saw all the Hutterites file out of the van. They went off in all different directions, each carrying a load of booty with them. A lot of them stared Robert down as they passed, which made him fell incredibly self-conscious. It really didn’t matter though; Robert would probably never see the people again. Once they disappeared into the bungalows that lined this road, Robert no longer had to avoid their glares, so he started looking around the colony.

A tractor drove past, which struck him as odd. These people were more technologically advanced than he had previously thought. But then again, they did drive into town in a fairly new van, so why did he expect them to be complete Luddites?

Robert took a closer view at the houses. They were all pretty similar in appearance except for a few decorations on an odd number of them. They were all painted a pale yellow and were small in size. They reminded Robert of early suburban houses. If one were to transplant one of these houses into an original Levittown, there’s a high probability that nobody would be able to tell the difference. But they served their purpose, he supposed. These people were probably not too worried about the aesthetic quality of their houses, so each of them having an architecturally distinct house wasn’t their highest priority.

The barns were the same way: they were plain and functional. They weren’t those traditional charming wood barns that were painted red and white. They were more industrial. Their roofs and sidings were all an unpainted metal; maybe steel, maybe aluminum. They had a sort of sterile while menacing look to them. Robert glanced over at one of them and had to quickly retreat because the reflection of the sun was so bad.

When Robert stopped rubbing his eyes, he looked up and saw the man standing at the foot of the house nearest to the car. The man was waving, beckoning Robert forward. Robert took this as his cue, so he got out of the car and went towards the door of the house. As Robert passed the man, the man said, “Second door on your right.”

Robert entered the house. He looked around the room, which was a combined kitchen and living room, and noticed that it was bare. Besides the couch and the coffee table, there were no excessive items. There was no TV, computer, or even a radio. Robert began to wonder if they had electricity in these houses, but then retracted that thought when he noticed the light switch.

He moved into the hall that was attached to the living room and walked into the second room. The door was open, so Robert didn’t make any noise entering. In the room was a woman with her face dug into a glossy magazine. Robert couldn’t make out her face, but he could see that her outfit was a little odd. She was wearing a dress much like the other women in the thrift store, but in here case, her dress was cheetah print instead on the more conservative plaid.

“Hello,” said Robert.

She turned to Robert and put the magazine farther down her face. Her mouth was still veiled, but Robert noticed her attractive blue eyes, and under her kerchief Robert could make out her light brown hair. She looked to be about twenty years old and although her face wasn’t fully uncovered, she did look much prettier than the woman that Robert had seen in the store. Maybe this won’t be as bad as he thought.

“Ah, so you’re the suitable bachelor.” She put the magazine down on the bed. Now that her face was fully revealed. Robert saw that she was wearing lipstick, except, the lipstick didn’t look quite right. It seems as though she applied it in a hurry, or she applied it with inexperience, or both. It was a bit of a throw off, but Robert took it for what it was. It was an obvious attempt to make herself more attractive. That was alright though; at least she was trying.

“Uh, yah, I guess so. My name is Rob-”

“Shhh. No names.”


“My father told me not to ask for your name. I’ll oblige.”

“Ohh. Umm. He never told me that.”


“That’s sort of weird though.”

“Not really. It’s so the potential child doesn’t go run off looking for his biological father. If we don’t know the name, then the child doesn’t know the name. It’s as simple as that.”

“Umm, okay.”

“I know it all must seem weird to you, and I’m not going to lie, it’s weird to me, but my father is just looking out for me. I want to have children, but I wouldn’t want them to turn out like Uncle Jakob, or Aunt Johanna, or several of my cousins who didn’t live past their fifth birthdays. I couldn’t put my children through that.”

“Ohh, yah. I guess it makes sense. Sort of.”

“I guess I’m probably talking too much. I don’t want to bore you.” She patted the mattress beside her and said, “You can sit here if you’d like.”

Robert took a few steps forward, but before he could reach the bed, the woman said, “Oh, you should probably close the door first.” Robert obliged and sat down beside the woman. She smiled at him and said, “You probably have things to do, so maybe we should just get on with it.”

With that, she lunged forward to kiss him. Robert, being as inexperienced as he was, took this motion as a threat, so he pulled his head back.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

Robert didn’t know what to say, so he didn’t respond to the question.

“Ohh, I know. You’re one of those guys who think kissing is more passionate than intercourse. I get it. You’ll only kiss the one you love. I read about your type in an issue of Cosmo. I think it’s honorable.” She got up from the bed and said, “Here, I’ll make things easier for you.” With that, she began to undress.

It didn’t take long for her to become fully exposed. She had probably been wearing the same staple outfit all of her life, so getting into and out of her clothes must have been second nature for her. Additionally, she hadn’t been wearing any excessive clothing materials that would’ve slowed down the process, such as tights or jewelry or a promiscuous tube top that one would have to use all their strength to squeeze into or out of. So it all happened in a flash. Robert barely got to see it. She wasn’t going for an erotic striptease or anything like that. She was strictly business. It was functional, just like everything else in the Hutterite colony.

Before getting back on the bed, Robert got a glimpse of her in total. Without her kerchief on, her light brown hair extended down past her nipples, which were centered on a pair of mammaries that were surprisingly above par. Looking at her body, Robert could tell that this woman was accustomed to labour. Her limbs were thick and her frame was robust, yet no part of her was giggly. These qualities suggested that she was no stranger to spending hours preparing a meal or whole days out in the field. It wasn’t unattractive, it was just different.

Up to this point, Robert’s sexual experiences solely consisted of masturbating to videos on the internet, so his expectations of the female body were quite skewed. The porn starlets that he favored tended to be thin with fatty tissue only in select spots. This woman wasn’t anything like those actresses, which was another throw off, but despite the differences, Robert was becoming aroused. This can probably be accounted for by the thought of actually getting to participate in the act that he has viewed so many times.

She moved next to Robert on the bed and said, “Now it’s your turn.” Without further delay, Robert undressed himself. His shirt came off with minimal resistance, yet he couldn’t get his pants off quickly because he couldn’t simply kick off his shoes. The shoes were laced as tight as a football, so he had to untie the laces and then pull at them to loosen the shoes up. He struggled at it for what seemed like minutes, but it was actually just a few seconds. Robert hoped that he wasn’t ruining the mood, if there was one in the first place. If only he had taken off his shoes at the door like a Canadian, then he wouldn’t have to be dealing with this right now.

Once the shoes were off, he got everything else off pronto and headed back onto the bed. The woman was already lying down with her legs spread, but Robert didn’t want to seem like he was rushing it, so he lay beside her. Not knowing what to do next, he attempted foreplay. He moved his hand down between her legs and was met by a thick set of hair. He didn’t know exactly what he was supposed to stimulate, so he started to vibrate his fingers in the net of hair.

This had been another expectation from porn that turned out to be quite different, given a real life situation. Every woman on the internet had been clean shaven, yet here was a woman with enough pubic hair to kick her off a set of a 70s pornographic film. It had thrown Robert off. If she hadn’t had the hair, maybe he could’ve found what he was looking for. But going by touch for the first time and having to navigate some thick brush made for an experience that was far from pleasurable for the both of them.

“You’re too high.” She guided his arm lower, but he made no progress. He just kept patting the hair or gyrating his fingers without hitting any part of the vagina. Having too much heart to let him continue embarrassing himself, the woman soon asked, “Do you just want to get on top?”

“Yah, sure,” responded Robert.

“Okay good. I can do that myself anyways.” She let out a giggle.

Robert didn’t laugh. Instead, he nervously mounted her. As their pelvises got closer, she guided his erect penis into her vagina. He couldn’t go to deep at the moment, so he started off with slow and short strokes. As the session progressed, he slid down further and sped up his pelvic movements. For Robert, it felt good. She seemed to be enjoying it too for she was moaning and encouraging him. It turned out to be much better than masturbating to internet porn.

Despite the good feeling in his body, Robert was having problems getting his mind into it. He kept thinking about the situation, which led him to conclude that what he was doing was wrong. It was severely throwing him off. Achieving orgasm in this condition would be nearly impossible. He had already been on top for nearly twenty minutes, which is a time that would put the average first timer to shame. Robert was an anomaly, and it’s all because his thoughts were suppressing his carnal instincts. If he was to impregnate this woman and get on his way, he would have to sync his mind and body.

So, instead of thinking about the situation and all of its moral dilemmas, he thought about porn actresses that he would like to have a romp with. It worked. After just a few seconds of scrolling through his database, he came up with a number of naughty thoughts that was enough for him to ejaculate.

Robert dismounted her and rolled over to the side of the bed. The woman began to dress immediately. “That was fun,” she said, “but I should get going. You took a little longer than I expected, not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just that I have to go and make dinner.”

“Ohh. Okay. I’m sorry.”

“No, no. There’s nothing to be sorry about. You did me a favor, remember.”

“Uh, yahh, I guess.”

Robert started putting on his clothes, but before he could get both of his socks on, the woman interrupted, “If you want, you can clean up in the washroom. It’s the next room over.”

“Uh, nah, that’s okay.”

“Suit yourself.”

As Robert dressed, a silence filled the room. The woman was content, so she didn’t attempt to make conversation, while Robert was lost in thought. He was starting to regret his decision. It hadn’t been what he was hoping for, after all. Instead of boosting his confidence like he anticipated, the situation did quite the opposite. He felt ashamed and he didn’t want anyone to know about it. Had he been a charismatic dude-bro, he would be telling all of his buddies about the time he knocked up a Hutterite chick for cash and then start high fiving anyone around, but being an introvert he despised people like that, so he wanted to keep this event secret. And secrets, if they were about oneself, tended to be the opposite of confidence boosters.

With his shirt finally on, Robert walked towards the door. “Do you remember how to get back?” asked the woman before he could leave.

“Yah, I think so.” Robert had his hand on the door knob.

“Good. We live out in the boonies, so things get a little confusing. Trust me.”

“Nah. I don’t think it will be a problem.”

“Alright. Again, thanks for everything. I just hope that this time worked.”

Robert shuddered. He didn’t want to hear that. ‘This time?’ That meant that there had been others, right? Maybe in the past she’s had a line-up of eligible suitors who were more than willing to impregnate her. Now Robert had more things to worry about. Mainly, what are the chances of one of those other guys having an STD and what are the chances of it being transmitted to him. Great, not only has his mental health been damaged by this proposition, but now his physical health is threatened. Now he’ll need to visit a shrink and a doctor, or an urologist, or whoever checks people for STDs. That was one of the advantages of limited sexual activity - not having to visit an STD clinic – so it’s no wonder that Robert isn’t familiar with the type of medical professional that takes care of that. It doesn’t matter anyways; they’re all doctors, including the shrink.

Not wanting to respond to that comment, Robert just left the room. He walked down the hall then fled the house. He was in a hurry to get out of there, not only because he wanted to get to the campsite, but also to distance himself from this place. He would’ve been able to flee as quickly as it took him to get into his car and back up had there been no more delays. However, there was one last obstacle left in his path: the father.

He was standing beside Robert’s mom’s car with a bundle of Andrew Jackson’s in his hand. When Robert walked near, the man offered the money by extending the wad towards him. Robert shook his head and made a ‘no thanks’ gesture with his hands. He couldn’t take the money. Robert had never been a religious person, but something about the situation made him morally object to accepting the cash, innately. Not only would he be doing something wrong, he would also be doing it for money. It would make him feel dirty. If he accepted the money, he would feel less like a sperm donor and more like a prostitute.[3] The man further insisted, but not wanting to feel most like prostitute, Robert grabbed the car handle instead of the wad and started to enter the car.

“What is wrong?” asked the bearded man before Robert could get the door shut.

“I don’t wanna talk about it.”

“Did everything go well? Were you able to accomplish your end of the bargain?”

“Yeah,” said Robert reluctantly.

“Then I shall honor my word and give you this money.” The man tried once more to offer the money, but Robert declined by putting his palm up and shaking his hand while making a sour face. “Two hundred dollars. It is what we agreed upon.”

Like naming the amount would change Robert’s mind. “I can’t take it. It’s as simple as that.”

“I don’t see why not. You accepted the deal beforehand, and then you did the act. You are therefore entitled to the money.”

“Just keep it. It’ll probably do you more good.”

“It is yours. I don’t see why you would go through this entire process then decline the original offer.”

“Let’s just say I had a change of heart.” Robert shut the door, started the car, and then backed up once the man got the idea and moved far enough out of the way. Robert turned down one of the gravel roads and disappeared behind a corn field, never to return.

[1] Drive away in this particular instance.

[2] Maybe ‘scumbag’ is the wrong word to use, because after all, a scumbag used to be slang for a ‘condom.’ If these men were to use a scumbag, then the whole situation would have solved itself or wouldn’t have arisen in the first place.

[3] Even though the both receive money for their actions, it’s the principal that counts.

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