There are only grand-kids around here now which is just fine with me. There was a time, however, where we were up to our necks in our own allotment of pre-school shrimpkins, and quickly decided to take steps to prevent additional madness in the future.
Like many guys of my generation I signed up for a vasectomy, assured extravagantly that it was effective, quick, painless and the responsible thing to do. It’s just a ‘simple procedure’…
The Doctor, whom those in the know referred to as ‘the Pecker Checker’, advised that he performed vasectomies on Fridays, after which the recipient would lounge on the couch Saturday & Sunday, possibly with a bag of frozen peas in his lap on Friday night if there was some slight tenderness or swelling. Monday, you’d be back at it, right as rain, but might want to dead-lift a little less poundage at the Gym.
Not being an utter idiot, I instantly realized that he had to sell vasectomies in this manner otherwise no man alive would submit. All the same my friends who had been through it all agreed it wasn’t ‘too bad’. This is code among men. You simply do not sit down at the bar, cosset your jewelry and shriek, “Aieee. I cried all night!!!!” The implication is, ‘Oh sure, it might kill YOU…But me????’
I mentioned that I was suspicious of all the reassurances. My wife went off on a lengthy diatribe about the pain of childbirth (which would kill a man, of course). She included a delightful anecdote on ‘man colds’ replete with ludicrous vocal impressions of simpering cowards in search of soup; about the stratospheric, heroic lengths that she & all women will go to, selflessly tending to the needs of all around her, one arm possibly hanging on by a mere sinew after a bizarre pruning accident, yet still dutifully foraging for fresh fruit and healthy snacks for the children, occasionally spearing passing bison with the one remaining good arm. I listened with mock interest, recalling the time she was felled and incapacitated by a mosquito bite.
But I did arrive at the clinic at the appointed time on a Friday afternoon and got up on the table, trouser-less and feeling awfully vulnerable. It didn’t get better when he jammed a needle full of anesthetic into my prickly pear.
Once fully numbed I watched as he brandished a scalpel down there. (Stop here for just an instant and imagine yourself in a situation where you have no pants and a stranger is wielding a knife an inch from your schnitzel.) Thank you. We can now continue…
Then the really bad part began: He started fishing around inside my bag with some kind of pliers, maybe side cutters. God only knows what fiendish tool he was actually using but he sure spent a long time monkeying around.
The worst of the discomfort began at that point, as I felt exactly as I had when I fell off the slide at the school playground, which is to say severely nutted with the wind knocked out of me. As I gasped for air, a monumental ache started slowly and down low, but then began to migrate up my body, stopping for a while at my stomach and inducing a wretched nausea. I was clammy and millimeters from spewing right into my own incision.
The Pecker Checker was clearly struggling with this ‘simple procedure’. He admitted as much. He said he couldn’t locate the vas deferens. I craned my neck in disbelief. Can’t find them? Why, surely they’re huge! He ineffectively poked around down there like he was trying to plug-in a Hoover in the dark.
He saw me sweating, and swallowing nervously, now beginning to hyperventilate in an effort to stave off projectile vomiting. I just knew I couldn’t hold on much longer without spraying all over hell’s half acre. This gut pain and nausea was at an unsustainable level, getting worse with every sadistic plunge of the garden shears he had buried up to the hilt in my taint.
Desperate to distract me, the poor man could only start talking about his favourite hobby: Sports Cars. I did not give even one solitary fuck about Sports Cars at that time, unless one of them had an interior you could wash out with a hose, so I could puke in it right this second.
Finally, just in the nick of time, he finished up and composed himself with rather impressive professionalism, I thought. He was back to being the affable Gregory Pecker or Chubby Checker, or whatever the hell his name actually was.
As I left, he blithely reminded me, “On your way home don’t forget to stop at the market and get a bag of frozen peas, in case there’s any inflammation.”
In case there’s any inflammation….
I limped out, walleyed and numb, but at least the nausea had abated. Fuck the Arctic legumes and get me home!
When I arrived, my wife saw the drawn look on my face and fairly blossomed in delight. It was as if she, personally, had struck a blow for equality on behalf of the entire sisterhood of womankind. She was on the phone before I could even get on the couch, guffawing about the pathetic state of me.
I sprawled out weakly, unable even to shift positions without that cold, merciless ache in my ‘region’. In my soft-pants I could literally watch the afflicted area distending into the mother of all hematomas.
Bag of peas, yeah right. It turned out the entire frozen foods section at Safeway wouldn’t have worked for this catastrophe. Ol’ Honoré de Balzac was bloated up like a Boa Constrictor digesting a Virginia Ham. Everything from my waist to my knees started resembling the melty-face guy from Indiana Jones.
Saturday morning, I shuffled painfully to the kitchen to get a cuppa, coddling my package like I was holding a newborn kitten. Baby steps, baby steps, and then ever so gently back onto the couch, settling like an old shack in the mud.
Sunday morning: The visual inspection at shower time made me gasp as I realized that someone had stolen my scrotum and replaced it with a green and purple, rotting cantaloupe. Complete with hair, just like the one we left in our bachelor pad fridge a few weeks too long. My mind flashed back to the violent elbow grease Peck Check applied to my ‘procedure’ and shuddered. Surely, for all that’s holy, if this was normal I’d have heard tell of it by now. Right? Someone would have furtively whispered the horrible truth in a drunken confession. There’d have been a Seinfeld episode, at least.
It was an entire week later, when nothing had improved and my wife was finally tired of all the moaning, that I went to our family doctor. I explained to her the shape I was in, and she didn’t quite believe me, presuming like my wife that I was just some chickenshit who only talks a good game. I insisted that I was in dire straits, honest Doc!, and she said, “Right then, let’s take a look at it…”
Once again I disrobed, chucking the last iota of my dignity.
Now that many days have passed, my whatsit has achieved consciousness, and mind melding with Leonard Nimoy is one of its many options. Doc takes one look at the lurid sight before her and bursts out laughing.
In fact, the Doc actually creases right over, cackling her ass off, as I lay there in humiliated agony. Dammit, she must be in league with my wife!! She doesn’t touch it, nor does she poke it with a pencil, as I suspect she might. She just laughs, and wipes away a tear of mirth. She leaves the room, though, so I am positive that she is bringing all the ladies from reception to gape at my wounded warrior.
I want a goddamn Victoria Cross for this, but I realize I’m just a sideshow! Step right up! Right after the Bearded Lady, direct from the pages of Viz magazine, it’s the “Man with the Unfeasibly Large Testicles”! See his wheel barrow! Watch him haul his nutsack hither & thither in a show of precision driving! Two shows daily!!
‘Infection’, I’m told. Not normal. Very painful. But serves you right….Are you aware of the pain of childbirth?