After the seventh week on the job, the carpenters were finally getting the skeleton underway and we were all asking: Were we going to be a male or female?

A chromosome count came back, we had one X one Y.

Since I was going to be a boy and probably a professional athlete, I became concerned about the muscle workers. When I dropped into the gym and saw them doing curls with tiny barbells, I was even more worried.

I later found out they were trying to avoid any appearance of steroid use.

And the coordination guys, I swear they were on break during the whole gestation.

The height engineers weren’t much help either.

All I wanted was to have 70 percent legs, like the rest of the population. But they went with the 50/50 model, like I was still picking potatoes in Ireland.

Halfway through the eighth week, we were officially promoted from embryo to fetus. There was a small ceremony, cheese and crackers.

   Meanwhile, new wires were going up in what they called the lung area. The workers there were wearing lab coats and oxygen masks. I never had a clue what they were building, until the doctor was spanking me on the butt.

Other scientist types were working on the eyes. They remind me of the crew that built the Hubble telescope. They did such a poor job that I’ve been increasing prescriptions ever since.

I was much happier with the sound guys. When they brought in the giant drum set, I knew right then I’d be ready to rock. But they went a little overboard on the sound receiving system”it took me 20 years to grow into my ears.

By week 14, the hot tub had been filled and two weeks later we started swimming lessons.

If you’re a neuron, it’s great to see your work pay off, to see those nerves firing and the arms and legs moving. Otherwise, life would just be a pain.

All of a sudden, in week 20, the hair cells went berserk. They covered the whole body with fur, to make me look like a monkey when I came out. Fortunately, the skin cells weeded out all of this lanugo stuff before the end of construction.

Otherwise, I had it made. Floating around”kicking a wall when I wanted to. Never had to eat”the placenta was the best invention I’d ever seen, at least before we had online grocery shopping.

But, you remember what it was like? Dark and getting a little cramped.

By the week 39, the living arrangements were ridiculous. I could barely reach to scratch an itch.

I began to get panicky; in fact, I’ve been claustrophobic ever since.

Finally, I saw a light and started toward it. Naturally, I don’t remember the whole crazy birth process but it was kind of like sliding down the covered water slide at the Park.

By this time I’d gotten my final promotion”to the top job! I was in charge of everything.

But, you know that hair cell never let it go. I have to get the eyebrows trimmed at least twice a month.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.