05/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sheila Simon's Austin Powers Essay: 'A Shagadelic Focus On Family Law, Baby'

Surely you're joking, Professor Simon!

Illinois's new Lieutenant Governor candidate Sheila Simon is a long-time professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Law. During her tenure there, she's published a number of serious essays at estimable academic publications across the country.

This isn't one of them.

In January of 2002, Simon published with the now-defunct Picturing Justice, an "on-line journal of law & popular culture" published out of the University of San Francisco. The title of her essay (no, we're not kidding): "Austin Powers: A Shagadelic Focus on Family Law, Baby."

The hilariously endearing effort describes Simon's use, in lecture, of the complex sexual and familial relationships in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me to explore questions in family law. (Read the whole essay here.)

For instance, she asks: "When Austin marries Vanessa and she turns out to be an exploding femme-bot, what is left of the marriage? Was the marriage void or voidable?" And: "Can Frau Farbissina and Unibrow marry? ... Can Unibrow get health insurance through Frau Farbissina's employment at Virtucon? Does it depend on where Virtucon is located?"

She saves the hardest questions for the end:

But the best set of questions involves the relationship between Dr. Evil and his son Scott. Scott is either the product of artificial insemination of Dr. Evil's sperm or he is the love child of Dr. Evil and Frau Farbissina. Should the nature of the child's origin have an impact on the legal relationships between the parties? How does one establish paternity either way? Are there time limits on establishing paternity, and could those time limits be tolled if the biological father did not know about the existence of the child?

She acknowledges that her students might roll their eyes at her gag. "But," she writes, "they adopted the practice of looking for family law everywhere.

"And that kind of thing really is my bag, baby."