How I Was BornNow I will describe how I was born, how I grew up and how the first signs of genius were discovered in me. I was born twice. This is how it happened.
My Dad got married to my Mum in 1902, but my parents brought me into the world only at the end of 1905, because Dad was adamant that his child should be born at New Year. Dad calculated that conception had to take place on the first of April and only on that day did he get round my Mum with the proposition of conceiving a child.
My Dad got round my Mum on the first of April 1903. Mum had long been awaiting this moment and was terribly thrilled. But Dad, as it seems, was in a very playful mood and could not restrain himself, saying to Mum: 'April Fool!'.
Mum was absolutely furious and didn't allow Dad anywhere near her that day. There was nothing for it but to wait until the following year.
On the first of April 1904, Dad again started getting round Mum with the same proposition. But Mum, remembering what had happened the year before, said that she had no further desire to be left in that stupid position and again would not allow Dad near her. It didn't matter how much noise Dad created, it got him nowhere.
And only a year later did my Dad manage to have his way with my Mum and beget me.
And so my conception took place on the first of April 1905.
However, all Dad's calculations broke down because I turned out to be premature and was born four months before my time.
Dad created such a fuss that the midwife who had delivered me lost her head and started to shove me back in, from where I had only just emerged.
An acquaintance of ours who was in attendance, a student from the military medical academy, declared that shoving me back in would not work. However, the student's words notwithstanding, they still shoved me and shoved me back, for all they were worth.
At this point a fearful commotion broke out.
The progenetrix yells: -- Give me my baby!
And the response comes: -- Your baby -- they tell her -- is inside you.
-- What! -- yells the progenetrix. -- How can my baby be inside me when I have just given birth to him!
-- But -- they say to the progenetrix -- mightn't you be mistaken?
-- What! -- yells the progenetrix -- mistaken? How can I be mistaken! I saw the baby myself, he was lying here on a sheet only just now!
-- That is true -- they tell the progenetrix -- but perhaps he's crawled off somewhere. -- In a word, they themselves don't know what to tell the progenetrix.
And the progenetrix is still making a noise and demanding her baby.
There was nothing for it, but to call an experienced doctor. The experienced doctor examined the progenetrix and threw up his hands; however, he thought it all out and gave the progenetrix a good dose of English salts, and by this means I saw the light of day for the second time.
At this juncture, Dad again started creating a fuss, saying that, surely, this couldn't be called a birth, that this, surely, couldn't yet be called a human being, but rather a semifoetus, and that it ought to either be shoved back again or put into a incubator.
And so they put me into an incubator.