Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Frozen Peas

On a blistery, scrotum-shrinking day about 2 years ago, I pulled up to the doctors office for a vasectomy consultation. I rode up the elevator with another nervous looking dude. We both sat, hands clasped protectively over our privates in the waiting room for our respective doctors to call us in. Our turns came and we parted ways. My doctor, despite the service he performed, seemed like a nice enough guy. After inspecting my plumbing, (which had managed to retreat even further by somehow turning inward on itself,) he announced that my vasectomy would be a relatively simple procedure.

"Twenty minutes tops,” he declared with confidence.
“Will it hurt?”
“The local is administered by a shot. You won’t feel more than a pin prick.” (In the scrotum, not the testicle.)
“How long will I be on my back?”
“The first few days I don’t want you to do much of anything but ice yourself and take it easy. A bag of frozen vegetables works well.” (Many doctors suggest having the procedure on a Thursday or Friday so you have the weekend to recover. An even better suggestion is to pick a Thursday or Friday before some good sporting events.)
“Once the deed is done, will my plumbing produce something besides number 1?”
“Yes, sperm is only 3% of the ejaculation. The other 97% is various fluids stored in the prostate.”
“And it won’t feel any different when it happens?”

I thanked the doctor for his time, told him I’d seriously consider his kind offer of sterilization, and hurried quickly from the room. I rode back down in the elevator with the same guy I came up with. “Did you do it?” he asked. “I did.” I’m not sure what I replied. All I remember thinking was that this guy had some serious gonads. In the ten or fifteen minutes that I was asking questions, this dude had done the deed, right there in the doctors office. (Many doctors will forgo the formality of an operating room. A vasectomy is considered relatively simple.) The last I saw of my sterilized friend, his hot wife picked him up in his Mercedes and they drove off into the sunset. Now, who knows for sure whether this guy is regretting his decision, but 97% of men who’ve had vasectomies are happy about it. Since my consultation, I’ve had ample time to further educate myself about them. Here’s what I’ve learned, broken down in bite sized bits.


Look, I know how difficult the thought of sterilization is. Just thinking about it has made me wince for the last couple of years. But here’s an even more agonizing thought. 30% of married couples experiences an unwanted pregnancy. 30% freakin’ percent! Now I don’t know about you, but my cup already runneth over just between work and mopping the pee off the back of my kids toilet. Another kid? Sure, as long as it comes with a lobotomy. So, if that stat moves you, here’s two questions you should consider before you move any closer to the idea of a vasectomy. 1) What if something happens to one of your children and you want to father more down the road? 2) What happens if you and your wife split up and you want to start a family with a new partner?


Yes, freezing your sperm is the simple answer to those questions.
Yes, I sat in a cold, antiseptic room, on a cold, cheap looking chair, in front of a cheap looking TV.
Yes, I followed directions and covered the cheap, cold looking chair with plastic to protect it from dribbles.
Yes, I selected from one of the 5 adult videos they offered. Which was about as erotic as an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Yes, I contorted my wiener to catch my sperm in a jar the size of a tea-cup, while two nurses waited patiently and sympathetically 20 feet outside the door.
Yes, when I was done, I had to hand the woman the jar for weighing (which I’d like to believe was brimming over with my manhood, but which in fact, was no more than the dribble they wanted to protect their chair from.)
And no, I don’t regret the experience. Because it’s peace of mind, in case either of the two horrible scenarios I mentioned above comes to fruition. The place I used was called California Cryobank in Palo Alto. (650) 324-1900, A quick Google search under Sperm Storage will turn up numerous results near you. The entire delightful process, plus 3 years of storage cost $1,200 (not covered under insurance.)


Ok, this is pretty obvious. But it needs to be stated nonetheless. If you’re going to let some guy wave a scalpel at your nuts, he’d better know what he’s doing. Because a vasectomy is a relatively easy procedure, doctors generally only have to perform a few of them before they’re considered competent. So here’s some advice- ask him how many he’s done. As a general rule, if it's less then 15 or 20, keep looking. If he tells you he’s performed hundreds of perfect vasectomies, that doesn’t mean he’s going to do yours. He may be planning on letting someone on the trainee medical staff do it. Doctors have to get experience somewhere. But no one says it has to be on your privates. Speaking of which. If privacy is important to you, ask the doctor who will be in the room when it all goes down. A nurse? A male orderly? High school sex ed students on a field trip? If you don’t ask, you’ll never have the chance to say, “hell no.”


The doctor, or the male orderly, or whoever you’ve agreed ahead of time to do your surgery, will need a clear field of vision. This means no hair. So instead of letting someone who doesn’t care about your privates like you do, take a whack at them, do it yourself ahead of time. Just make sure when you’re in for the consultation, that you ask what areas need to be hairless. And then don’t shave more than necessary. Because the hair growing back part sucks. Also, don’t shave with an electric razor. It can cause a rash. And regardless of how many bags of frozen vegetables you use, a rash on top of a vasectomy is a pain in the butt and elsewhere. Lest I forget the title of this section, doctors suggest celebrating the moment by squeezing off one last, live round. According to numerous doctors, it helps you prepare mentally for the procedure. Amen to that.


Unless you’re some kind of weirdo, you said yes to anesthesia. Just like the guy I mentioned in the very beginning of this entry, you’ll want to make sure you have your wife waiting to pick you up physically, as well as mentally. Doctors say that 9% of vasectomy patients experience some kind of depression afterwards. Fortunately, this can be cured by a hug, alcohol, football, and your vas deferens. That’s the part the doctor cuts. Lots of dudes ask to take it home as a souvenir. Seriously. Last, but certainly not least, please, please remember you AREN’T sperm free until you’ve had at least two shots, 6 weeks apart analyzed under a microscope. During your consultation, ask your doctor where EXACTLY, you should be taking them. You don’t want to be standing around a busy waiting room, late for work with a jar of semen in your hands. Or maybe you do. Everyone’s different.

Until next time, stay strong brothers.

Footnote: Many of you are probably wondering whether I've had my vasectomy yet. The answer is no. Because quite simply, I've been a wussy. But I’m over it. In fact, I scheduled a vasectomy for this May the 15th. Equally exciting, I’ll be documenting every glorious detail (with video), every step of the way. Yes, this includes the procedure. What better way for all you dudes out there considering frozen peas, to get educated? Anyway, much, much more on this later.

For more information, I found the following websites fairly educational:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Video games. Crack, or harmless convenience?

Not sure about you. But my wife and I constantly debate whether we should be letting our kids play video games. I know, it's super convenient. Gives you invaluable time to do stuff like mop pee off the back of the toilet, or vacuum french fries out of the car seats. But is it good for your kids little, warped brains? Actually, it's not as bad as you might think. Check this out:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I just wanna dance.

If you can believe it, he was already doing this for about 5 minutes before I could track down the Flip. And while it's pretty damn funny, it's also pretty darn normal. According to psychiatrists, kids at this age often use dancing and singing to help them understand and cope with a complicated world. Hell, if that's the case, I'll give it a shot tonight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bass Man...A story

Not far from here, behind an old barn, next to an old Oak Tree, there’s a mysterious round circle called Rue Pond.

Now pay attention, because you don’t want to miss this warning. Rumor has it that Rue Pond is haunted by an old man named Mr. Hucklebee. According to the locals, he’s part man, part fish and part lots of other things you’d never want to set your eyes on.

Supposedly Mr. Hucklebee doesn’t like kids much. He thinks they’re messy. And loud. And that they don’t listen to adults. And because he’s part fish, if he ever catches you fishing his pond, he’ll slip you on a hook just like a worm.

So for days and months and years, no boy ever dared set foot within pole’s length of Rue Pond. Until a boy named Danny Conway came to town. Now Danny had heard the rumors. But he’d also heard how big the fish were in Rue Pond. So after thinking about it back and forth and left and right, Danny finally decided that catching a fish as big as a house was worth the risk of running into this Mr. Huckleberry guy.

So, pole in one hand, can of worms in the other, Danny climbed the fence that bordered Rue pond. Before you know it, he had his line in the water and his feet propped up in front of him. With shade from the mighty Oak, and a gentle breeze blowing from the South, Danny was soon catching something besides Bass and Catfish. Something called zzzz’s. And it’s very tasty indeed.

Now don’t make the same mistake Danny made and get too comfortable. Because you’re about to meet someone you’ve been warned about. . .

As Danny drifted off, his bobber suddenly went down his pole bent over and the mightiest tug he’d ever felt, pulled him to his feet. Rod gripped as tightly as possible in his hands, it was then that Danny saw something weirder than the wieredest, and stranger than the strangest. What leapt from the water wasn’t a fish. It was Mr. Hucklebee. And he had Danny’s hook in his mouth.

If you know what a mermaid looks like, then you can picture Mr. Hucklebee. Except he wasn’t a she. And he wasn’t even remotely good looking. Or young. Or happy. In fact he looked downright mean. He had a long, grey mustache, that dissolved into a bass whisker- the kind that can sting you if you touch it. His bony fingers had webbing in between them like a frog. And the gills running down both sides of his face looked razor sharp. Oh, and as you might expect, he had a scaly flipper for legs- which he was currently using to swim straight at Danny.

At this point, you and you and you (including me) would turn to run. But Danny’s feet for some reason seemed to have stopped working. Stuck to the mud he was, like a magnet to metal. And just when you thought it couldn’t get weirder, Mr. Huckleberry turned into the following as he swam over to poor, dumb struck Danny:
1) A fire-breathing dragon (with a tail to swim)
2) Frankenstein (with a tail to swim)
3) A Lingot (a worm with big teeth and eyes. With a tail to swim.)
To Danny, it felt like an eternity for Mr. Hucklebee to reach him. But in reality, it only took about 3.2 seconds. And here’s the good part, (yes, there’s a good part.) As Mr. Hucklebee the Lingot with big teeth and eyes reached out to grab Danny, he awoke with a start. It was just a dream!

Instead of the Lingot, beside him sat an old man with a warm smile and a ham sandwich who must have crept over to him while he was sleeping. “Looks like you had yourself a nightmare,” he said. “How about something to eat? Always makes me feel better.”

Danny wiped the sleep from his eyes. “Who are you?”

“Mr. Hucklebee,” he said with a knowing smile. “You can’t always believe in rumors you know.” And as he handed Danny a ham sandwich, Danny could have sworn he spotted the glimmer of a scale from beneath his long sleeved shirt.

Pip Comes Apart...A story

Along time ago, there was a Rabbit named Pip. As he was hopping through the forest he suddenly grew very tired. Because there were lots of mean animals around, he decided to take a rest with the help of a mighty Oak Tree. “Please open up Mr. Tree, so that I can rest within the safety of your trunk.”

The tree opened up so Pip could go inside to rest, then it closed to keep him safe. Pip slept for hours. When he awoke, he couldn’t remember what he had said to make the tree open. He said, “open up tree, I want to get out.” But nothing happened. He tried again, “Mr. Tree, I’m done sleeping and I want to go home now.” Still nothing happened.

Scratching his head with a paw, Pip suddenly devised a plan. With his sharp front teeth, he would gnaw his way out! He began to chew, but before long he realized that the mighty Oak’s bark was just too tough. Good thing a nearby bird heard him trying to nibble his way out. The bird sat down on the limb and began to peck at the outside of it. But after many hours, all the bird had to show for his hard work was a small hole and a bent beak. “Sorry Mr. Rabbit” cried the bird, “the might Oak’s bark is just too tough.”

Pip sat down and feared he’d never get out. Just when he lost all hope, he came up with another plan. One by one, he’d remove pieces of his body and squeeze them through the small, open hole in the tree! He started with his feet. Then he squeezed his legs through. Then his arms. He was nearly there! The only thing left in the tree was his head. But he now had an even bigger problem. Without his arms, there was no way his head could be lifted and squeezed through the open hole.

“Now I’m really in trouble,” he said to himself. “What can I do? I only have my head, nose, ears and mouth.” After thinking about it some more, he realized that he wasn’t in that much trouble. He’d forgotten all about the magic word! And all he needed was a mouth to say it!

“Mr. Tree, please open up so that I can go home.” And with a creak and a groan, it spread it’s trunk wide.” “Hooray,” he said, “I’ve finally made it.” Now if only the magic word could magically make my legs come up here, I’d be able to get down.

Joy Ride...A story

Here’s a story about a kid kind of like you. Except he’s round and green. Oh, and he’s made out of helium and plastic. He’s a balloon and his name is Manny.

One day not so long ago, Manny was feeling green for two very good reasons. 1) He was made that way. And 2) he was jealous that a little girl chose Sheila, the red helium balloon instead of him.

But he knew that by the end of the day someone would take him home. After all, this was a country fair with millions of other kids. Plus, he was one of the most fun souvenirs one could by.

Manny was right. It wasn’t long before a kid twitching from too much cotton candy and soda headed his way. “I’m finally gonna have a home,” Many thought. Then the kid pointed at him and said five very special words, “I want the green one Mom.”

What happened next was like watching yourself in a scary movie. One moment Manny felt sheer joy, and then next, it was like he was watching himself in a scary movie. As the balloon man was separating Manny from the tangled mess of other balloons, a huge gust of wind lifted him quickly into the air past the outstretched hands of the kid.

Manny had never felt so deflated. Even before he was filled with helium. He’d come within inches of a home, and now he was miles away. As Manny climbed higher and higher into the air, the fair grew smaller and smaller. He choked back a small sob.

A passing Hummingbird heard him. “What’s wrong,” he asked.

“I was about to go home with a little boy, buy a gust of wind carried me into the air before I had a chance,” Manny replied. “Now I’m all alone.”

“You’re not alone.” I’m with you said the Hummingbird. “Tell you what, I’ll fly here next to you and you can tell me your story.”

“Well,” Manny began, clearing his throat. It’s hard to remember everything. But I do remember that I was born in a warehouse with lots of big machines.”

Suddenly a beautiful blue and white kite, with a long tail fluttered beside them. “Can I listen to your story,” asked the kite?

Sure said Manny, happy to have more company. “After the warehouse, I was brought to another place where they stuffed me in a plastic bag. And after that I was brought to another place where they filled me with helium.”

“Boy, that’s a lot of places,” said a Dragonfly who’d also joined them.

Manny nodded and continued his story. “And after that I was thrown in the back of a van and taken to a store that sold cards and flowers.”

“Must be exhausting,” said a Bee who also joined the pack of flying friends.

Manny sighed and continued. “Finally I was brought to the fair where I was sure someone would find me and take me home so I wouldn’t be so lonely.”

“Are you lonely now,” asked a Dandelion tuft that had been cast into the sky from a nearby field.

Many looked around. He was astonished not only to find himself surrounded by so many people. But so many people who seemed to care about him and his story.

“Besides, things happen for reasons that we’re not always aware of,” continued the Dandelion tuft. “You just have to keep smiling.”

And just then as Many filled with hope, he slowly fell from the sky. He descended past a hand-glider, in between telephone poles, and through tree branches right into the arms of a little girl with a big smile. And Manny knew he’d finally found a home.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pee Slippers

What’s that smell wafting through the house? Cookies? Aromatherapy candles? Urine caked to the back of the toilet? If you’ve got boys, chances are it’s not the first two.

Fortunately, your urine scented home can be avoided with these tricks below. Since I’ve implemented them, I’ve only stepped in pee three or four times.

Target practice. Peeing can be fun. And a great way to bond with your kid. Just make a target out of a Cheerio, potato chip or piece of toilet paper. See who can sink ‘em. Keep score and get him something when you let him win. By turning urination into recreation, you’re well on your way to an odor free throne.

No distractions. Have him close the bathroom door when he’s going. Think of a fireman with a hose. Startle him and water is going to fly everywhere. Your kid is no different. He doesn’t have the ability to only turn his head when something catches his attention. His whole body will turn towards the source, sending pee all over your wife’s new rug. Then she’ll blame you for years worth of baggage like not putting the toilet seat down, farting, etc. It’s ugliness that can be avoided.

Step Stool. Ok, all you’ve got to do is point down. Which should be fairly easy to do unless you’ve had too many beers or have been flipping through Hustler magazine. But your kid doesn’t have it so easy. He’s only had his penis for three years and you’re asking him to point it slightly upwards to arc his shot perfectly. I’m no gambling man, but I’d say the odds of more pee in the toilet than on the floor, aren’t good. A step stool will give him the same advantage you’ve got. And serve as an extra layer of protection between his appendage and your floor.

Clean up. I’m not saying I saw my son do this or anything, but hula-hoop gyrations for drying purposes only splatter urine all over the walls and your toothbrushes. Instead, tell your kid that a better solution is to tap the tip once or twice. Sure, it might seem obvious to you (or maybe not,) but to your son who is just getting used to the whole toilet thing, it’s golden information.

If none of the information above helps, you can always have your kid sit down. But this could lead to confusion down the road. So be careful.

Until next time brothers, may urine find it’s rightful place in your toilet.