Snipped! (Watch The Video)
I’m sitting in Dr Snip’s office – just across from the great man himself – as Tyson and Maki ignore the bunch of assorted toys on the floor and instead open and close cupboards filled with all kinds of dangerous medical equipment.
Dr Snip is cracking genital jokes at the same time that he’s passing on important medical information about my vasectomy. He’s funny and easy-going and likable and in different circumstances we would be going blow-for-blow in a friendly dick-humour fight, but right now I am just too mentally scattered to even crack a smile. I can feel my bald scrotum constricting and relaxing rapidly like a frightened hyperventilating dog in a veterinarian’s waiting room.
The bravado of yesterday has left me. I am nervous and on edge and in no way capable of being myself.
I’m about to ask if I can make a phone call, or request a last meal, when Dr Snip gives me a smile and a nod and tells me that a nurse will be in shortly to prep me for surgery. As soon as the door shuts behind him the receptionist, Jayne, opens it again to tell me she can look after Tyson and Maki while the tubes they once swam through are being forever severed. It’s a pause-able moment – both sweet and bizarre – and one that will stay with me forever.
Susan the nurse is attractive which only serves to amp up my jitter-meter because for some reason I’ve always been much more comfortable exposing myself to less visually appealing people.
Also, I feel like I’m missing out on the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream here – during my formative years I had several secret ‘nurse fantasies’ which involved me lying on a bed and having my privates inspected. That is about to happen but shortly after that my vas deferens will be torn from the safety of the scrotum, snipped in half, and shoved back inside. It kind of ruins it for me.
‘Take off all the clothes from your lower half and jump on the bed,’ she says, with a smile. ‘There’s a sheet there to cover yourself with.’
While she has me in her sights I’m nodding nonchalantly and shrugging my shoulders as if I am completely comfortable being nude around strange women, but once she draws the curtains I fumble my way out of my pants and jocks, while swallowing a whimper, and dive under the sheet like a five-year-old fleeing from the darkness in the cupboard. I notice there’s a TV in the corner of the room as I hear Maki crying down the hall. My stress levels creep even higher.
‘It’s your special day!’ Susan says, after bursting through the curtains.
‘Yes,’ I say.
‘So what do you want to watch? The Cricket?’
‘Oh, I’m easy,’ I say, thinking of making a joke about bats and balls. ‘Maki’s pretty worked up. It doesn’t sound like he’s going to settle down… I hope Jayne’s okay.’
Susan ducks off and returns a minute later to place a huffing and sniffing Maki on my chest. It occurs to me that I am now as close to the ultimate female experience as I’ll ever get – lying on a hospital bed, my lower body exposed, about to be surgically violated, with a baby lying on my chest. There are emotions forming that will never find the right expression. I am vulnerable and at the mercy of others. I love my baby so much and don’t want him to cry and there are some many unknowns. Will I get haemorrhoids? Will my genitals look the same after the operation? Will RM still be attracted to me? I can’t do this! I think I want an epidural…
Susan and I entertain Maki until Dr Snip walks in and then Maki is handed back to Jayne – who really deserves as much praise for her efforts as anyone in this strange happening – and he starts crying for me immediately.
I do my best to ignore my need to soothe and protect by focussing on Dr Snip and ask, ‘So, have you had a vasectomy?’
‘God no,’ he says.
I let out a casual chuckle while thinking, What the fuck does he mean by God No?
When he throws the sheet off and exposes me his expression reminds me of someone who is looking for their wallet, or car keys. I almost expect him to grab my balls, say, Oh, here they are, and walk out the door with them.
Susan wanders over to stand on the other side of me (and disappointingly shows no sign of awe) as Dr Snip paints some medical concoction all over my penis and testicles and then I remember that just last night, before sleep, I thought of an embarrassing possibility and blurted out to RM, ‘What if I get an erection while they’re preparing the area down there?!’ but I know now that there is no chance of that happening. My privates are moving under the weight of the brush like lethargic miniature walruses (without tusks) lolling in the sun after an exhausting swim.
To distract myself I decide to ask Dr Snip and Susan some questions.
‘Hey,’ I say. ‘Will I be able to tell when I need a piss… after you inject my scrotum with anaesthetic?’
‘No,’ Dr Snip says. ‘You’ll probably wet yourself on the way home.’
Susan laughs. ‘You should only ever believe half off what he says.’
‘Half,’ I repeat, with a chuckle and then it occurs to me that I should video this, so people can see that even though Dr Snip is a professional with over thirty years of medical experience, he is also a nut-bar; a lovable and jovial one – the very best kind.
I watch as he prepares a syringe to administer the anaesthetic and I ask a few more questions, and then I realise that I can’t hear Maki crying any more and - as bizarre as it may seem - I start to feel a buzz of excitement because I like things that are touched by the crazy and look around! There is some crazy shit happening right here!
Dr Snip and Susan and I have never met before but here we are; gathered together around my balls, conversing and joking and ribbing each other like old friends.
As I listen to them answer my question, Is sperm nutritional? I’m wiping laughing tears from my eyes and my thoughts drift to the Reservoir Dad fans who have been following this strange journey, and the women who have written in to lament the inaction of their partners who – like me – have avoided a vasectomy because of the fear of pain, or embarrassment, or awkwardness and then I am certain that a video of my experience is a must. I reach for my iPhone and Dr Snip nods his approval.
This is for the readers who have stuck by me for so long and followed this Vasectomy journey. Come and join us. Gather around the warmth of my balls and enjoy the frivolity. Dr Snip will make you laugh, Susan will comfort you on your ‘special day’ and roll her eyes to let you know when the Doctor’s ‘just fooling around’, and Jayne will babysit your children and make you feel like it’s no trouble at all.
We’re like a big family here at Dr Snips’! Come on! Gather around…