by Mike Todd

“So maybe you’d like to make an appointment to come see me?” the urologist said, and from the twinkle in his eye, I could tell that our conversation had gone dangerously off-track. I replayed the previous few moments in my mind.

“Evan looks great. This should be his last follow-up,” the doctor had said after checking the healed incisions on my son’s abdomen. Evan’s minor surgery is now a distant memory.

“That’s great. You did awesome, bud,” I’d said to Evan, thinking it was time to head for the front desk to check on the lollipop situation.

“Does he have any siblings?” the urologist asked.

“Just a younger brother,” I’d replied.

“Planning to have more?” the doctor asked. Right there, alarm bells should have been ringing in my pants.

“Nope, we’re two and through,” I said, proud at the insanely high number of children Kara and I had produced. Two children is also one child below the mandatory minivan threshold, which seems like a good place to stop.

As soon as I’d confessed that we were out of the procreation business, the urologist asked me that question about making an appointment. With terror, I realized that he was already giving me a vasectomy with his eyes.

“Whoa, you know, my wife and I haven’t really talked about that yet. Maybe we’ll be 100% sure in a few years,” I said, buying enough time to get me far, far away from that office.

Last year, the contractor doing work on our house for the better part of the summer nonchalantly mentioned that he’d had a vasectomy.

“How bad was it?” I asked.

“It’s really not a big deal,” he said; then he went on to describe, in vivid detail, what sounded like the opposite of a not big deal. He told me about the scalpel and something about a hook going into the (small!) incision and pulling some duct work (briefly!) out to be snipped. After that, all I really remember is the smelling salts helping me come to.

“Do you have kids?” I asked the urologist, attempting to turn the conversation away from neutering me.

“Nein,” he said, switching to German and nodding.

Then he continued, “The youngest is six months old. I’m 46. Man, I’m getting too old for this.”

Wait, nine kids, not “nein” kids? That was English? Physician, snip thyself!

Someday, a date with that scalpel awaits me. But there’s no way that the person wielding it will have nine kids. First off, he clearly has no first-hand knowledge of being a patient for this procedure. Sure, by that logic, I’d also have to refuse brain surgery from anyone who hasn’t been lobotomized, but whenever someone starts waving sharp objects at my groin, logic isn’t my top priority. It just seems like having this guy do the procedure would be like asking a vegan to cook my filet mignon.

Secondly, it’s not that you necessarily have to be crazy to have nine kids, but all else being equal, someone with nine cats is much more likely to be sane, and the odds aren’t great for either of them. At least if you have nine cats, you can still leave the house for a family outing without renting a school bus.

When I got home, I told my wife, “You’ll never believe what that guy wanted to do to me.”

I told her a harrowing tale of adventure, appointments avoided and scalpels dodged. She rolled her eyes. Trying to get sympathy from someone who’s delivered two children is really difficult.

“You know, one of these days, you’re really going to need to make an app…” she started to say, but I missed the rest. Sometimes, it’s difficult to hear what your spouse is saying when you’re fleeing down the driveway.

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