H is for Homunculus

For some alchemists, the ultimate goal of alchemy was not chrysopoeia but rather the artificial generation of a human being. And why not? Certainly lead to gold is a hell of a feat, but to create life, even artificial life… Well, wouldn’t that really be something?

And so, it’s my extreme pleasure to announce that I’ve bested the alchemists of old! Following the guidelines laid out by Paracelsus in his seminal (HA HA HA) work, De natura rerum, (not to be confused with Lucretius’s much earlier De rerum natura, I placed the sperm of a healthy human male into a horse’s womb and left the whole mess in a flask (I would like to point out that Paracelsus calls for the use of a cucurbit, a term that could mean either the flask portion of an alembic or a gourd. After much deliberation, I opted to use a flask, principally because Paracelsus lived several hundred years before Carolus Linnaeus and so the term cucurbit could not possibly have been applied New World gourds yet. ((Also, after the effort I went through to get a horse’s womb (((FOUR ethnic grocery stores before I found one! FOUR!))), there was no damn way I was going to go back out just to buy a fucking pumpkin.)).) to rot until such a time as a half-formed human emerged from the mess.

I then threw all that shit away, because of course that was no way to create an artificial man. It just smelled terrible. The horse womb smelled terrible to begin with, and a week in the sun full of jizz didn’t help anything in that regard.

But the truth is that I’d created an artificial man years before, and all I had to do was look in the mirror to find it. Behold! The artificial man! Its eyes do not function so it uses plastic lenses to correct its vision. Its body does not produce enough energy to meet the demands placed on it so it fills itself with chemicals. It does not sleep at night; it sits alone in the dark at night and it stares at the wall, waiting for day.

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