I just had a phone call that was either the most hilarious or cringe-inspiring in my life. In less than a five-minute conversation, I think I got whiplash from the number of times I oscillated between the extremes. Tennis match spectators had nothing on me. It should have come with one of those Hollywood preview voice-overs: “You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll curl up into a fetal position.”
As much as my wife and I love our little peanut, we’ve decided she will be an only child. The complications my wife had with the delivery, combined with a desire to attend my child’s high school graduation sans a walker, made it more or less a foregone conclusion. So, yay us, doing our part against global overpopulation. Or speeding up the arrival of Idiocracy.
Of course, the route to this particular outcome was still in debate until a few months ago when my wife was told she could never go back on the pill. Something about blood clotting or blood thinners or whatever. So our choices were reduced to using condoms for the next ten years (gosh, how fun) or else I go in to lose my manhood. The snip-snip. The unkindest cut.
Hold on, let me go back and think about that condom option. I’ve also heard pulling out is fun.
Alright, fine. Vasectomy it is. But wait, there’s more. I can’t just walk into the hospital, find the closest scalpel, then drop trou. No, for this procedure, I need to officially don my serious hat. And sign papers with this serious hat. And do interviews to make sure I’ve thought this thing through. Because there seems to be a large contingent of guys who get vasectomies on a whim. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the morning and thought, “Nothing on the agenda today? Maybe I should go get my nads chopped off.”
So a month ago I had to schedule a phone interview, and last week was the first time they were available to call me. Now that I’ve done that phone interview, I have to watch a video and sign a waiver. Then they will allow me to schedule an appointment at least two weeks out. To buy a gun only requires a 72-hour waiting period, but to shoot blanks, you’ve got to REALLY want it.
“Hi, I’m calling about your upcoming vasectomy,” came the way-to-chipper voice when I answered the phone. “Do you have time to talk about the voluntary sterilization process?”
Look lady, I don’t mean to critique your bedside manner, but I hope you’ve never used that as a pick-up line.
“Okay, first question: Have you ever had surgery or any other medical procedure on or around your scrotum?”
I guess we’re done with the small talk.
Wait, is this a trick question? Are you trying to get me to admit that, yeah, I’ve already had multiple vasectomies because I get a rush off of sharp objects near my nether regions? Yes, I know that testicular cancer is a thing, but is it so common a thing that the first question is about history of scrotal surgery?
I don’t know how many questions or comments went by while I think of all the different types of scrotal surgery. By the time I had recovered from that first doozy, we were already discussing how the day of the procedure would go.
“Okay, you’re going to need to shave your pubic hair that morning. The entire scrotum and base of the penis need to be completely bare.”
Don’t black out. Don’t go catatonic. There might be something in this conversation that will be important or useful. Or, failing that, might at least provide for a funny blog post.
But I’ve met myself. I’ve seen myself handle sharp objects. I don’t care if it’s a safety razor, if I try for the upside-down shave of that particular body part, I might as well save my money and your time. Because the surgery will already be completed, in a less than sanitary manner, by the time I show up. And I know that hair might make it difficult to get through, but do you think a freshly scabbed-over coinpurse with gauze attached is going to be easier?
Maybe I can just find and olde-tyme barber with a straight-edge razor and give him an extra couple dollar tip. Okay, nurse practitioner, you were saying?
“Make sure you don’t take any blood thinners, including aspirin, for two weeks before the procedure, because we don’t want you to bleed excessively from your scrotum or testicles.”
Cringe. At this point, I’m guessing any male readers have given up on this article. Except for the ones who have had a vasectomy and are now nodding to themselves like the fraternity sophomore that finally gets to see someone else getting hazed.
“Eat normally the day of the surgery. Some people come in with an empty stomach, but that’s unnecessary.”
“Well, I didn’t assume you’d go in through my stomach,” I joked. The rest of my comments up to this point had been internal, accompanied by an “uh-huh” or “okay” out loud. But this one I said back to her.
Her response immediately made me decide to keep the rest of my comments internal.
“If we were going to put you under, you’d need an empty stomach, so I guess that’s what most patients are thinking. But you’ll be awake for the entire procedure.”
Oh, joy. At least when I had my wisdom teeth taken out, they had the decency to knock me out. I’m sure this procedure isn’t nearly as complicated, but isn’t there some sort of professional curtesy? Failing that, can I have some popcorn and a mirror, maybe? I mean, to quote Dr. Evil, there is nothing more breathtaking than a freshly-shorn scrotum.
Then it was time to discuss the post-procedure.
“Bring a jockstrap or biker shorts or some other garment to keep your scrotum close to your body and continue wearing it for a number of days.”
Nope, sorry. I’m a Gottfried Leibniz guy, therefore I hate Isaac Newton and refuse to believe in gravity. Much like the people who deny the moon landing and dinosaurs and vaccines. My boys’ll be fine in my boxers. Or maybe I’ll just walk around nude, because I also don’t believe in your silly decency laws.
Or maybe I need to go invest in a jockstrap.
“They will be enlarged. You will want to cool them with a pack of frozen vegetables.”
Rumor confirmed. Not sure how that works through the supporter cup, but I’ll figure it out. As an added bonus, I’ll have some thawed veggies. Hey Honey, guess what we’re having for dinner tonight?
“You’ll want to limit your movement for a few days.”
With the stitches and the enlarged testicles, to say nothing of the chafing from the re-growing hair, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“In two or three days you should be able to return to work and resume non-strenuous activity.”
Okay, reports back from those who have gone before me say that, while this is technically correct, the stitches will still snag on my underwear at inopportune times. My daughter also likes to kick in that region, right after she’s done giving a tittie twister to momma, so that should be fun.
“It is important that you not engage in sexual activity or ejaculate until the stitches have dissolved, which is about seven to ten days.”
Is this really a problem? I know my libido is not what it was when I was eighteen, but I think even then, the whole “stitches and icepack” thing would have dampened the hormones. I can wait a week, I would have thought, that Cindy Crawford poster isn’t going anywhere.
“Sometimes the procedure doesn’t work, so you’re going to have to continue using some other form of birth control until we can test you.”
Can I get one of the procedures that works, please? Fine, fine. When will I have to jerk off into a cup?
“You’re going to have to wait until two months have passed and you’ve ejaculated at least twenty times.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Two months AND twenty ejaculations? Not or? I did mention that I was married, right? That I have a nine-month old at home? Seriously, who the hell has the time to ejaculate ten times a month? And that’s not even the correct ratio, because the first 7-10 days are a no-no. Let’s be conservative and give myself two full weeks before my wife wants to jump on what will look like Franken-wienie. That’s twenty ejaculations in six weeks, or once every two days. Even when we were trying to conceive, that sort of schedule could only be maintained for a week or so at a time.
And did I mention all of this sex would be with a condom? Even the twenty-year old me would have found this to be a chore.
Now, sure, these ejaculations can be, um, “self-inflicted.” But even that takes five minutes of alone time. Hell, I can’t even post a blog entry in the same week that grades are due. How am I going to find the time to make a withdrawal from the spank bank?
“Oh, I forgot to mention,” she says as I’m processing the last bit of information. “When you’re icing it down, make sure you use those vegetables, not an ice pack. With an ice pack, your penis might catch frostbite.”
Um, yeah. That sounds important. You might want to write that little note into the permanent script. Because when you mentioned it, my brain had equated frozen vegetables with anything cold. And Frostbitten Penis, while a great name for a punk-rock band, would definitely put another wrinkle on that whole twenty times thing.
And just think, if the test comes back positive after the two months emulating Ron Jeremy, I get to do the whole thing again.
Is it too late to look into a decade of coitus interruptus?