the spaghetti incident? part I
There's nothing quite like the feel
of cold, sharp surgical steel sliding
across the scrotum like the barber's
blade in Bunuel's "Un Chien
Andalou" to send any God-fearing dad
into a knee-wobblin' tiz.
Call it what you will. "The Big V."
"Chop Job." "Mr. Snippy." Dads
electing to surgically end their
reproductive history are only too
willing to tell mortifying tales of
their own vasectomy.
But you do have to ask.
Menfolk don't seem quite as willing
as their female counterparts to let
the Oprahs of the world dangle their
cauterized vas deferens in front of America
the way you hear about severed
fallopia and bikini cuts.
But listen closely in the public
places where dads are known to
hang --- the water cooler ---
the emergency room --- the
unemployment line --- and you
are bound to get an earful of
urological tragedy enough to
send you screaming into the
darkest black of night.
"Can't be that bad," the 90's
dad is now thinking with the necessary
Well, sit back my friend.
This heinous but entirely true story
starts with --- spaghetti.
"I'll never eat spaghetti again!"
said my boss after a mysterious two-day
absence from work.
"What?" I bleat loud enough for
the rest of the newsroom to hear.
"SHHH!" he shushes.
Whispering now, "vasectomy...I had
a vasectomy!" he utters, wincing and
readjusting his inseam from the back.
Now, this guy was roughly double
my tender age, and
A.) I had no idea
why anyone would want to stem the
flow of...well, you know. The FLOW.
B.) my conception (if you'll pardon
the egregious pun which, I assure
you, is fully intentional), of
the process was more akin to the
thing that the vet did to my beloved
dog Parvo, reducing him to a sort
of sniveling lobotomized stupor with an alto
bark gone tenor yap. The stitching
drove him itching; the itching had
him draggin' his doggy butt all
over the deep-pile shag to
the horrified consternation of my m & p.
After a couple of flippy-floppy nights
jerking about on the rug,
the area of my dog that USED to house
his family jewels blew up to a
purply-blackish globe the size of Santa's sack
(the one with the goodies in it).
After an intense infusion of doggy
downers and human-grade penicillin
for which Blue Cross would not pay
despite my family's best efforts to
convince the provider of Parvo's
egalitarian status within our prototypical
nuclear family, he did finally calm into the
level life a canine eunuch leads.
Aside from all of that, I'd recently
seen Monty Python's "Life of Brian" and
the logic of the tune "Every Sperm is Sacred"
was weighing heavily on my
"Spaghetti? What does eating spaghetti
have to do with having a
vasectomy?" I blinked the vacant blink
of youth, no doubt flopping my
head from side-to-side like a
val-guy's Pleistocene-era ancestor.
"He made the cut and stuck his little
finger in there and yanked out a
coupla feet of my vas deferens to slice
it and tie it off. I will never, and I
mean NEVER eat spaghetti again."
Now, I flashed back to my required
bonehead-senior-year "personal family
living" class taught by the punchdrunk
wrestling coach in an effort to recall
exactly what piece-part a "vas deferens" is.
I recalled the coach, in a stunning
half-a-malaprop, pronounced it
"V.S. Disenz," making it sound
more like a World War II-type aircraft
carrier than the linguini-like
seminiferous tubule it in fact is.
I quickly got the gist of my boss'
true confession and grimaced in a
sympathetic jerk (or perhaps AS a
sympathetic jerk), and for one sad moment,
I too rued the day I ever twirled
up a heapin' fork-full of semolina.
Other stories cropped up over the years,
but none evoked the sheer terror
of the spaghetti incident. One pal,
feeling darn frisky the same afternoon
as his procedure, dry-chomped a coupla
aspirin (as dadly dads are
sometimes known to do), and went about
performing dadly chores, like
mowing the old Kentucky blue.
Soon he sported a throbbing
bowling ball in his lap the likes of my
long-since-departed Parvo. Another
claimed to have turned blue from the
waist down. Another developed a
fine aria for the very first time in
his adult life.
In those wild and halcyon ensuing years,
my wife and I developed our own
cooing brood, the ongoing fodder for
this very cybercolumn, or whatever
tripe and soliloquoy you'd call the
place you're at in our shared
As the brood grewed, I just knewed.
Somehow I knew the knife was
a-comin' for me.
The kiddies get a
gelding for Christmas. (But not
necessarily the one on their wish lists).
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