This is not an advice column, but…

I must remind you, dear reader, that this is the Church of the Bad News.

That said, this one’s primarily for the ladies, and only, perhaps, a small number of you of child-bearing age.  You have one child, or you have no children.  You have tried all you can to have children and have been unsuccessful, or you don’t want children, or you don’t want any more children.

Whatever the case, you know it’s going to happen, and it’s probably already happened more times than you care to count.  Someone is going to ask you when you plan to give your little Brooklynn or Connor a sibling.  Or someone’s going to ask you when you and your partner plan to bring your own bundle of joy into the world.  This questioner may know you well, and they may even have some idea about your financial or medical situation as it may influence your decision to procreate.  You may even have answered this question several times before to the same person.

Whether or not the person asking is aware of the reason for your decision, or even whether or not you’ve made the decision, you don’t need me to tell you that the question is reprehensible.  So I’m here to offer you a template for responding to such a question, one that gives the inquirer an answer that they would deserve.

The next time you are asked the ugly question from a smiling or perhaps cloying face, just smile warmly in return and say something like the following:

‘Well, you know, there are already 7 billion human beings crowding the planet, tearing chunks out of the earth and soiling the biosphere.  Why would I want to add yet another rapacious, landfill-packing consumer?

If the questioner doesn’t immediately turn away from you in confusion or disgust after that, feel free to continue:

‘Of course, I don’t have anything against reckless procreation, per se.  Even though my uterus isn’t a clown car, I can see where my ego might get a nice boost from pushing out a few more randomly sequenced iterations of my DNA and then spending massive amounts of time and energy nursing them out of the longest period of helplessness of any in the animal kingdom.  After all, when our teeming masses of self-indulgent parasites finally destroy the planet’s ability to sustain our species, at least the bigger, stronger children will have something to eat, and they won’t have to face their dismal, agonizing ends on empty stomachs.’

In advance, I say, you’re welcome, sister.

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