In the Justice League of America, certain superheroes were a big pain in the ass, but they had these really specific powers that would sometimes be Just What Was Needed. Aquaman, for example, had to get wet at least once an hour or he would die:

"Don't worry Green Arrow, we are all tied up in Starro's Lair, but Batman estimates that he can get the lock open in two hours."

"But we don't have two hours, Green Lantern! Aquaman will die without contact with liquid!"

"Quick, Hawkman! Pee on him!"

"Why do I have to be the one to pee on him?"

"Because your only power is flying, and we pretty much all can do that. Make yourself useful. Pee."

But they put up with Aquaman, because once in a while the only way to thwart a crime was to talk to a fish, and only Aquaman could do that.

Matter-Eater lad could eat rocks. Mister Miracle could escape traps.

I had a dream about reading a comic book with a character called Sleepo, who (due to a contrived circumstance) wound up on an adventure with the JLA. He was annoying and made bad jokes and smelled awful and had a grating laugh. His only power was that he could fall asleep instantly, under any circumstance. And the JLA had to go through some hall of traps/puzzles to get to the bad guy, and it turned out that the key to EVERY trap was having Sleepo go to sleep in the right place, and he was the only valuable member of the team on that adventure.

Get what I’m talking about? The kind of superhero who is worthless and irritating, but sometimes is the only person who can do a particular job. Got it? Good.

Let’s draw an analogy to the human body. If you want to talk about worthless and irritating, you are going to be talking about testicles. They dangle from a man's body, targets for any knee that wants to inflict pain. They hurt after teenaged make-out sessions without release, they tell him to do things he really shouldn't do, they hurt when someone sits on his lap the wrong way, they need adjusting when he is giving a formal presentation, they are just a completely annoying high-maintenance body part. Yeah, yeah, they produce some useful chemicals - so does my adrenal gland and it isn't always demanding special attention and protection and getting its hairs caught in the soap.

”Oh, Doug!" I hear you object, "They also produce sperm!” Oh, yes... the sperm. Talk about a bothersome fluid! (I almost said "pain in the ass" there and then thought better of it. You perverts.) Your testicles hang around all day ("hang around" - this is a very difficult subject to talk about without making unintentional puns) producing this stuff which is sticky, gross, and stains things. The whole birth control industry is based on this stuff constantly getting where we don't want it to be. I know that in the heat of the moment some people get into it, but let's face it, in the cold light of day, nobody really loves man-mucus.

But we tolerate the testicles and their vile product, because there are times in our lives when we want to have children. When Laurel and I decided that we wanted to add a baby to our family, there was only one member of the Justice League of Doug’s Body that could help. I remember the morning of that decision. I was in the shower, washing them, and I said, "Okay, I've been dealing with you for dozens of years now. And finally, finally, your time has come. You had better have been worth it; that's all I'm saying to you. You had better damn well have been worth it."


Update: As of this moment, two years later, the verdict is in: They were worth it.

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Douglas J. Shaw,  2007