I’m in the room when my first daughter is born. It’s an amazing experience so I decide to share it with people of Basingstoke. Health and Safety hasn’t been invented yet so I and a couple of mates hire a Transit and collect a vanload of old mattresses from the Town Dump. It’s not a Recycling Centre yet.
We build a larger than life model of the female reproductive system. Installations haven’t been invented yet either.
The way it works is that you turn up at the entrance and pay 50p to the Ovaries on Duty. Then you make your way down the fallopian tubes. It’s dark and the fallopian walls are strangely stained like used mattresses.
You arrive in the womb, created from a Government Surplus parachute. It’s dark and very warm, like wombs are, as you remember. You can hear a loud heartbeat and the whistling of air in and out of the lungs. There are headphones you can wear to listen to a birth-related programme of music and poetry. There are leaflets about the wonder of birth and screens showing movies about childbirth. Time passes in an developmental way until you are fully gestated, engaged and the cervix is at full dilation.
You make your way down the cervical tract and arrive in a brightly lit, white-painted room where a masked midwife slaps you on the back and gives you a Rebirth Certificate.
The exhibition is a hit with local children, some of whom are born two or three times a day.
It’s destroyed on the Sunday by a visiting cleric, from whom the Ovaries on Duty fail to confiscate an umbrella.
He has no problem down the fallopian tubes, reaches the womb and gestates for an hour or so.
Unfortunately, during his rebirth, his umbrella becomes jammed across the cervix which has not reached full dilation. He is the cause, victim and survivor of a total cervical collapse.
At the time there are four or five people in the womb, all of whom are rescued by Caesarean Section.