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Sex, drugs and the Oregon spotted frog

Dear Uma: It never fails to amaze me how much energy one person can possess; how the efforts of one individual can change so much.

Dear Uma:

It never fails to amaze me how much energy one person can possess; how the efforts of one individual can change so much. It seems all my friends and acquaintances have this sort of force and I am faced almost daily with news of their interests and accomplishments. It makes me happy for them but at the same time it makes me tired, and feeling somewhat aimless.

Why is it that I have never thought of saving a threatened species? It’s not as though there is a shortage of information about them, in fact there is a readily available list of endangered things that I have read many times without once thinking, “I could rescue this bug, critter, weed, whatever, from becoming extinct; what could be a more useful way of spending my time?”

Instead, I fritter my days and nights watching TV, staring out the window, attempting various handicrafts, and making lists of things to do - when I have some time.

My congratulations to Sara and Jason for their commendable (and publicly commended) efforts to bring the Oregon spotted frog back to California. Not only was I unaware they were involved in this mission, I am sorry to say I didn’t even know about the looming total demise of the creature in question. And who could have imagined, having spent time with this dynamic couple, when they would find the hours necessary for such an endeavour among the mere twenty-four-hour allotment we all share? They have a child, they grow a successful market garden and own and operate a store in which they sell their own and other growers’ produce. Sara is pursuing a master’s degree and Jason is writing a book on organic gardening. Oh yeah, they also do a lot of volunteering with community gardens and youth groups. I am exhausted simply enumerating the many chores and tasks they accomplish everyday.

The Oregon spotted frog now has my attention; I am doing some research of my own and along with a cheque to support the efforts of your enterprising son and his equally energetic wife, I am sending this information which I believe is quite new to the saving of the Oregon spotted frog program.

To be honest, I sort of came across this news while pursuing other interests, but I believe it is a valuable piece of knowledge.

I was casually looking at love potions, which I would like to remind you is something married people do after a few years. You and Juan are still fresh to one another, but remember when you and Andrew were going through a bit of a ‘slump’ and you bought all that lewd underwear? Anyway, there is a new product called Eroxil for men and a matching one for women called Erosyn. It was difficult to tell from the ad whether one ate this stuff, drank it, rubbed it on the body, or chanted while pouring it over one’s partner’s head. There was no mention of what the product actually is: liquid, ointment, powder, pill, or tool. After giving up trying to figure out how one would use the product, I went on to read the promises of joy and satisfaction in the testimonials.

It was soon apparent that there was a gender divide in the results. Men were pleased to report they could “function any time” and “it’s like I’m a teenager again.” There was one happy fellow who said it worked even though he was overweight and diabetic. The women said it gave them the “ability to climax” and “put ecstatic joy back into my marriage.” I am assuming it also worked on overweight and diabetic women. That’s nice, and lends credence to that old saying ‘there’s a lid for every pot.’

I wondered what would happen if there was a mix up at home and the man took Erosyn and the woman took the Eroxil: a married woman feeling like a teen ager and a man feeling ecstatic joy in his marriage doesn’t sound like a good combination; it sounds like a recipe for disaster. In my newly adopted role as an active and concerned consumer, I dashed off a note to the manufacturer asking if such an event had occurred, and suggesting strongly that there be a note of caution included in the instructions. I didn’t mention that I had not personally encountered their product; that would take away all the power of my message.

At any rate, it was while I was engaged in this pursuit that I came across news of a love potion for the Oregon spotted frog! Talk about synchronicity!

Due to their threatened extinction, the frogs are being bred in captivity and the Vancouver aquarium is one of the places involved in the effort to create the ideal situation for frogs to fall in love and so save their species from vanishing from the face of the earth. That’s a lot of pressure, and apparently the candlelit dinners and the Barry Manilow music were not having the desired effect of getting the frogs to hop to it.

Enter the frog fertility doctor, Dr. Lance Trudeau, who has come up with a chemical mixture that induces ovulation, sperm production and thus, mating. Now there is a doctor who specializes with a vengeance, unless he is also involved in the concocting of Erosyn and Eroxil. Do they also induce ovulation and sperm production? Somehow I don’t think these actions are what the users would have in mind, as an imperative to save their species is not likely to be at the top of their needs and wants. It would certainly contribute to a perhaps desirable feeling of desperation and urgency; both emotions strongly present in sex with a new partner. It seems that is the objective; to create a new partner feeling with one’s old partner.

Dr. Trudeau blames stress on the frogs’ failure to have sex, and the fact that life in the aquarium, while easy, is vastly different from life in the wild. “Good nutrition does not guarantee good mating,” says the doctor. Ain’t that the truth? There is something about a bit of risk that really jump starts the libido, which is something the manufacturers of human love potions fail to consider. They ought to recommend using Erosyn and Eroxil in new and unusual surroundings; places which might present a frisson of risk. A bathroom, for instance, in a home in which the doped and randy couple are guests for dinner, or for those who love to flirt with danger, the hyena’s pen at a zoo, or the backseat of a stolen car being driven at high speed from a bank robbery. These thoughts led to another dashed note to the manufacturer. I am bound and determined to follow the example of Jason and Sara in becoming a more involved citizen.

Feeling depleted from all this research and the ensuing good work of my letters to the makers of the love potion Ero, I responded to Dr. Trudeau’s remark about good nutrition not necessarily making good sex by taking myself out for a late lunch to BJ’s where I enjoyed a Mexican burger with sweet potato fries.

Refreshed and rejuvenated, I tackled once again the issue of ramping up my own sex life. I found something on Ebay which I believe may add some real excitement to Pete’s and my marital closeness - frog patterned pyjamas. I couldn’t tell if the design was Oregon spotted frogs, but I will start our enchanted evening by telling Pete about this courageous and beleaguered amphibian, their daring doctor and his chemical solution to their dilemma. If that story doesn’t make Pete want to rip off my frog pyjamas we may be in real trouble.

Wish me luck.



Heather Bennett is a writer who lives in Watson Lake.