Tales of my bizarre childhood – a funny memoir.

Growing up in an isolated Australian mining town can make or break you. Especially, if you are different. The (un)Lucky Sperm is a funny memoir — a collection of honest, harrowing and absurd accounts.

Until he was seventeen, Brett Preiss lived in the dusty outback of Australia, where he was one of four siblings in a dysfunctional family. He learned how to survive under the most bizarre and extraordinary circumstances.

In this book, he shares the trials and tribulations of his youth through anecdotes that will leave you in tears of joy or sorrow. Travel back to the ’60s and ’70s and watch Brett transform from a sperm to adolescence. Follow him having his first piano lesson, first sewing machine, first kiss and first ejaculation.

The story is moving and disturbing, brutal yet hilarious. Cheer him along in his struggles and triumphs until he leaves the desert and heads off to college.

If you like stories full of sarcasm and observational humor, then you are going to love this book.

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Excerpt from The (un)Lucky Sperm © Copyright 2023 Brett Preiss

Part I

Seeds of Fate

It was 1962. Dad had an orgasm, while mum was thinking about her new shoes…. and so, my journey began.

Before I knew it, I was suddenly under pressure to make a decision that would affect the rest of my life. As a sperm I had to decide to either sink or swim. It was a very hasty decision amidst all the noise and flurry of millions of my competitive spermatozoa friends. I had no idea where I came from, where I was heading, what was I going to do when I got there, and why I had no arms or legs.  I just knew I had to stay afloat, fight the current, and struggle the tide…. which coincidentally, became metaphors for the rest of my life.  So, I just went for it. I made it to the finish line first and as result, I now have to feed myself and work every day. How (un)lucky was that?

They say the odds of us being conceived comes out to 1 in 400 trillion. Yep, the fact that we’re alive, healthy and able to work from 9 to 5 is literally a miracle. I once heard a Buddhist version of the probability on this ‘miracle’. Imagine a lifebuoy thrown into an ocean, with only one turtle living in all of the oceans, swimming around underwater somewhere. The chances of me being conceived is the same as that of Mr Turtle sticking its head out of the water, into the middle of that life donut. Amazing. Probably the same odds as my dad having an orgasm, sober.

So, I guess that means I was the lucky sperm, right? Or unlucky, depending how life plays out after one’s delivery. It is all a matter of perception. Some people look at life as a glass half empty. Others see it half full. Some parents think it is normal to tell their child that if they eat watermelon seeds a tree will grow in their stomach. I think it is absurd. Some people might find collecting toenail clippings as fascinating. I find it weird. Some parents think spanking a child is ok. I don’t. I mean, when they smack hard enough to draw blood, I think a line has to be drawn as well, don’t you?

Speaking of blood, on April 20th (funnily enough, the same day as Hitler’s birthday I might add) they pulled me out of my mother’s vagina with forceps (because mum couldn’t be bothered pushing), cut the only authentic connection I ever had to her, and slapped my ass until I screamed. They wrapped me up in some cheap tea towel and whisked me away to the baby room, so my drunk father could try and wave at me. If that wasn’t enough trauma for one day, the very next morning, the very same doctor was standing between MY legs this time, removing my foreskin. Ouch! Why were they clamping my penis and hacking into it with a blade? Apparently, just so I could ‘look like daddy’. The worse thing is, I didn’t get a say in it at all. Mongrels.

It wasn’t long before my boozed-up daddy with the neighbour’s tipsy seventeen year old daughter under his arms, were at the hospital standing beside me and my pretty mother. Mum may have been drained from giving birth and her lady bits may have been in tatters but she always wore lippy and looked stunning. Dad bent over and covered me with his beer breath declaring, “We’re going to call him Bradley”. Mum, feeling quite irked with her drunk husband and merry neighbour, rolled her eyes over to the television to see what she was watching before the two undesirable guests turned up. It was a western television series starring James Garner as Brett Maverick. Without a second thought, she rolled her eyes back to Bonnie and Clyde standing beside her bed, and declared. “Nope, he will be called Brett. Now the both of you piss off.”

I can only be thankful mum wasn’t watching ‘Lassie’.

Lucky or unlucky, that set the scene for my bizarre childhood.

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