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Billy Genes

Most men, on some level, freak out when they’re learning that you’re going to become a Father for the first time.

A great many things race through your mind, like:

  • Oh why, why, why, why, why, did I insist that we have ‘Natural Love’ Wednesdays?
  • Where am I going to put all my porn now that we have to have a ‘nursery’?
  • I have enough gas in the car right now to at least make it to Greensboro….
  • I thought Dr. Drew said the ‘pump n’ pray’ method worked as well as it sounds?!

And then there’s the 9mos waiting for the baby to come. It’s a real process. I know this from watching family members and frien–oh hell, who am I kidding? My students. I learned this from watching students that I’ve taught over the years. It’s a long process with LOTS of make-up homework, but little-to-no gym class.

And when you’re a black couple having your first kid you just think, “Please Batman, don’t let this baby come out in this operating room embarrassing me in front of these white people”.

Step lightly, pops.

This wasn’t as much of a problem back in the day when black people had their own hospitals: the field. But things have changed since Reagan was in office, so now black couples worry about grander things like, “do you think our child will go to Hillman too?”, or, “I don’t like that Urkel boy coming around here everyday to visit Laura. I think he might kill us and wear our faces.”

But with the life expectancy of black males teetering somewhere between “breath fog on a window pane” and “newborn sea turtle”, many parents keep their fingers crossed for a healthy baby. One that will perhaps make money quick by playing ball or pouring champagne on the asses of other brown girls in music videos.

What they don’t cross their fingers for is this:

"If we squeeze in close enough, maybe we can mask her with our brownness."

Black British couple Ben and Angela Ihegboro gave birth to baby girl Nmachi.

Nmachi was born a healthy blonde-haired and skin so white the couple momentarily thought they were in Canada, or at least Portland.

Said new-father Ben: “When that baby came out of my wife I didn’t know whether to look for 3 wise men or buy her shoes just so I could put them on her feet and shine them.”

Angela agreed: “It was like my boss suddenly walked out from between my legs.”

Given the unusual birth, in hindsight none could blame the reaction of the parents or the hospital staff on hand.

Said Dr. Pale: “We saw this beautiful baby emerge from Angela, and naturally, the first thing I did was mouth to Nurse Betty ‘Call. The. Cops.‘ I was sure the Ihegboros had somehow switched babies on us. We even had the emergency locks activated in the room.”

Once all involved saw the umbilical cord though, much of the fear subsided.

Then came the hard part: naming the child.

“Well, the hospital staff were really, really interested in helping us come up with a name,” said Angela Ihegboro, “but most of them didn’t seem right: we got a lot of suggestions for the name ‘Katie’. ”

"I'd like to do a Pigment Test on your baby: we've had some crazy shit happen here this week."

The couple settled on the name ‘Nmachi’.

Already little Nmachi is making a name for herself, impressing family and neighborhood friends alike.

“It’s certainly a little hard when your infant gets seated before you at Denny’s, and it can be a little anxious sitting her on the curb so we can get a taxi faster, but dammit, you look into her little blue eyes and you just know she’s worth it. Our property value doubled!”

Still, the irony doesn’t escape Ben: “Mariah Carey…Eminem…Flava of Love..Michael Jackson–even when we try to make something our own it still comes out white. I give up.”

Geneticists feel Ben’s pain. Says one noted German geneticist, “after seeing pictures of that baby, we stayed up all night getting drunk and high re-writing ROY G. BIV. We’ve merely decided to call this the ‘Gumbel Effect’. ”

Angela, sighs, already the weight of her latest newborn catching up to her as she raises little Nmachi’s mouth to her chest to feed.

“I just don’t know how I’m going to do this child’s hair.”

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