I am a parent of two wonderful – if insomniac – children.  They are miracles, bundles of joy, fountains of youth and blah-de-blah-de-blah-de-blah.  While I adore them, they are freaking killing me and there was absolutely no way in hell I was going through this again.  So… I got snipped.

I just like saying it that way – “snipped”. It freaks out the guys I know.  Seriously.  Some men to whom I mention it literally cringe.  Others take a solemn pause in conversation, as if acknowledging the passing of a comrade in arms (or groins, I suppose).  Many make polite “Oh. Really?” sounds and swiftly change the subject.  To watch them just shut down amuses me. I sometimes want to reassure them that I’m just preventing unwanted pregnancies while increasing my own selfish pleasure (Dear Trojan, Inc: Thank you for your many years of loyal and excellent service. Regrettably, upcoming reductions in headcount make our continued relationship unnecessary, although I will gladly and emphatically recommend your services to my son. In about fifteen years.) just so they chill out.  I’m sterile, not a eunuch.

I get it, though. I think if I hadn’t already had kids and wasn’t currently suffering through raising an infant, I might be more disturbed by the thought of someone taking pokey-cutty things to my nether regions.  While I don’t recall my circumcision in the least (I was born in Jewish Memorial Hospital – just color me doomed on arrival), I’m still a little surprised that I don’t have to fight any repressed-memory panic.

After disregarding the best-recommended specialist in the area (his name was, you guessed it, “Dr. Wiener” and I suspect you really don’t want to be giggling at the name of the guy needling into your ‘nads), I made an appointment with the second-best and not at all amusingly named specialist, had my consult, confirmed that I had both testicles and means to pay for the surgery, then set a date.  As luck would have it, it was on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and you’d better believe there were more than a few “Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!” jokes.  Yes, my big day.  What I sometimes thought of as my vas mitzvah – “Today I am a sterile man.”  Well, almost.  According to my crack medical team, it would take about thirty ejaculations to “clear the pipes”. The doors to the baby factory would be closed but there would still be twenty thousand or so shoppers that needed to check out before we turned out the lights for good. So I guess I would be pre-sterile. I would’ve signed a letter of intent to be sterile. I’d be sterile-ready.

And when that day rolled around, I was obscenely happy.  Almost giddy.  Let my wife’s biological alarm clock wail like, well, our latest addition – I wouldn’t have to care!  Sorry, happy to attempt to oblige as often as you’d like but, well…. Plus, I have to admit, I’m a big bio-nerd by nature, always curious about the workings of the human body.  I’d closely watched my own dental surgeries and Lasik procedure – it would be nice to see something new.  I bounced into the doctor’s office, already on first-name terms with the receptionist and my nurse.

Empty my bladder?  Why, now that you mention it, it probably couldn’t hurt to try!  Brilliant idea, really.  Hmmm-hmm-hmm, hmm-hmm-hmmmmm.  Tap-tap-tap.  Wash thoroughly.  And we’re bopping down to the surgery room.

Drop ’em?  Already?  Everything?  Well… nurse Helga was no looker and likely wasn’t even back in her prime during the Johnson presidency (heh – “Johnson”) but I complied anyway.  I can keep my socks on?  Well, that’s a nice touch and keeps a sense of propriety about the whole thing.  And I chattered away, wearing naught but a t-shirt, socks and a smile.  She told me to lay back on the table and we compared favorite, obnoxious “impact injury to the groin” stories as she manhandled my manhood, yanking and flopping this way and that while scrubbing me with Betadine.

“This stuff’s brown, so don’t freak out when you get home and go to clean up. We had one guy call us, thinking he was bleeding out. Idiot.” I generally dig gruff and blunt but Helga was sort of scaring me. I don’t want to be a future story. Especially one ending in “idiot”.

“Okay, spread your legs.”  Yoink!  “And now close ’em. And relax.”

Yes, ma’am.  Just… please let go of my junk, per favore.

And we chit-chatted some more, with me flat on my back and my twig and berries flopped to one side and painted ochre, like some sort of primitive Kabuki porn.

“Now, the doctor’s going to give you three shots.  Down here.”  She poked roughly, in case I thought she meant my patella, because that makes perfect sense.  “After that, you shouldn’t feel anything sharp or pointy.”  Holy shit, did she just say that?  “If you do, say something!  Don’t be all macho and manly on this!”

“Are you fucking kidding me?”  I felt that I’d gotten to know her and that she’d appreciate this sort of candor.  “I’ve manlied my way through a lot of shit but we’re not yanking a tooth here.  What kind of idiot doesn’t say something with this?”  I figured I’d score big points with the “i-word”, a little mirroring to ingratiate myself.

“We had one. I asked him after, ‘How was it?’, and he tells me – ” She affected a look of mocking horror. ” – ‘It was HORRIBLE!’ and then he says he could feel everything!” She shook her head and I pushed the envelope of our sympatico.

“Idiot.” I mutter.

“Exactly!”  Another brownie point for me. I will provide several tips for anyone considering this procedure.  The first is to always score brownie points with the nurse.

Enter Herr Doktor.  Nice enough fellow but certainly not much by way of a sense of humor and he looked disturbingly more than a little like The Tall Man from the 80’s “Phantasm” horror series.  You know – the guy walking around with a giant, stainless-steel, contextually-apropos Flying Ball of Slicing, Cutting Death?  Frankly, I’m more than a little amazed that my schlong didn’t suddenly become an “innie” when he walked in.

“I see you shaved. That’s good.”

That almost sounded creepy.  Okay – drop the “almost”.  But he was right – it was good.  Yes, the doc, during our consultation, warned me that long hairs may get sutured in and so I may wish to consider shaving.  I am, in large part, of Sicilian heritage and we are a somewhat hirsute-of-body kinda people.  So a-shaving I had gone, another new experience to me.  I had never “manscaped” before.  And, um, I liked it… a lot.  Continue to, in fact, but that’s another story.  Should you be contemplating a similar move – for surgical reasons or otherwise – I highly recommend the Norelco Bodygroom.

This was about all the small talk I could extract before we got down to business.  I managed to squeeze a smirk out of Cap’n Clip’em when Helga grumbled about “opening up the wrong end” in regards to a surgical sheet and I replied with, “As long as I don’t hear him say that, it’ll be a good day.”  I know how to work a room, even with exposed and Betadined genitals.

We chatted some more about kids, sleep deprivation, more groin injuries and then Helga warned, “Okay, you’re going to feel a little stick and some burning.”

Pfff – okay, lady. You have no idea what I’ve been through in my life and the kind of pain I’ve endured withouwowowOWOWOW!!! I think I actually started to levitate a little because Nurse Ratched started to sound concerned.

“It’s okay! Caaaaalm down….” And I did.  Breathe, burning feeling is fading, needle is out – Oh, crap, not the left one!  Breeeeathe…. Not as bad as the first.  Ooooookay.  Now he’s going to poke me in the middle, too, but I’m already getting a bit numb down there so it’s okay.  Kinda.

Whew.  Okay.  Then there was some… other stuff.  I mean, man, it was weird.  Nothing hurt but I could feel moving around, tugging, et cetera and the anticipation was a little unsettling.  Especially when I heard snipping.  And when the doc reached for the laser to cauterize me and I saw smoke rising.  Wow.  On second thought, I think I won’t be having barbecued pork for lunch… ever again.  Then he added to my unease when he seemed to be, well, looking around for something on the second side.

“Everything where it’s supposed to be, doc?”

“Oh, yes.  Here.  You still want to see what this is all about?”  He remembered that, during our consultation, I had readily admitted my geek status and medical curiosity.  And, well, I did want to see.  I am a twisted fuck.
There we were, discussing blood supply and seminal distribution, with me sitting up and mostly naked and him illustrating various points on my vas… well… sticking out of a hole in my scrotum.  I elected to lay back down before he cut and cauterized it.  Probably best – I may have had a moment of weakness and asked if I could do the actual snipping.  I see I have already referred to myself as twisted.  Just go back and re-read the sentence.

And just like that, we were done.  Stitch here.  Wipe there.  Direct pressure.  After-care instructions (mostly given to my doting wife) then a spousal chauffeur home with one brief stop at the local supermarket’s pharmacy to pick up some Percocet that I was assured I would want (never did take it, though).

On getting home, I almost immediately began to learn many valuable and interesting things.  For example, you should explicitly specify “including when he’s laying down on the couch” when you warn your children ahead of time that no, you will not be playing with them and no, there will be no climbing on Daddy.  Ice packs really are your friend.  And instructions that include the admonition “if you screw up, your scrotum will swell to the size of a grapefruit – at least” should be heeded.
Really, really, really take note of that last one.
Now, men, a lot of activities you might not expect end up tugging on your balls through the course of a day.  Like coughing, sneezing, sighing, clearing your throat, yelling at misbehaving children, laughing heartily, reaching across your torso with an extended arm holding a laptop and, um, thinking about sex… a lot.  But stupidly going up and down stairs multiple times to ride herd on workers replacing a tiled wall is just courting disaster, something I had frequent occasion to contemplate on subsequent nights when jolted awake by pain every time I rolled onto my stomach in my sleep.

I’m convinced that, somewhere in the darkness of the universe, no doubt hunched over her breakfast of rusty nails, baby scorpions and razor blades, Helga was chuckling, “Idiot!”

TAGS: , , , , ,

ANDREW NONADETTI is a writer of fiction and, until recently, a deceptively charming but manipulative and abusive sonofabitch. To his surprise, though, there seems to be a genuinely good man hiding in there as well. And he's a quick study.... Feel free to email him at [email protected] to discuss his novel, life in general, terminal ballistics.... Pretty much anything, really. He's kind of gregarious and a big geek about a range of topics.

134 responses to “Aaaand CUT! (Part I)”

  1. Becky says:

    Good work here, Anon. Very vivid.

    I was right there in the room with you. I could almost see your scrotum.

    Which is why I cannot speak to you. Ever again.

    Excuse me while I go rub salt into my mind’s eye.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      You, uh…. You might want to wait for that salt bath. I plan on posting pics later.


      • Becky says:

        I would fucking die.

        Scrotums are weird and kind of gross even when they’re tightly sealed and not spewing their contents everywhere.

        You have no idea how disturbed I am right now.

        Helga must have an iron constitution.

        Oh dear god.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Helga, of course, isn’t her real name. I’m just afraid that, if enough people read her true one aloud too many times, she might appear to take her vengeance. An iron constitution, no doubt. On the rare occurrences when she crosses my mind, I always picture her chomping a stogie, wearing an eye patch and missing an arm at the elbow (lost to an alligator attack… which is okay because the reptile’s head is mounted on her office wall, her fingers still protruding from its maw). She was… gruff. And large.


        • Becky says:

          Helga the battle axe sack scrubber.

          Good grief.

          You have outdone yourself.

          HELP HELP HELP I just googled vasectomy! Oh noooo!

          Now google image vasectomy diagram guy is totally you. His vas is hangin’ out and everything.

          No no no no no no no no. *rocking behavior*

  2. Don Mitchell says:

    Nicely done!

    And I say that as one who’s been through the procedure. All I have that’s worth reporting is that I said to the nurses, “Can I make any joke you haven’t heard?”

    “No,” they said, laughing.

    So in the end I did make a joke they hadn’t heard.

    As for taking a look while I was open, I didn’t. I wasn’t offered the chance and don’t think I would have taken it.

    But as long as we’re talking about dicks and scrotums and sperm I might as well tell an eewww eewwww story. When I was much younger, grad student age, I contracted what was then (and maybe now) called NSU, “Non-specific urethritis.” Not venereal, in other words, but painful and annoying.

    So the urologist says, “We’re going to have to express your prostate, and by the way this is Dr X, a resident, who’s going to observe and help.”

    “Express the prostate?”

    “Yes, I’m going to insert my finger in your rectum and press your prostate against your abdominal wall, thus expelling all the pus and bad things in there.”


    “And Dr X will be holding a microscope slide, as you see, in front of your penis, in order to catch a sample . . . . ”

    It hurt. Oh, did it hurt. Imagine me, in awful pain, trying not to jump around too much, not really succeeding, the urologist with his finger up my ass, his other hand on my abdomen, generating lightning bolts of pain every time he pressed, and Dr X reaching every which way with his little slide, trying to get it in front of the junk coming out. It was so ridiculous that I started to laugh.

    As soon as the urologist took his finger out, Dr X grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to a microscope and slid the slide into the stage. “See? See? See the sperm? See the pus cells?”

    Faint with pain and still laughing (a never-to-be-repeated combination) I saw.

    “How can I keep this from happening again?” I asked.

    “Keep your prostate strong through exercise,” he said.

    Welcome advice! It was, after all, the sixties.

    • Becky says:

      You can exercise your prostate?

      Wonders never cease.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        Um, yes, and it’s not done at the gym (or at least not at any gym I’ve been in).

        • Becky says:

          Oh my. Never mind.

        • Matt says:

          Most guys figure out how to do so between the ages of 10-12.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Matt! You’re commenting on my comment before I’ve commented on your piece!

          I’ll rush over to dinosaur-land and comment.

        • Matt says:

          Warning: it does not involve the joys of exercising one’s prostate.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Weren’t there any nekkid people in that museum? No paintings of the sort where a hand or arm or leg just happens, just happens to cover where genitalia would be?

          God forbid Cucci should go to a natural history museum.

        • Matt says:

          Nah, it’s all natural history: animals, fossils, geological occurances. For the nudity bits one has to go to either the SD Museum of Art or the Museum of Man, which are just down the way.

          The Cooch’s puritanical sensibilities would probably cause him to have a stroke in any of these places.

        • Becky says:

          Well, wtf. I don’t know what all those boy parts do. I’m a little slow on the uptake.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Those are our secrets, Becky, but we trust you with them because you’re the only XX, so far, to brave the big-V thread.

        • Matt says:

          “Big-V”? Really? Really?!


        • Don Mitchell says:

          Well, “Big-V” is Anon’s work. I confess to exchanging vasectomy-related emails with him, and stole it. This is a surprise to you?

        • Matt says:

          Oh…..I thought “Big-V” was a reference to something else…..

          Nothing to see here!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          BWAHAHAHAHA! Back to “The Cooch”, I see.

          Sorry – my day has exploded in the time I was posting over espresso and I’m probably going to be radio-silent for a good chunk of the remainder of my day. I’ll try to make an appropriately obscene number of comments – or maybe an appropriate number of obscene comments – tonight.

          Although I have to note, Matt, that you said both “cooch” and “stroke” in the same sentence above. Uh-huh-huh-huh-huh….

        • Becky says:

          Just one of the guys…that’s me…except for my big V. Or my V anyway. I maintain that it is dainty.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          I’m sure your husband is pleased that you maintain your dainty V. Or, I suppose if it’s all that dainty, “v”.

          I was going to attempt to make a really terrible joke involving Roman Polanski’s preference for “V-12s” but she was thirteen at the time so that’s off the table. Of course, there’s the fact that ABC insists on shoving a big “V” in my face every Tuesday night but that one needs some work.

          Damned need for a paycheck – keeps screwing with my creativity, man.

        • Becky says:

          OOOOkay. Let’s turn the topic back to your big V.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Well, if you insist. One time? In band camp…?

    • Don – I had the same thing done last year for the same reason… Except it was done by a surly Korean doctor who informed me that he hated the procedure. He said it hurt his fingers.

      What’s odd is that he invited his son into the room to watch… Yes, a child son. To watch a white guy have his prostate prodded.

      And yes, it hurt. I honestly thought it would be the sort of thing that wouldn’t hurt… but boy, was I wrong.

      • Andrew Nonadetti says:

        Ha! The ba-, er, chutzpah on that guy! “Hey, quit clenching your sphincter – you’re hurting my finger!”

        Hmmm… I might make that my GoogleTalk status tomorrow at the office.

        • Don Mitchell says:

          The work isn’t as steady as what you’ve got, but have you considered a career as maybe a substitute stand-up comic?

          Sphincter indeed.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          LOL. No, sir. Some things you just leave to the professionals. I’ll tinker with field surgery, suspension bridge construction, improvised explosives and homemade chocolate eclairs but stand up? No, thank you! Slade is a superhero.

        • Slade Ham says:

          If I ever get a vasectomy – which seems unlikely as the thought of smoke rising up from my balls is a bit of a turn off – I’m buying about half of the punchlines in this. Stand up might not be for you, but you definitely have a knack for writing comedy my friend.

          I can hardly keep up with you as of late. You’re out writing me 4 to 1, and killing with the funny 🙂

          Well, done.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          You flatter me, sir. When I am eventually fired for my nearly nonstop fuckery, perhaps you can offer me some career advice. Until then, help yourself to anything you find amusing.

        • Irene Zion says:

          @Slade: It’s not the smoke so much as the smell of roasting pork.

          @ Anon: Married folk have to have nonstop fuckery with their wives, you know. Just saying.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Ha! Well, that’s not quite what I meant and I can’t image getting fired over *that*!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Besides, it would be rather difficult to type this much, this often if I was engaged in that kind.

        • Slade Ham says:

          @ Irene – The Slabbering Hamhocks returns, but on fire th and smoking this time.

          @ Anon – You have my word, if anything you’ve ever said does end up on stage, I assure you, I’ll share it. And if that day comes that they do can you for this stuff, well, I can always use an opening act. The pay’s not great, but we’ll drink well.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Drinking well is its own reward (said the man who’s already poured his first scotch of the night – I’m 2,500 words away from my target and want. it. done. tonight!). Thanks, Slade.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        That’s over the top. No, under it. In it?

        Anyway, I’ve sometimes wondered whether it really hurt as much as I remember. So I’m glad for another account that confirms it.

        Hurt his fingers indeed.

  3. Matt says:

    “I think I won’t be having barbecued pork for lunch… ever again”.

    That’s the second time today I’ve nearly horked up a mouthful of beverage all over my computer screen.

    Ye gods preserve us!

  4. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    You LOOKED?!!! I can’t stand the sight of my own blood. You either have one of the world’s greatest disconnects between mind and body or one of the most integrated.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Not to toot my own horn but I think it’s more the latter. We’re all just machines made of meat. I’ve seen lots of parts, inside and out, and it’s cool (to me) to see how they all work. Plus, the more I know, the more I can criticize other people’s work.

  5. Zara Potts says:


    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Ruh-roh. Visit’s not off, is it?? I worried about the TMI factor. Damn….

      • Zara Potts says:

        Shit no. Visit is definitely on. I won’t ask for a show and tell though…

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Don’t worry. There was no Kabuki Theater planned (just don’t ask about my tattoo, though). 😀

        • Zara Potts says:

          Well. Now you’ve done it.
          What’s your tattoo, Anon? Or rather – where’s your tattoo, Anon??

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Ohhhh, no. I’ve learned my lesson after this post and besides, Becky might have an “ewww” coronary. Besides, “where” kind of depends on my mood and whether the pool is heated so….

          KIDDING!! KIDDING!


  6. Irene Zion says:

    I’m only going to pick out the parts that made me laugh the most, because I don’t want to copy the WHOLE post….
    “Comrade in…groins.”
    Seriously? Dr. Weiner?
    “…there would still be twenty thousand or so shoppers that needed to check out before we turned out the lights for good.”
    “…with me flat on my back and my twig and berries flopped to one side and painted ochre, like some sort of primitive Kabuki porn.”
    “…Frankly, I’m more than a little amazed that my schlong didn’t suddenly become an “innie” when he walked in.” (God, what a little movie played in my head with THAT one!)
    Aside here: You are NOW going to have to tell the story of your newly shorn look and why you prefer it.
    Oh, there is just too much for this.
    You made me laugh, and I’m sorry your scrotum swelled to the size of a grapefruit. I hope it’s more peach-sized by now.
    How can there be a part Deux?

    • Matt says:

      I’m guessing it involves the first attempt to actually redeploy the newly-altered equipment, and the hilarity that ensues.

      • Andrew Nonadetti says:

        Close. It’s tentatively entitled: “Children: Ejaculation’s Ultimate Off Switch”.

        Kidding. Kinda. More tonight when I can breathe without cursing at corporate stupidity with every exhalation. Shouldn’t complain, really. Thanks to said stupidity, I am effectively a salaried writer. I mean, I get a salary… and I write all day…. Too bad they only overlap instead of connect.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Ha. Glad I could amuse. And yes – Doctor Wiener. It’s like having a proctologist named “Dr. Finger”. As for the shorn thing, it’s less a look and more a feel. I’ll say no more except “try it – you might like it”. Plus I swim much faster now.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        Our family dentist in Hilo was Dr. Au. Really.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Ha! I mentioned in some comment or another that I work with a German woman whose grandmother’s last name was “Gosh”. So, yeah – “Oma Gosh”. The fact that she’s got an Okie twang makes it even funnier.

  7. Irene Zion says:


  8. Jordan Ancel says:

    Fascinating piece (pun intended).

    I’m vacilating between some zingy one-liners and just being freaked. Not about the procedure, but about the details so vividly painted about it.

    I will revisit later once I’ve had some anti-anxiety meds, but nicely done.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      LOL. Okay, okay – in future pieces, I will tone down the graphic body-part stuff (deletes draft of “How to Perform a Bowel Resection in the Field With a Leatherman and Some Belly Lint”). Go with the one-liners. They’re fun for everyone. And I’ve still got some Percocet if you send me your mailing address….

      • Jordan Ancel says:

        Don’t censor for sensitivity’s sake. I much prefer details over something trimmed, snipped or clipped.

        So, it makes some folks uncomfortable. So what? I say go against the current, swim upstream.

        That’s what makes good writing good. Certainly wouldn’t want to interrupt your flow.

        As for the Percocet, I’ve written quits a bit about it. And on it, for that matter. You keep it. You’re raising kids.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Hmm…. If only we could post a poll here, to see if folks preferred the clean lines of a trimmed story or one that’s been uncut. And I suppose you’re right – a fertile imagination should be allowed to burst forth lest it get stuck to your leg.

          I mean, uh…. Oh, crap. Ran out of double-entendre. I know it happens to all guys once in awhile but not me! Maybe I’ll try again in an hour.

        • Jordan Ancel says:

          Ha! Yeah, you really shot your wad with those last ones. Maybe an hour should do it. Guys our age need more recovery time 😉

  9. Erika Rae says:

    Classic form, I see.

    I was already laughing through the entire surgical procedure when you came out with “I see I have already referred to myself as twisted. Just go back and re-read the sentence.” I hurt myself on that one. Well, not hurt like YOU hurt, but … you get it.

    I am so glad you are a writer on here now, upgraded from commenter extraordinaire. This is fun.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Sorry for the pain. Try putting a bag of peas in the freezer for a bit and putting it on your… on your…. What got hurt, exactly? And thank you for your kind words.

      NOTE TO ZARA AND SIMON: No, we will not be serving peas for your dinner. Don’t worry.

  10. Lorna says:

    “I just like saying it that way – “snipped”. It freaks out the guys I know. Seriously. Some men to whom I mention it literally cringe.” and the women laugh. 😉

    Aw, I almost feel sorry for the pain my husband went through now……..almost.

  11. Simon Smithson says:

    This was a hard one to get through, but I had a ball reading it.



    It’s funny.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Ha. I love bad puns. It’s almost an addiction. I’d offer some in return but I believe I’ve shot my wad responding to Jordan.

  12. Judy Prince says:

    Lucky for you males, Anon, childbearing’s not your lot. I mean, some nurse-fiddling and doctor-slicing, and you watching the fun—–it’s the equivalent of riding a sidecar on a slow bike.

    I took on the visage of a hyena from the beginning of your piece (so to speak). Way Wide grin with “I know how to work a room, even with exposed and Betadined genitals”, and I think I lost my bottom tooth at “I think I won’t be having barbecued pork for lunch… ever again”. (Me and Matt, we tea-spit in sync)

    Part Two, huh? It’ll prolly begin: “Spread your legs” and end with “Close ’em”. But don’t let me put too much pressure on you.


    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Hahaha. Sorry about the tooth, dear. I suppose I could do yet another piece – an anti-vasectomy – about the birth of our children. I remember the doctor asking me if I wanted to touch my daughter’s hair – when that was all that was poking out. I think it was the only time I yelled at her (she was a very cool doc) – “NO, I don’t ‘want to touch it’! Get her out of there!! All of her!” And then I absent-mindedly reached for my knife when she asked if I wanted to cut the cord (though I could be forgiven for being distracted, holding my daughter “fresh out of the oven” as it were).


      You’ll have to wait for the thrilling conclusion, I’m afraid. First off, I have to get it written :). Second, I need to pace myself a bit. Had a minor faux pas with this one, given that I already had a story on the front page. Brad graciously let me off with a warning, no doubt in sympathy for the, uh, swelling.

      • Judy Prince says:

        So, Anon, one in the oven and one on the way (stories, I mean).

        Loved your taking out your pocketknife! Male persons are definitely beings that have wandered away from Planet Zold and infected us Minutiaeans. But, God help us, we love ’em!

        This calls for an Uche caterpillar emoticon….:P;;;;;;

  13. I was having a conversation about this the other day. My girlfriend kept saying, “Guys… jesus… it can’t be that bad.” To which I replied, “Guys have no right to judge the things only women go through, and women have no right to judge the things only guys go through.”

    Anyway, I shut my mouth after that. I didn’t want to think about “the snip” ever again. I’m content with condoms.

    But I read this because you came in with enough witty remarks to trick me into it… and now I feel a little sick. I can’t handle reading about balls and stuff. Too sensitive. Bleh.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Sorry, David. You know, I give you permission to copy/paste it into an editor and replace certain words with complete absurdities, if it helps your queasiness. You can have my spaghetti poking out of a hole in my bagpipe or something.

  14. Tawni says:

    After the first year with our up-every-two-hours, sleep fighting son, my husband tapped out. He begged me for the vasectomy permission. I said, “Let’s not do anything rash. We’re tired right now and not thinking straight. This parenting thing is supposed to get easier as they get older.” (You may laugh heartily for a moment before I continue, if you’d like. I’ll wait.)

    After another year with a hyperactive kid who stopped napping completely before two and still woke throughout the night, we both decided that the idea of two exhausted 40-year-olds potty training and chasing after another toddler was a horrifying idea, one that our marriage might not survive, and he got the vasectomy.

    Bags of frozen peas were employed for the swelling. Some residual left berry pain that went away after about two months was the only complication. Ibuprofen was all he ever needed. Unlike yourself, my husband loathed the shaving part. There was not enough Gold Bond powder in the world to tame the itchy re-growth phase. But overall, pretty uneventful. And to anyone cringing, while thinking about a vasectomy, I just want to say: amazing, spontaneous, inconvenience-free, consequence-less sex* for the rest of your life (or at least marriage)! No more condoms! EVER. Totally worth it.

    The best advice he gives guy friends thinking about vasectomies is to plan it during good sports/television time. He scheduled his own during March Madness.

    This was well-written and funny. I laughed so many times while reading this. I think “like some sort of primitive Kabuki porn” was the biggest guffaw. Thanks for sharing your experience and excellent writing, Andrew. (:

    *Disclamer: I mean, after the kid is in bed. There is no such thing as completely spontaneous, inconvenience-free anything once you procreate. Fair warning.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Before anything else, let me say that I love the fact that you used the phrase “tapped out” (:. I appreciate the compliments on my writing, Tawny, and I’m very pleased that I have amused you and hopefully your husband. I’m not into sports – too violent (; – but thought I’d catch up on some writing, which is what led to the discovery that you shouldn’t reach across your own torso with the weight of a laptop in only one hand. If only I’d had the netbook back then….

      As for the sex references, yes and yes. Or, I suppose, “Yes!” and “*sigh* yes”. We began to refer to the basement as “The Sex Cave” because we’d run down there as soon as we thought both kids were down. Had it down to a science – the dogs usually chuffed a little when or daughter would sneak out of her room and they heard her door squeak. That would be our cue to, um, part ways and scramble for clothes. We’d at least have undergarments on by the time she reached the ground floor, giving us time to zip/button/buckle before she made it down the second flight of stairs. The system would sometimes fall apart frustratingly if the damned dogs saw a squirrel of something but at least we avoiding future therapy bills. So, yes… heavy on the spontaneous, light on the inconvenience-free.

      • Judy Prince says:

        Yeah, Anon, those unpredictable dog-alarms.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          There were times when I thought the rabbits and squirrels were actively conspiring against us.

        • Judy Prince says:

          If you’ve ever had squirrels in the attic (I speak literally here, not metaphorically, as I surely would not want to imply that you have……oh you know), then you’ll know True Conspiring.

          I think I’ll wait to relate my squirrelly experiences in a TNB post.

          AWWWWwwwww…..Anon, you said you did all of the kid-having (the fun part) bcuz you love your wife!!!!! AWWWWWwwwwww…… that’s so sweet!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Oh, shush, you! Go write your squirrel piece and leave me be.

          And, for the record, I did the fun part because it’s fun. I chose to sacrifice my free time, energy, financial frivolity, growth of knowledge that only comes from personal experience and pre-arthritic years to providing for my family because I love my wife.

        • Judy Prince says:

          (sighs) AWWWWW…..Anon just *again* said he loves his wife, has sacrificed much for her. Awwwwww……

          “financial frivolity”—-?

          Wot squirrel story, Anon? I’m writing a sheep story.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Oh, from your “squirrelly experiences”, I assumed it would be a squirrel piece.

          “Financial frivolity” means I make enough that my wife can stay home and raise our children – something she’s always wanted to do (though may be reconsidering today, given the hissy fit our daughter threw) – but not enough for me to do anything I enjoy. Except the whole single-malt thing and I try not to enjoy that *too* much. Which is okay because, even if I had the money, I wouldn’t have the time. Used to be I was much more wanton in pursuing my whims but…. Someday, I suppose.

        • Judy Prince says:

          You were right, Anon; it’s a squirrel piece I thought to write up, but then some major realisations yielded the idea for a sheep piece. I was teasing you awake so you could make that one last interminable meeting of the day at work.

          Raising kids is constant hard work for a 2-parent family and twice as hard for a single parent. I was, most of the time, a single and working parent, by choice. I’ve never regretted having a child nor having the deep friendship of the man with whom I had the child. But it wasn’t a situation I wanted to repeat, despite the often joys and deep learnings.

          I do know that after 6 months being home with the baby, waiting for my husband to come home from work, I was soooooo ready to go back to work myself; I got a part-time job within a few weeks and found a full-time job shortly thereafter.

          We modernly (that is, recent generations) raise kids in a busy haze of complex motivations and expectations. Previously, kids were our employees, the ones we needed to help us raise food crops and animals. They were adjuncts, not centrepieces, of our producing lives. Now, kids are superfluous to our producing lives, and they themselves are a big part of our work.

          I wouldn’t have wanted to replicate the farm lives of previous generations, but I see so many obvious role-disconnects in our family lives. No way can I know the frustrations of farm living [vis a vis modern urban family/work living], but I feel a sadness for its loss. I feel a sadness for the loss, as well, of the natural world in our daily lives. It has become a ritual that we “vacation” to natural spots to get the peace and invigoration we cannot get each workday.

          So much to ponder.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          “Previously, kids were our employees, the ones we needed to help us raise food crops and animals. They were adjuncts, not centrepieces, of our producing lives. Now, kids are superfluous to our producing lives, and they themselves are a big part of our work.”

          So very true. When our daughter was born, we both worked (at the same company, no less) and found an *excellent* Montessori daycare only six minutes away from the office. We were a commuter family. But I wasn’t too keen on strangers raising my child and my wife felt even more strongly about but thought we couldn’t make it on one salary. After two years or so, I convinced her – with data, of course 🙂 – that it absolutely could be done with some concessions and belt-tightening (both mostly on my part). She became a new woman and has really come into her own since then. I became a new curmudgeon but I’m still likeable, I think….

          I love this time of year because we’re getting ready to plant our garden – not much but we’ve been getting a few pounds each of green beans, snow peas, cukes and such for the past two years. Our raspberry and strawberry boxes wintered well and the s-berries are already flowering. The kids can get all muddy with me (;. We own about 40 acres on the WY border but it’s not quite farmable as yet. Need to dig a well, maybe think about trickle irrigation after that. It’s a long-term project.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I say – make kids our employees again. Best idea I’ve heard all day.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          I was going to say “I won’t tell my daughter you said that.” Then I thought, hey, she’s my daughter. She’d say, “So, ’employee’ means paycheck, right…?” and then work on her slacking plan.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I think your daughter and I are going to get on swimmingly, Anon.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Hm. I think I may be in trouble. 🙂

        • Zara Potts says:

          You’ve only JUST realised this??!

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Well, it’s like saying you “realize” that fire hurts and then having someone douse you in gasoline and ask you to hold their road flare for them. There are layers of understanding, you see….

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh, so very, very true.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Anon, your garden with muddy kids sounds fantastic! I applaud you and your wife. Your co-decision to belt-tighten so she can stay home with the kids is remarkable—-remark-able.

          Please don’t use insecticides and fertilisers. Today’s op-ed piece by Nicholas Kristof (NYT online) reports bits from the President’s Cancer Panel’s latest report. One of their suggestions: “Give preference to food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones.” The whole article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/opinion/06kristof.html?hp

        • Judy Prince says:

          “I say – make kids our employees again.” Zara—-you rock!

          An Uche caterpillar for you! ;P;;;;;;

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Bah! I’d plant outside Chernobyl if it could grow me decent-sized veggies. Plus you could use them as flashlights when they start to glow and save on the cost of batteries. (;

          Seriously, though, I do cheat with some MiracleGro but mostly amend with old coffee ground, mulched grass clipping and such to add nitrogen back in. We’d never gardened at all before two years ago and don’t have all that much room so we went with raised beds and square foot gardening. Awesome yields, really. Even got five or six stalks of corn to grow the first year in a 1’x4′ row. Just a silly experiment and not cost effective – that’s what the beans and peas are for – but fun to do. Last year’s experiment was growing spuds in vertical stacks. It was supposed to be tires but that just looked way too ghetto so I built 2’x2′ wooden frames. I planted way too many per box so we had gorgeous looking vines… attached to spuds the size of golfballs. I’m trying again this year with far fewer plants, just to see what happens.

          There are lots of family and hobby farms in the area so I try to make friends there and get some good tips. Also need to get some of this stuff canned and put up in the pantry but it’s just so much fun to eat it off the vine!

          Now, how the hell did I get here, topic-wise? Wonder if I can link this piece to Erika Rae’s carrot genitalia one from whenever back….

        • Judy Prince says:

          HA! Glowing cukes!

          I’m amazed you got such yield from first plantings. Tires for swings, mebbe, but defo not for planters; too ugly. Unless mebbe you painted em green or white.

          You’ve motivated me to do a planting thing. Since I’m June to December in the UK, I can find a nearby allotment (govt subsidized plots of land where folks can plant stuff) and get to know the neighbours that work on it. I remember asking Rodent as the train sped along the countryside: “What are those little strange huts?” figuring they were burial plots or something. Thus began my education about allotments. The country vis a vis ours is so teensy, but the govt and citizens are super pro-active about growing their food. They just recently paid off their WWII debt to USA for getting food from us during the war.


        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Don’t get me started, you damned socialist ;). But, seriously, Google “square foot gardening” before you get rolling. Some really unexpected results just from planting in a more condensed space. Our 8’x 2′ row of green beans got us, I think, 11lbs last year and that was a season shortened by an attack of garden slugs munching down the stalks. A similar planting of snow peas got us ~ 9lbs. Really works well!

        • Judy Prince says:

          That’s a helluva lot of beans and snow peas! There’s nothing veg I haven’t planted over the years and with several methods, last being raised frames (we put together railroad ties), but I haven’t had the protracted desire to “farm” as diligently as is necessary.

          I saw a gardening book picture of a teepee style frame that kids loved and was low enuff for them to prune and harvest the veg. Think I’ll try that.

          Rodent says he has no interest in plants, but he loves growing bonzai—-just bought 4 acers he’s potting in his “new” 1900’s rental terraced house where there’s a “shed” that’s part of the house itself but originally house horses. The back garden’s surprisingly big—-with an old brick grill. Not too many houses have outside taps for watering the garden; I’ll ask if he has any there. I may not need to go to an allotment after all! Also, I want to learn to can food.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          We took a free tour of a local organic farm just this past weekend. They’re using “water walls” for their tomato plants to extend their growing season. It’s basically a wide tube of thick but still flexible plastic buried half in the dirt around the plant. The top is tied or rubber-banded until it, too, is in a teepee shape. Then – this is the kicker – they fill it with water. The sun heats the water throughout the day and it then retains much of that heat through the night. Wouldn’t help at freezing or below but keeps the plants from getting frostbit down to about 40 or so. They can plant earlier and stretch the season later. Neat.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          Oh! I forgot. If you’re going to try your hand at canning and can afford it, go for pressure rather than hot water bath canners. They’re spendier but water bath canning is only good for high-acid foods like tomatoes. Pressure will allow you to can low-acid stuff like meat and green beans in addition to high-acid stuff. I have much experimenting to do….

        • Judy Prince says:

          The teepee water wall’s a fascinating concept. A bit too much stuff, though, for my taste which is Way Simple (and prolly why my ways succeed only half the time).

          One thing I adored was a wooden arbor inherited from previous owners of my last home. We grew Concord grapes, roses, and honeysuckle on it which climbed in their seasons beautifully and bountifully. We had to give away most of the grapes there were so many.

          My determination at that time was to have the huge back garden done up with only edibles—–trees, bushes, plants, flowers. We succeeded really well, and then my son urged (correctly, it turns out) that if I wanted to sell before homes started to devalue, I’d better move quickly. Which I did. The house sold in 2007 for a good price within a month. Prices took a dive right after that.

          I’ll go for the pressure-cooking canners, then. It’s the only way I’ve seen canners use, actually. And I love those glass jars for canned veg and fruit! Can just see the peaches in them now!

    • Judy Prince says:

      We need to echo echo echo this, and thank you for it, Tawni: “Disclaimer: I mean, after the kid is in bed. There is no such thing as completely spontaneous, inconvenience-free anything once you procreate.”

  15. Great piece Andrew.

    Two lasting images here: 1. You sans chapeau, NAKED (or almost), avec SOCKS! Aha! 2. You shaving.

    I have one question: were you wearing the socks or the hat while shaving?

  16. P.S. I have a very good friend who became pregnant about four years after her husband’s Vas Mitzvah. She didn’t think she could get pregnant so thought she was having hormone/weight issues until she finally took a pregnancy test about 20 weeks in. Voila the fourth child.

    He went back to the MD who did it AGAIN (I guess there’s a good if-you-aren’t-satisfied policy) and was re-cut. Doctor explained that in some people the body will build new pathways and find new tunnels to get the sperm out.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Yeah, my wife was almost a week and a half late last month. Believe me, the thought crossed my mind. If my wife ever does get pregnant again, the fact that I’m getting a lawyer is a given. The only question will be “divorce” or “malpractice”.

  17. Andrew Nonadetti says:

    Neither. I was soooo naughty.

    The fact that I left my socks on whilst laid out on the slab was the only reason I wasn’t the least bit nervous about Helga’s intentions. Had she stopped flossing with barbed wire long enough to snarl, “Drop the socks, too, sweet cheeks…”, I probably would’ve set fire to something to cover my escape.

  18. Very good maneuvering with the socks! They should teach that to boys in sex ed. Use Your Socks to Just Say No!

  19. Alison Aucoin says:

    I was visiting some very good friends a couple of days after his snip. I knew we had moved beyond friends and into the realm of family when he asked me to hand him his bag of frozen peas.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      With me, it was very close to the opposite – my mother-in-law was visiting right around that time. “No, I do not want your help and no, I do not wish to discuss the state of my groinal discomfiture. Please go away – I don’t have enough Percocet for two pains in my nuts.”

  20. Joe Daly says:

    >>While I adore them, they are freaking killing me<>I’d closely watched my own dental surgeries and Lasik procedure – it would be nice to see something new. <<

    I threw up in my mouth a little here.

    Yeah, I’m one of those squeamish guys who cringes at the thought of something like this. I couldn’t even get explicit there- I had to just say “something like this.” See?

    Deep breath.

    Ok, I’m never getting this done. Thank you for the tremendous service you have done for me.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Oh, sure, you say that now. My daughter didn’t sleep for more than 45 minutes at a pop for the first 19 months of her life and, when she woke, would do so screaming like someone had set her on fire (not that I know what that sounds like) and in full panic attack until I could calm her back to sleep. Yes, by all means, fall in love, marry, have a child. Then get back to me on “never getting this done” when the airlines charge you for the luggage under your eyes.

      And yeah, I know – then I had a second one. What can I say? I love my wife.

      • Joe Daly says:

        You’ve basically described an inordinately horrifying, harrowing, and near impossible situation for me to handle on any kind of emotionally mature level.

        “[F]all in love, marry, and have a child,” that is.

        • Andrew Nonadetti says:

          HA! It’s like death, Joe. We’re wired for it, like it or not, so we may as well get comfy with the concept. Oh, we might be able to stave it off for a few decades but it’s always there… lurking…. 😀

  21. angela says:

    hilarious piece! strangely reminded me of getting a brazilian. you can’t see what they’re doing, there’s poking and prodding, and then – OW!!!

    and i don’t know how you could look. i can’t even look when the doctor gives me a shot or takes blood.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Hey, I was paying good money for this sterilization! I wanted to be damned sure he got it all! 🙂

      Hopefully nothing was smoking when you got your Brazilian. I mean, not literally smoking.

    • Judy Prince says:

      angela, reminds me when I last had a blood sample taken, I said to the nurse: “I hope you don’t mind if I don’t look.” She said, “Oh, good—-I won’t look either.” First time I’ve ever had a laugh while being drained of blood. Not counting those rocking times with the leeches, natch.

  22. guy, thank you for your wonderful sharing. While I’d like to know the meaning of “big V”

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Heh. Well, it seems to depend on who you ask. When I emailed Don, I used it as a joking reference to the procedure – a “V”asectomy. Matt, apparently, took Don’s use of it to mean “V”agina.

      The ABC Network took it to mean a rehash of a miniseries that was terrible the first time. 😉

  23. Uche Ogbuji says:

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This one made me do both, because I’m on the clock and all. Vasectomy appointment due some time around when our fourth child arrives in a few months, so you’ve provided me much to, ummm, consider.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Ah, well, first, congratulations! Four, eh? You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din – two is enough for me!

      Just remember, when they say be a bum for a day or two, be a bum for a day or two!!

  24. Loved this, anon!
    BTW, my husband got snipped the day after a bike accident, he was so desperate not to reproduce anymore. He was scabbed and bruised and limping, and I was all, “Baby, don’t you think you should reschedule the appointment,” and he was basically like, “No way! I’m going!”
    He claims it didn’t even hurt. I think the euphoria that he knew we would have no more kids on the way, since we already have 3, was pumping so many endorphins through the man that he could not feel any pain.
    Nice to see you off the comments boards, btw!

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      Ha. He and I would understand each other perfectly, then. It was like Christmas, even though it was someone else “opening up the package”. It actually wasn’t a painful procedure at all and the recovery probably would’ve been fine, too, except for my own stupidity. I don’t have too many guy-isms but I just had to keep checking upstairs, then climb up on the counter to inspect the bullnose tiles on top and… just be stupid. Ah, well – all’s well that ends sterile! 🙂

      It’s nice to be seen, I must confess. And I’ll be absolutely shameless – have you read my initial “Fedora” piece? You crossed my mind when I posted it, given that we seem to have had similar “background cultures”.

  25. I didn’t see “Fedora.” I’ll go look for it now. I’ve just kicked off my book tour and haven’t been trolling TNB as much as I usually love to do, and feel like I’ve missed so much.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      A book tour is a damned good reason for doing – or not doing – any number of things! Congrats, since I haven’t had opportunity to offer it before!

  26. Carl D'Agostino says:

    When my two reached around 7 years old they had already flowered from chain saw murderer to orphanage arsonist and all ranges in between It got worse in the pre and post teens. This may happen no matter how good a parent you are, by the way. I wished I had been born without balls. From the way you described it I’d think I’d opt for another triple by-pass and root canal simultaneously instead of a V. Well I’m 60 and things don’t function as well and doesn’t look like romance is in the future so I won’t have to consider it anyway.

  27. Karen says:

    Oh! my! That was awfully (in more than one sense of the word) entertaining… the story, the comments, the visuals. You all are quite the witty and humorous lot.

    Nice educational, albeit unexpected, interlude on gardening too.

    One more favorite line I must cite that had me laughing so hard: >> “…Down here.” She poked roughly, in case I thought she meant my patella, because that makes perfect sense.<<

    Thanks for the fun read! 🙂

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      HAHA. Happy to oblige. I live to entertain… and tend my kids… and eat – I love food… and drink espresso. Which reminds me – I’m off. 🙂

  28. Greg Olear says:

    A friend of mine’s brother-in-law had his vasectomy surgery on April Fool’s Day. As she put it, “That’s really maybe not the greatest idea.”

    I’m on the snip-snip team, too. So not a big deal. In and out in 14 minutes, and got to spend the day in bed reading.

    • Andrew Nonadetti says:

      I’ve lamented that, with all of our technological advances, how is it we don’t have drive-thru vasectomy shops? Sort of Jiffy-Snip – pulled up, drop trou, a robotic arm cranes in, you get a toy afterwards and drive home before the local wears off. I also always try to stress that my unpleasantness stemmed solely from the fact that I’m an idiot who can’t follow instructions to “do nothing” (which is probably why I’m so frustrated at my job, come to think of it).

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