The Sex Life of the Spineless Jellyfish

Much has been written about the sex life of the polyp, with its penchant for single-celled soirees and microscopic lingerie, but what of the larger organisms like the spineless jellyfish sometimes colloquially referred to as the suburban male?

Cruel comparisons aside, let us place this misunderstood creature beneath the lens of a microscope, figuratively of course, since he’s not likely to fit under there literally, with his bulbous head and bulging mid-section. Science certainly owes him some special attention; heaven knows he’s not getting it from his wife!

Like a piece of bewigged driftwood, the suburban male often manifests catatonia in captivity. When his natural instinct for philandering has been thwarted by propriety (often in the form of a shotgun wedding), his reproductive urges become entangled in confusion and ill-fitting leisure suits.

As the poets have observed, in spring, a young jellyfish’s fancy turns to fertile thoughts of love, while the suburban male’s fancy turns to thoughts of fertilizer. For nothing impedes procreative progress more than a good long nap while pretending to water the lawn from a hammock.

The suburban male, unlike his jellyfish counterpart, cannot just wiggle his way out of home-improvement projects. In fact, he can barely wiggle his way out of home. When all of his energy is exhausted in feigning exertion, what chance has romance?

A litany of mundane tasks routinely depletes his ardor. For example, in order to avoid pruning the hedges, he must pretend to putter in the pantry, and in order to avoid repairing the misaligned pantry shelves (the ones he improperly installed), he must pantomime the preparation of a meal that he is incapable of producing without a trip to the local grocer that just happens to be in proximity to the pub.

With spirits uplifted (in hand as well as heart), it is here, at last, that his amorous impulses have a chance to flower and seek the full bloom of expression. And it is here, alas, that the bloom will hastily wither when his wife appears (summoned at the behest of the management), after his drunken rumba with a coat-rack horrifies onlookers and threatens to clear the room.

An ensuing hangover does little to enliven his flagging love life at home.

If only this beleaguered being didn’t have to fabricate debilitating injuries to forestall demanding tasks like delousing the dachshund or buttering the toast. Then perhaps he might take his wife dancing to invigorate their relationship. Yet the specter of the rumba incident looms large, inhibiting the next step (definitely not the rumba).

All the while his undersea counterpart, the spineless jellyfish, pulsates with carefree abandon, procreating at a blushingly enviable rate. Unimpeded by its shapeless girth and clumsy gesticulations, this laughably gelatinous mass fearlessly and successfully courts the female. The same can be said of the suburban male, with the exception of fearlessly and successfully.

What accounts for the disparity? Scientists speculate it has something to do with the tentacles.