Gwen Knapp of Sports on Earth wrote a fantastic piece on Barry Bonds and what he's been up to since he was forced out of Baseball. You should really read the whole thing if you haven't already, and I'm actually not too happy about spoiling any part of it, but there's an anecdote that quite simply captured my imagination.
When Rueter and wife Karla went into baby-making mode in 1999, their stalled fertility became a running joke in the Giants' clubhouse. On a road trip that summer when families were invited to come along, Bonds approached the couple on the team plane and booted Kirk out of his seat. "He said, 'Go back and play cards or whatever you do. I'll talk to Karla.' The whole trip, he sat there with her, and they were just talking, and he was telling her how to get pregnant and what I had to do," Rueter said by phone. "She got off the plane, and she was laughing. She said, 'I think Barry's going to take credit if we get pregnant, after all the things he was telling me.'"
And then... BOOM. Karla got pregnant and the Rueters now have two children.
Is Barry Bonds a modern day Zeus? Is Barry Bonds so good at observing human behavior that he can figure out what a pitcher's going to throw next as well as he can figure out what your hangup is? Or is Barry Bonds good at only two things: smashin' dingers and makin' babies?
Really, though, the idea of the Home Run King mansplaining baby-making to the wife of one of his teammates is so antithetical to the public perception of Barry Bonds that this story immediately takes on a mythic status. And what is myth but fanatical hyperbole and embellishment?
Here, then, are the baby-making tips Barry Bonds provided to Karla Rueter on that fateful flight:
Grip it and rip it. "Shake Kirk's hand before entering your bedroom. Then make a sarcastic comment about his goofy smile. It's goofy, right? Like Woody, from that story about the toys, right?" (That's right: it was Barry Bonds -- not Malcolm Gladwell -- who brought the rhetorical "right" into modern colloquial overuse.)
Keep the thermostat under 68. "Let the heating of your meeting give you warmth. Also, you guys aren't made of money."
Sit on the slider. "Bringing food into the bedroom can spice things up both figuratively and literally. Also, he knows that you're expecting a fastball."
Use an ovulation predictor kit. "That's just science. And they don't cost much. They detect increases in luteinizing hormones through your urine. I can show you how to use it, if you want."
Try different positions. "Maybe just talking about not having children or adopting children will take the pressure off of you working to conceive a child. It shouldn't be work, it should be fun!"
Imagine I'm there with you the whole time. "If you forget any of my helpful tips, just think of me and it'll all come back to you. That's right. My mind inhabits space and time unlike any other human on the planet. I'm Barry Bonds."
Now, go forth, gentle reader, and procreate. Or, just think about what it'd be like to have Barry Bonds stick his nose in your baby-making business.