When asked how he likes children, W.C. Fields replied "Well done". My personal feelings differed only in that I prefer them Teriyaki style.
As a committed bachelor and shameless hedonist, I came to a point in life where corralling a capricious and voracious sex life was long overdo and the fact I had miraculously lived till this point in time catching neither, the most inconsequential nor most horrifying of STDs. Nor the fact I'd been blessed with producing zero number of offspring hadn't fallen on a deaf libido.
I had grown up in Hollywood during the '60s where "Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll" was the well worn mantra burned into the psyche of a legion of like-minded boomers who were "Letting it all hang out," with complete public (if regional) approval! In the end, the 60s was more about sanctioning irresponsibility, but at the time, I was just another horny teenager who wanted nothing more than to avoid reality, take drugs and get laid; simple as that.
I turned draft age in 1966 which petrified the crap out of me as Viet Nam was becoming a hot topic and sent a goodly number of comrades to scamper off to places unknown or jump blindly into the belly of the beast; some never to return. Either pathway bespoke a commitment and responsibility I was not prepared to take, yet I was patriotic enough to enlist in the Navy and at least show up for the physical where I threw up my arms and pleaded insanity. Much to my complete surprise I was was given an immediate, complete deferral and shown the door.
Though I loath to admit it, somebody saw something in me that, in the end, saved the government a lot of time and money, and I had not the slightest doubt I would have proven more cowardly on the battlefield than in real life; if that was possible.
Let's face it. I admit to being completely, utterly, irresponsible and unprepared for parenthood with no patience for myself or anyone else. I had a crappy childhood and didn't know why I should pass it along to anyone. Besides, there were too many people far better than I who divorced, screwed up their kids and were now just as single as I. So was I content to just leave that job to the willing or was all that just a cop-out?
But here was the committed bachelor, after 44 years of single life, now prepared to take the plunge into the sea of matrimony. Luckily, the bride was someone whose own offspring by a previous (see, I told you) had graciously flown the coop and now possessed an equal disdain for propagation herself. However, it fell upon myself to take the prophylactic measures to prevent accidental creation. That drastic step known in most circles as "Vasectomy".
Being the most caring of wives, she accompanied me to the bargain clinic (Chez Deferens) for a brief, yet compelling lecture on the benefits of surgical birth control. And thus, I sat with 5 other quivering males and their supportive others weathering a rather banal pontification suitable for any 6th grade biology class. Yet, I found more of interest in the faces of my fellow "Snip-ies", who winced with every description of what was to come. Despite posing in their best "Tough Mug" ambiance and Wolverine facial hair, wifebeaters and "Death Before Dishonor" tattoos. Their palms were equally moist as if being made privy to the intimate details of their own execution.
The last person to explain such mechanics in these details was a huge and fascistic gym teacher in my freshman year whose first words to the Sex-Ed class had been "Should you be caught masturbating yourself or anyone else, you can be arrested and your picture printed in the newspaper." I checked the paper every day for weeks and hoped to catch a glimpse of that illicit masturbation running rampant in my neighborhood. Finding none, it was then and there I initiated my life long introspection and self loathing.
The lecture lady put everyone at ease with all the benign details and declared the Vasectomy operation was a marvelously "…quick and painless procedure" that after a few days rest and relaxation you are back in action. She even related a sobering tale of the fellow who came in for the procedure after downing an entire bottle of Tequila "All quite unnecessary" she chided and rolled her eyes to accentuate her disdain.
End of sermon and we all (to the man) bravely signed up for a pre-Christmas opening.
A pre-op procedure that insured both the low cost and "in and out" time frame of the "Snip & Tie", was requested by the facility, that you shave the target area, yourself. Thankfully, they clearly defined the "Target Area" so there would be "…no funny business in the bush", so to speak. And there defined was a swath to be removed an inch above the fitfully dangling spectator to the farthest reaches of my ever retracting twins. Now I must tell you, the wife, being a hair stylist par excellence has assaulted a lot of hair in her day, so volunteering for this job was no big deal technically speaking. That is, of course until it came time to actually do the job.
The night before the operation we each managed to keep a straight face through the required medicinal shampooing of the aforementioned "Target Area". And the living room floor received enough light to serve as the operation theatre. And so, it came to pass, that as I lay on the floor supine (read: "Belly Up") I must tell you, when the wife whipped out that straight-razor, and brandished the weapon as would Mrs. Lovett or some dreadful '60s Italian splatter villain, we both burst into screaming gales of tension relieving laughter. Regaining ourselves momentarily until she again raised that hellish, gleaming edge. I tell you, it went on for hours, but in the end, the job was done without a single nick, but don't think I wasn't aware of the sudden shift of control and potential for bartering "The fur coat? Of course darling".
Came the dawn, after a sleepless night where I envisioned all manner of horrible things and every imaginable outcome; but now, it was off to the clinic. Granted, even the most minimal procedures can still garner a certain qualm or two at the suggestion of slicing flesh whether based in reality or whimsy. but I must relate a decided chill when I discovered the surgeon and assistant in charge were named (honest to God) Dr. Savage and Dr. Cutter! Initially I envisioned a bloodthirsty pair reminiscent of Burke and Hare.
The group of eager subjects were ushered into a separate waiting room, made from a small bleacher like those found in a basketball court. My fellow "Snip-ies" had arrived earlier than myself, and appeared in various stages of unease. I was surprised to find my name the first called. The moment of truth was upon us; the wife gave me a slap on the ass and I was lead down a hallway to the waiting table - gasp! No, the stirrups were not for me (what kind of a place is this anyway?). A nurse appeared for a few signatures and to transmit the simple yet stern command: "Everything below the waist, on the chair," and she was gone. And thus, I sat on the well tissued table, rather dapper from the waist up. From the waist down… not so much.
The hardly formidable duo of docs appeared, and after a compliment on the superior haircut, efficiently commenced the ordeal of being draped with a specially prepared covering that allowed only my terrified scum rot (anagram for scrotum) to appear through an appropriately cut orifice - looking every bit like a runaway brussel sprout on a tablecloth.
So we're all on the same page, the operation consists of the removal of a section of Vas Deferens, a tube that leads to (or from, depending if you're the cutt-ee or cutt-er) each testicle, tying off and cauterizing the tube portions left intact. This to prevent an escape of any propagatory progeny, not unlike Tim Robbins in "Shawshank Redemption."
It's show time and the pecking order was clear enough. Dr. Savage gives orders, Dr. Cutter obliges; I just relax and throw my heritage out the window. There will be no one visiting me on my deathbed nor evil twins fighting over my meager possessions.
First item on the agenda, is to anesthetize the area. Oddly, there is no pain killer for administering the pain killer. I made this assumption when a hypo was force through the skin of what appeared to be a terrified walnut and into one of the isolated tubes therein. This wasn't going to be the picnic the tour guide promised. But having proceeded this far, the skin to gain tubal access was sliced, whereupon said tube sectioned, removed and Doc Savage, joyously waved the fleshy bit on the end of what appeared to be a martini olive sword for my approval which appeared very much like an inch of pink elbow macaroni. Doc Cutter then went in with one of those old Unger Wood-burning tools to cauterize the tube. While any pain had then been managed, the only distress was seeing a cloud of white smoke pirouetting from my crotch. Not unlike that seen when sitting in someone's ashtray while in the nude.
One down, one to go.
We were making good time, I must say, but now to proceed into the realm of testicle number two and let that that puppy run free. "Run little testis, run, into the sunlight and freedom at last!"
Now, if I may digress,
It should be known, just how neat and clever these doctors are about all this. The actual incision of "Testicular Access" if we may call it that was only, ummmmmm, perhaps a quarter inch in length. Here, a tool, not dissimilar to grannie's buttonhook was used to snag the pipeline of progeny (or gasoducto del progenie).
It was here I let let a girly shriek fly, that I'll wager had those posers in the waiting room crapping their pants!
"Come on" said Doctor Savage, demeaningly "Doctor Cutter just gave you a shot".
"Uhhh, no I didn't" replied Dr. Cutter.
"Ooops!" said Doctor Savage, "Sorry about that," and rolled back on his stool to let Dr. Cutter apply his killer hypo.
The final tube was snagged, sectioned, waved about with similar fanfare for a job well done; another dreamy ballet of smoke and the slight essence of burning flesh filled the air.
I suspect Rambo would undergo this procedure without breaking a sweat, yet I would never have made a member of the French underground being questioned by Nazis. I would immediately divulge the names of the leaders of the underground, and the formula for the secret rocket fuel.
A few cheery stitches later and viola! The doctors grabbed their instruments, and left the room like masked heroes in the night and left me to pull myself together and take a moment to reflect.
I dared to glance in a southernly directing, expecting to find something similar to a pound of rotten hamburger, and yet there was no blood, no bruise, and outside of a minuscule bit of stitchery, no evidence remained of my genitalia being brutalized by strange men in masks. I felt embarrassed feeling so much pain from such a damn small wound and as I sat on the edge of the table examining their handiwork, I couldn't help but think "What the hell have I done?" I've made so few decisions that were truly irreconcilable and this was one of them.
I must mention that while you've paid complete strangers to monkey with your naughty bits, you need something to do with your hands. Since they didn't let me use the stirrups for handles I found it more comfortable to lay my head upon my hands, and during the screamy bits, smear my hair all over the place during the 40 minute procedure.
When the entire thing was over and I was told to join the wife in the waiting room. I gazed into a mirror, and death warmed over stared back with sunken eyes and pallid as that bust of Pallas, and appeared as though I'd been drug behind a car. I accentuated my appearance, by pulling my hair in every direction, tucked my shirt half way in and pulled the shirt tail from my open fly. I slowly walked into the waiting room, shaking like a zombie who had just undergone a lobotomy. Every face in the room went pale as alabaster and one guy in the back, poked his gal in the ribs and bolted from the room as though he were on fire.
Hmmmm, I actually felt well enough to go back to work. But then, waiting for me at home was a comfy couch, a dozen videos and as many bottles of Champagne. Besides, being babied for a couple of days would put things in perspective.
A few weeks later, after supplying the clinic with a number of specimens I received my diploma of "Cumma Non Sperma" and yet otherwise, all was as it had been.
After all these years, I'd be hard pressed to think of money better spent.