- Ward Cleaver's Prozac Fever

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

hormonal aplomb.

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

testosterone-addled medulla.

"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

little cybermoment.

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).

Last "dads"
Past "dads"

2003 Arhythmiacs

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