Not-So-Tall Tales

The Vasectomy of Crandal Boudreaux

Every man must face his greatest demon sometime, and for me that time came one Friday the 13th (seriously) when I let Dr. Marc Iseri burrow into my sacred scrotum and do the ol' cut & cauterize on two perfectly good vasa deferentia (the plural of vas deferens). Having been previously tricked into conceiving two hellacious kids, I went into Dr. Iseri's office with the opinion that no matter how traumatic the pouch-punching procedure was, it could in no way rival the intense, nagging, and everlasting suffering that children inflict. Remember, people who say children are a blessing either have none themselves or are grandparents. I also willingly made the trip because I was informed there would be good drugs involved; after a couple Valiums, I really don't care what the doctor does, especially if the doc is a female with small fingers.

Trust me

Contrary to common practice and even the Dr. Marc Iseri website, there was no pre-appointment consultation with the doctor. My ugly wife called the office, they set up a date, and then she was told to relay two pieces of information to me: he needs to wear a jock to the appointment, and he needs to shave. Yes, for this particular procedure you are responsible for your own shaving, and for an uninitiated and forever-hirsute man such as myself, the prospect of putting a blade near my naughty bits was akin to scalping myself with a flint knife. Not wanting to make any tactical errors during this part of the preparations, I sought the shaving advice of the wisest ball shavers I know: the boys at the Saturday night poker game. Captain Mikey, the most seasoned metrosexual of the bunch, said to sit down, stretch it out like taffy, and go to it with shaving cream and a new triple-blade razor. Cousin Lance, an intrepid explorer and veteran of numerous intimate encounters with exotic lice species, suggested a good coating of Nair. "If you're tough like me, you can use the regular stuff, otherwise they have stuff for sensitive skin," he said. He pleaded the 5th when pressed to reveal whether he was speaking from experience, but I never hear him complaining of the pinchies when we're on mountain bikes. Finally, Cowboy Roy said that if he ever had to clear the fields down there, he'd use his Norelco, because he paid good money for it and it could best follow the generous contours of his prodigious mansack. Yes, he actually used the word 'prodigious'. After little deliberation I decided to follow the Captain's advice, he being the elder statesman of scrotal grooming.

I will spare you the details of the hair-removal procedure, but for all those men out there who have never done such a thing but might be required to someday, the answer to your first question is very slowly and very carefully. It took forever, it made a big mess, and every sensation was terrifying because I didn't know if I had just pulled a hair or cut my most sensitive tissues (We've got a BLEEDER!). But thanks to this experience, I can now confirm that men who do this sort of thing recreationally and habitually are sadists and/or perverts. I can also tell you that, at least for one evening, Dr. Evil was marginally correct. As he says, "There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum; it's breathtaking." However, unlike Dr. Evil, I do not suggest you try it.

Shorn-scrotum sound bite

On the Dr. Marc Iseri website it says that at your consultation you will be given a Valium and a Vicodin, and that these pills should be taken an hour before your appointment. Seeing as they chose to forego the consultation in my case, I showed up at the Iseri Clip Joint wearing my jock but in a woefully undermedicated state. You see, before they can give you the happy pills, the good doctor has to fill you in on the details and ask you a question.

"This is a permanent procedure," Dr. Iseri said to me, my wife by my side, in one of the office's back rooms. "So what would happen if in six months you suddenly found yourself single and sterile?"

"Sounds twice as good as college," I said. "I didn't think that was possible."

Mrs. Boudreaux did not enjoy this statement, but it was obviously satisfactory for Dr. Iseri, who sent the nurse to get the happy pills.

"Do you drink beer?" Dr. Iseri asked.

"Abso-frickin-lutely."

"These pills will make you feel like you just drank a beer," he said.

"Can you make it like I just drank five or six? You are cutting my scrotum, after all."

Dr. Iseri assured me everything would be OK. Normally that would be comforting, but this was coming from a doctor who was wearing socks and sandals and drinking a smoothie in between patients.

At this point my ugly wife abandoned me to go to a nearby craft store. Obviously my usefulness to her was about to end abruptly, and she was showing me what things would be like for the next, oh, forty years. The nurse took me to an adjoining room and told me to drop my pants and everything underneath to my ankles. I found it remarkable that I was about to have a surgical procedure and there was no need to take my shoes off. That's when it became obvious that the vasectomy is the drive-thru transaction of the surgical world: run 'em through and get 'em out. Just like nudie mags, prostitution, and prophylactics, the profit is strictly in volume.

After about ten minutes of waiting alone, the nurse came back and asked if I was feeling anything from the medication. When I told her absolutely not, she said they'd give it about fifteen minutes or so to kick in. All you men out there, do yourself a favor. The next time you drink a beer, ask yourself if you are now ready to let a bearded doctor perform a vasectomy on you. I bet the answer is no. But that is the predicament I was in when the nurse and the doctor came into the room twenty minutes later and started to go to work.

The reason I chose to go to Dr. Marc Iseri is that he advertises (a lot) that he is only one of two doctors on the West Coast who performs the no-needle-no-scalpel vasectomy. On the surface, this sounds like a painless and even fun way to get yourself sterilized. I mean, who besides heroin addicts doesn't hate needles? And what man can bear the thought of a scalpel slicing his scrotal sack? Instead of using a needle to administer the anesthetic, Dr. Iseri uses some kind of air pressure gun that forces the anesthetic through the skin. It's supposed to be faster and more effective. I won't deny that it was. But he also says that it feels like getting popped by a rubber band. That is not necessarily true. It actually feels like somebody is taking a needle to your scrotum. And nowhere are you informed that he will be required to use this thing four or five times. Believe me, it'll make you clench your sphincter and many other body parts while trying to appear manly.

At this point in the procedure the area did numb up nicely, and then there was just a lot of tugging going on after he made the hole with a "special instrument". I like to imagine this special instrument was a laser, because then I can do the Dr. Evil air quotes when I tell this story. I lay there on the table and stared at the ceiling, engaging in small talk with the doctor and hoping I wasn't experiencing shrinkage. I also wondered if the nurse was enjoying the show. In a minute or two, I started to feel a little woozy, either from the drugs finally kicking in, the inescapable fact that my scrotal contents were on display, or the absurdity of it all. And then the nurse was waking me up, with a concerned look on her face.

"You passed out," she said. "Take a deep breath."

My first thought was: Why in the name of all things holy did you just wake me up? However, I couldn't seem to muster the strength to voice this thought.

"Take another deep breath," she said, and I did.

When Dr. Iseri then said, "We're halfway done," I nearly passed out again. Just wake me when it's over, people.

Thankfully the procedure itself only lasts about ten minutes. When the nurse said she was going to get the glue, I knew we were mercifully close to the end. They use glue instead of stitches, and I must say it is absolutely marvelous. It makes it almost impossible to tell you were violated. In fact, if it weren't for the distinct and unforgettable smell of cauterized vasa deferentia lingering in the office and the delayed effects of the happy pills, I think I would've been able to get up and walk out on my own power when they were finished. But when the nurse helped me sit up, I told her it would probably be a good idea if I lay back down for just a little bit, lest I do my best Saturday-night-at-closing-time routine. During this time, Dr. Iseri told me a whole bunch of stuff that I pretended to understand and care about. After a few more minutes, I was able to sit up and carefully pull up my jock and then my pants. I even told the nurse I was OK to walk, but she insisted on getting a wheel chair, which arrived along with my wife.

"You've tricked me for the last time," I told the wife. "No more hellions and poopy diapers."

"Wanna go for a bike ride?" she said.

After Dr. Iseri gave me some nice parting gifts -- a urologic 12-inch ruler that's actually 6 and a souvenir key chain -- the nurse wheeled me out. As we were preparing to enter the waiting room, she said, "This probably doesn't look very good. I hope no one else is out there. They'll probably run away."

"Not if their kids are as monstrous as mine," I said.

Just like a game show, there are lovely parting gifts

At this point there was nothing left to do but ride home in the passenger seat and wonder how much swelling and pain was in my future. It turned out not to be too bad. In all honesty, the worst part of the post-vasectomy period is the fear of your existing kids getting close enough to do something -- anything -- that could make physical contact with your groin area. Initially I sequestered myself in a room and locked the door, but all you men out there should be aware that the wife will only let you get away with that for a little bit. After that grace period elapses, be prepared to keep a hand over your jewels at all times when the little hellions are around. Or wear a cup. You'll already be wearing a jock for a week or more, so the cup really won't feel that strange to you. And it'll make you look huge, especially if you wear tight pants to work.

I went back to visit Dr. Iseri a week later so he could make sure nothing was out of order. The area was still sore, but he said that would go away in another week or so. Then he got me a specimen cup, which he instructed me to bring back after 11 weeks and 30 test fires. "Just get the specimen here within three hours," he said. "We don't want you getting arrested out in the parking lot."

"Thirty times in eleven weeks? Doc, you're my personal hero. The term "doctor's orders" just got new meaning in my house."

He smiled. He's not a bad guy, that Dr. Iseri. I'd let him cut and cauterize my vasa deferentia anytime.