Excerpted from an article which appeared in the Dublin Times about a bank robbery on March 2, 1999.
Once inside the bank shortly after midnight, their efforts at disabling the security system got underway immediately. The robbers, who expected to find one or two large safes filled with cash and valuables, were surprised to see hundreds of smaller safes scattered throughout the bank.
The robbers cracked the first safe's combination, and inside they found only a bowl of vanilla pudding. As recorded on the bank's audiotape system, one robber said, "At least we'll have a bite to eat." The robbers opened up a second safe, and it also contained nothing but vanilla pudding. The process continued until all the safes were opened. They found not one pound sterling, a diamond, or an ounce of gold. Instead, all the safes contained covered bowls of pudding. Disappointed, the robbers made a quiet exit, each leaving with nothing more than a queasy, uncomfortably full stomach.
The newspaper headline read: IRELAND'S LARGEST SPERM BANK ROBBED EARLY THIS MORNING
After the morning constitutional, Cu and Despina set out for the Wolf Fertility Clinic in Flagstaff in her truck. As their dust hangs in the air, several of the locals discuss the situation in front of the hospital.
"She's really going to do it? That takes balls," comments Paul Peter.
"I don't think she's quite equipped for that," Jacques responds with a prudish sniff.
Adriana Happydog wanders over before the dust of their passage dissipates. "What's happening?"
"Nothing much," hedges Jacques diplomatically. "Pina's taking Cu into Flagstaff to make a 'bank deposit.'"
With a sound of disgust, Adriana puts one hand on her hip. "Cu bank in Broken Lance, same as all. What they do REALLY?" Her eyes narrow suspiciously.
"Wrong type of bank. He's going to deposit some sperm -- this tribe's version of liquid gold," opines Paul Peter.
"What?" squawks Adriana.
"Despina doesn't like him 'servicing the tribeswomen as if he were a stallion'," explains Paul Peter, ever ready and able to stir the pot of dissension to the boiling point.
"That obligation go with tribe position," Adriana explains frostily.
"He understands that, and so does she, but it's not really safe any more to do it the way he and Tomás are," consoles Jacques, ever the voice of reason and conciliation.
Outraged, Adriana responds with considerable heat. "She no expect that he to abandon tribe."
"She'd never do that. She's just changing the delivery method to be more healthy for all by avoiding possible exposure to STD's. It will consume less of his time, and is even likely to create another source of tribal income," explains Jacques patiently.
Paul Peter interrupts Jacques's glowing description. "How's she going to create income from THAT? I can't believe how she can milk such harebrained ideas for cash. Rusty refrigerators, the incoherent ramblings of Alzheimer's refugees. Whatever happened to rugs, baskets, pottery, and jewelry?"
"Give her time. She hasn't even been here a month yet," Jacques reminds with an admiring smile.
Despina’s stomach rumbles. "Tengo hambre," she states as they hit the edge of Flagstaff, carefully thinking out each thing she plans to say in Spanish before she begins talking.
"(Drive through or sit down?)" Cu queries in Spanish, not taking his eyes from the road.
"(Sit down, have some ice water, relax -- is there an Ellie's Café clone around?)"
Typically, silence meets this query, but soon a hole in the wall named Guy's Greasy Spoon appears.
"(Now, that's an attractive name,)" Despina contemplates aloud.
Cu defends his choice mildly. "Pues, la comida está bien."
"(Well, to me, good food AND cleanliness would be more appealing,)" Despina says with exasperation.
"(It's clean,)" Cu responds with a puzzled frown. "(Does the name mean 'dirty'?)"
They enter while she translates the name into literal Spanish for him. Choosing a booth at the end of the row by the window, Cu seats himself with his back to the wall.
"(I've been thinking about the tribal sex thing,)" Despina adds, sliding in across from him without giving more than a passing glance to the yuppie in the next booth, although normally he'd have merited a good gawk in his own right.
The yuppie's eyes widen at her words. He sets his fork down softly, quietly withdrawing a tape recorder from an equipment bag by his side, carefully positioning a powerful boom mini-mike so that it is focused on the booth behind him. Chewing in a distracted fashion, he eavesdrops shamelessly.
She cuts right to the chase while they await the arrival of the waitress. "(You said the other night that you didn't enjoy it.)"
"(Enjoy sex? I enjoy sex.)"
Catching the eye of his camera man as he emerges from the men's room, the yuppie makes a motion reminiscent of cranking an old style movie camera, nodding toward Despina and Cu's booth. Swiftly changing direction toward their van, his camera man returns with a mini camera, dutifully capturing Cu from two angles as he approaches and slides smoothly into the booth across from his boss.
"(You enjoy it with them all equally? All 68? That just blows me away. How could you?)"
Cu's eyes widen in surprise. "(No. I enjoyed it with my WIFE. The tribal obligation is different.)"
In the silence that follows, the cameraman asks, "What are they saying, Brandon? My Spanish is for decoration only."
"She's asking him about his sex life, and it seems that he has 68 partners... or the result...” Brandon pauses briefly, then adds, “I think."
"He's handsome enough that it could be true," his camera man adds his assessment of the Indian’s photographic value.
"Get real. Nobody's that active," Brandon scoffs, pulling his cuffs down.
Quietly, the yuppie signals for his coffee to be refreshed. He isn't going anywhere until this conversation is over.
"(You just do it. It is required,)" explains Cu, staring at the blue plastic napkin holder as if it were a rare work of art.
"(Don't you ever worry about catching something? To me, AIDS and other things are scary. If you HAVE to impregnate them, you HAVE to risk disease, too, the way you're doing it. You can't even have semi-protected sex…)"
"(Sí, es un problema,)" Cu says softly, meeting her eyes briefly.
The yuppie sputters into his coffee, quickly setting it down and dabbing at his tie.
"(You don't have to, you know,)" Despina continues sympathetically.
Cu looks down, saying nothing.
"(There's a sperm bank in town Mickey told me about.)" She pats the hand holding his cowboy hat over the edge of the table reassuringly.
Cu looks up cautiously, "Mickey?"
"(That's not important. A sperm bank.)" Despina sighs in exasperation.
Cu states solemnly, "(I bank in Broken Lance.)"
Brandon cuts off a laugh.
"No. No el dinero. Un banco de sperm. ¿Sabes qué es esto?" Breaking into English, she says, "I'm sorry. I don't know how to say sperm in Spanish."
Without thinking, Brandon supplies the Spanish, “esperma.”
Cu's eyes widen, giving him the look of a startled deer. Despina freezes. Slowly she turns. The video camera is still running.
In English, she says, "What did you say?"
Smiling in his most engaging fashion, the easy smile of a handsome, popular man, very secure in his position, he repeats esperma, adding sperm in English. Standing, he moves to the head of their booth. Offering his hand to shake, he continues. "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, which I found quite stimulating."
"I'll bet," Despina snarls.
"Would you like me to give him a man's quick version of the function of a sperm bank?"
"That might go down more smoothly,” Despina admits less frostily. “He bristles when I try to talk to him about it. How do you happen to know so much about it?"
Glibly, Brandon continues, watching her carefully, "The local MENSA chapter encourages its members to make periodic donations, and make it available to the general public." He sports a pleased smile when she visibly thaws as he talks.
Despina is quiet while she thinks that one over.
Cu, noting the change in her demeanor, but finding it alarming as he reflects on Brandon’s smug smile, demands, "¿Qué dicen Uds?"
Offering Cu his hand, he says, "I'm Brandon Gannon, CNN. I just did a feature on the Wolf Fertility Clinic."
Despina finally takes his proffered hand when Cu looks as if he doesn't know what to do with it, or might ignore it.
"Your story sounds fascinating," Brandon charges on.
Cu slowly offers his hand. A rapid-fire description follows, which Despina can only partially understand. Cu's eyes never leave Brandon's.
"¿Qué piensas, Pina?" Cu requests.
"What do I think?" she squawks in surprise. "If I didn't think depositing your sperm was a good idea, I wouldn't have coaxed you over here. The tribal women could come any time to be implanted, even if you were busy or gone. You, and they, would face a decreased risk of STD's."
"And," Brandon adds, "You can put a photo and description on file and sell your sperm to others to pay the storage and collection costs. You shouldn't have to beg to attract interested women. May we use your story? Photos of an actual donor, especially such a photogenic one, would sure enhance the feature."
"The tribal council hasn't approved this little venture yet. Hearing about it first on TV might not go down real well," Despina hedges.
"Here's my card if you change your mind. Any photographic festivals coming up on the reservation?" Brandon asks, determined to salvage something from this potential gold mine he sees slipping through his fingers.
"Well, there's getting to be quite a few exhibits in their open-air art gallery, and I'm quite taken with some of the original refrigerator art," Despina reveals, caught off guard by the shift in topic.
"Refrigerator art? Sounds as if we need to make a road trip," Brandon pronounces, upbeat at this affirmation of his instincts.
"Do you know how to get to the Wolf Clinic?" Despina quickly interjects.
They trade directions. "Keep in touch, okay?” Brandon requests, shaking hands again. “And good luck depositing the 'liquid gold'."
Scooping his tape player into his equipment bag, he leaves.
Despina turns, seeing the camera man for the first time.
"Oh, great! Yet another controversy!" she wails apprehensively.
Last updated 3/17/10 Corrected open-air. 3/10/10 Removed second his in a row. 2/27/10 Added “tells”. Adjusted Adriana’s lines to omit helping verbs and articles for authenticity. Added esperma. 2/9/10 Added date on quotation (and comment from Snopes.com.) 2/7/10 Changed Cheryl to Adriana. 9/11/04 Changed follow to understand.
Word Count: 1725