Minor surgery to one’s “private” area should be forgotten and never brought to mind after the healing process is complete, but if recounting the circumstances and procedure of my own surgery can reassure other men who are as I once was, and who will undergo the knife to become as I am, then my considerable personal embarrassment at the following story shall be a sacrifice to my fellow men and indirectly women.
I would ask that any female looking at these words please do not continue to read since this is a man’s concern … thank you.
Several years ago, after a particularly grueling day with three children home from school due to the prevalent virus at the time, my frustrated wife turned to me and tenderly raised the question that had been a recurring topic for the last few months: “Three kids are enough, why don’t you get fixed?”
In her fatigue, she had lapsed into using the pet owner’s vernacular to describe the surgical procedure whose name is best whispered amongst human males: vasectomy.
I drew myself up in indignation and responded, “Let’s flip for it.”
“We’ve been over this,” she shot back. “The doctor told you - it’s a much more serious surgery for me to get my tubes tied.”
“And so it would be a day at Disneyland for me?” “Yes, relatively speaking,” she hammered.
“Some doctor that I barely know, practicing his craft on my manhood …” I fell into a chair acting a faint.
She rolled her eyes to let me know that I had overplayed the “manhood” card. “The doctor told you that after a few days of soreness, all your magnificent manhood will return.” Sarcasm dripped from her words.
She had all the pat answers. She also had all the cards when it came to who got what and when in regards to certain physical needs in our house. I’m a man who can be reasoned with.
So I, no, we set a date with the surgeon. I forget his name but my friend who recommended the guy called him “Chopper.” He told me that a vasectomy was simply the procedure in which my two “vas deferens” (Latin for pollywog highway) were severed and then tied in a knot to assure that no child would ever again be born with my big ears. Dr. Chopper assured me that after the surgery I wouldn’t notice any difference except that I wouldn’t have to buy any more diapers for the rest of my life.
I consulted with my best friends before I agreed to the procedure. My cousin, Ken, who had himself undergone a vasectomy, pronounced it to be “no big deal.” Everyone seemed to agree that there wasn’t much to it. What did they have to gain by lying to me?
The night before the appointed day of surgery, my friends held what they called a “steer party” for me at a neighborhood tavern. Just a few of us getting together, they assured me, to tell a few jokes, slap each other on the back and pick up the failing spirits of their weak brother (me).
I got to the party late (dreadfully late, that is late because of dread). I walked in the door and looked about for my friends but there was already a big party being held in the place and my group was apparently lost in the balloons and crepe paper hanging everywhere.
So I walked up to the bar to ask the bartender if he could point out my buddies amongst the throng. As I stood there waiting for the bartender to get a free moment, I looked around at the party posters hanging on the wall. The posters were rather crude depictions of a huge pair of scissors pointed at the crotch of some poor guy, then through the haze of cigarette smoke, I made out my own name in capital letters on each poster. The big party already in progress was my own.
Just then the bartender screamed out above the din, “The steer is here!”
I made a dash for the door but two guys came out of the crowd, latched on to me and led me to the big table where a night of sport for all was had at my expense. Vast numbers of total strangers and people I barely knew joined with my friends in the telling of vasectomy horror stories and eunuch jokes. My cousin Ken said that he forgot to tell me that he just doesn’t seem to have the same zip that he did before his vasectomy, some days he can’t even muster the energy to push the channel button on the TV remote. I ate pizza out of anxiety and drank beer to forget.
The next morning at 8, I was lying on my back on a table in Dr. Chopper’s office. He prepared me for the incision by injecting each testicular orb with a shot of pain killer (an act that I heretofore supposed would cause instant death to the recipient).
The pizza and beer rumbled in my stomach. I alerted the Chopper to the fact that the two shots had left me lightheaded. He mumbled something. I turned to the nurse and asked, “What did he say?” She said he said, “Don’t move, it’ll be over in a minute,” and then placed the bib on my chest.
He began his work. I didn’t feel any pain and presently he flipped something up on my bib that looked like a small piece of elbow macaroni. “One down, one to go,” he reported and moved to attack the other side.
I ignored the macaroni. I tried to think of better times…like when I was gassed in basic training at Fort Ord, Calif. A longer period of time elapsed when I heard my physician muttering to himself like my dad used to do when his television repair job was going awry.
“Doc, are we just about done?” I begged.
“You gotta’ slippery left vas here,” he explained.
“It’s probably grease from the pizza.”
After an agonizing eternity, he slapped the other macaroni on my bib, knitted a couple of stitches, said goodbye and moved on to another victim somewhere in the building.
I lay there until the pizza and beer gave up. Then I got up and got dressed and left the place only two elbows of macaroni less than when I arrived. It wasn’t much. I’d left more when I had my warts removed.
I convalesced for three days, pointedly insisting that my wife cater to my every imagined need and whim (since this was her fault).
After the discoloration left the vicinity of the surgery, I really didn’t notice any effects of the operation until about two months later while I was shopping at the grocery store. I observed two ladies in the checkout line who were staring at me and giggling.
Finally one of them blurted out, “You’re the guy, aren’t you?”
“The guy what?” I shook my head in puzzlement.
“You know,” said the other one as she made a wicked scissors motion with her hand. “We were there at your party.” They weren’t the last to mention the event.
Now that some years have gone by and memories have dimmed, those embarrassing encounters don’t happen anymore but of course I don’t get out much anymore either. I just lie on the sofa and watch the same channel until somebody comes to visit with enough strength to operate the remote control.