(Marty Fleck is a self-help guru, the author of the international bestseller Where Can I Stow My Baggage? and the syndicated column "Baggage Handling." He is also the pseudonymous protagonist of Bill Scheft's new novel Everything Hurts. He has generously agreed to answer questions from readers of the Huffington Post every Wednesday and Friday.)
Dear Marty Fleck,
My son Larry is 13 years old, a straight-A student and captain of his junior high school baseball team. When and how should I talk with him about taking female fertility drugs?
Concerned and Confused, Sarasota, Florida
Dear Concerned and Confused,
I'm concerned and confused. Are we talking with Larry to warn him, or to recommend taking the stuff? Because if you're warning him, I would just load up the You make choices, don't let choices make you.... line of crap that guidance counselors cough out with the regularity of a bodily function.
And speaking of bodily functions, how is a well-adjusted 13-year-old supposed to cycle off steroids and human growth hormone without female fertility drugs? Dad, do you want your boy in The Show or behind the counter at AutoZone? I'm not saying they' re aren't side effects. Sure, he'll have the biggest jugs in his class, but suddenly, that's a bad thing at 13? Okay, so he'll need the hCG to jump start his testicles after a dose of 'roids, but how can that not count for credit as a independent project for the science fair? Ask yourself what happens when you don't grow a pair. I'll tell you what happens. You turn into a commissioner who won't reprimand Barry Bonds.
Manny Ramirez did us all a favor. He dragged female fertility drugs into the mainstream without having to wait for test results on "Maury." This is a new world. Commercials for erectile dysfunction meds air round the clock. Kids ask questions. It's never too early to have that tough conversation about Viagra with your son. I told my ten-year-old, "Timmy, I know it's hard all the time now...."
The most important thing we can do for our children is read to them at night. May I suggest my international bestseller, Where Can I Stow My Baggage? Especially Chapter 46, "Will My Baggage Be Mistaken for Lou Ferrigno's?"