These are confusing times we live in. Over the last six months, contrary to most (if not all) predictions, two nations voted for what could be reasonably argued, monumental changes, changes which may well affect the international community in ways we can’t foresee. After all these are two of the most influential nations in the world.
Living here in New Zealand, it is easy to put your head in the sand and assume that these events won’t impact our lives, or if they do it’ll be in small and inconsequential ways. I don’t want to sound dismissive, but personally, I’d like to wait and see what happens, and not listen to all the prophets of doom. In any case, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’ve spent the last month or so pondering one of the universe’s unanswerable questions. This is something which has troubled me (and several members of my family) for a great many years. It may even be something which is very dear to your heart. I haven’t been wondering about the existence of God, or having some sort of existential crisis. Oh no! I’ve been grappling with a considerably weightier subject. I’ve been wondering who men with comb-overs think they are fooling, and what they hope to achieve with those extra long strands of hair.
When I was growing up, a good (and by good, I mean bad) comb-over was cause for great merriment and derision, and growing up in the 80’s, I was fortunate enough to see some absolute crackers. At the tender age of about 15, I can distinctly remember making a solemn vow, that if I ever went bald, I would shave my head. All I can say is be careful what you wish for! These days, as you will have probably inferred, I have a very sizeable centre parting (at the last count it was about 25-30cm across), and can almost see the appeal of a “Bobby Charlton”, but whenever I consider growing an enormous ear-fringe on one side of my head, I remember the hysterics those pathetic few wisps of hair caused me. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I am the object of a tremendous amount of ridicule, but I don’t want to be giving people ammunition.
In matters such as this, I am a man of my word, and have for the last year or so sported, what has been unkindly described as a” chrome-dome”, and whilst this seemed like the cheapest option, I didn’t expect to have to buy quite so much turtle wax to shine my head!
Now I know that I have written, at some length about my dwindling thatch, but this is leading somewhere. You see, I recently kept my word in another, considerably more delicate matter. As you may already know, we recently welcomed our fourth child to Team Fun™. I have always wanted to have 4 children, but Mrs L. was less than keen. As I am the man of the house, and make all of the big decisions, we had decided that we would have three children. However, due to my gifted ability in the bedroom (it’s amazing what you can do in 2 minutes when you really set your mind to it), and an unfortunate latex allergy, I managed to sneak one past the goalie.
I had made another personal vow, that if we ever made it to 4 children, I would happily take myself down to see the Doctor. As that had happened, now was the time for action, although that is probably the most inaccurate turn of phrase I could have used.
As I work in a hospital, I am pretty relaxed in most clinical settings, but I have to admit I was slightly nervous about having anyone attacking my nether regions with a sharp instruments. That sense of anxiety was dulled somewhat by the fact that I was still exceedingly jet lagged, having arrived back in New Zealand from the UK, less than 18 hours before my initial consultation.
I needn’t have worried. The doctor who was performing the procedure thoroughly explained what would happen, and how he would perform the surgery. I like to think of myself as a reasonably smart guy, but it would seem that he didn’t. He drew a surprisingly life like (And embarrassingly life-sized) picture of the area of interest on the back of a Post it note, and clearly labelled what was what. I have to say that his rendering was a lot more sophisticated than the ones I used to draw on my school friends homework.
Before we left he gave me a prescription for a number of lotions and potions, with explicit instructions of when to take each one.
I duly took each one at the appointed hour, and despite the pharmaceutical cocktail floating around, felt worryingly alert when I returned to the rooms. I was ushered into a procedure room and asked to slip into something more comfortable. The “something-more-comfortable” in question was one of those hideous hospital gowns which comes in one size fits nobody. I then hopped up onto the bed and waited for the good doctor.
For those of you of a squeamish disposition, I would urge you to skip over the next paragraph, as it is slightly disturbing to say the least. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
I would say that this was possibly one of the worst experiences of my life, lying there in a sterile room with my tackle out for all the world to see. Disappointingly, that would be a complete lie. You see, I have very little recollection of the event itself. Just some slight (and I mean really slight) discomfort, as some local anaesthetic was administered, and that’s really just about it. All I can tell you is that the most painful part of the procedure, was parting with $425 on the way out of the door, and being presented with what I can only assume are a pair of novelty earrings in a specimen jar. That and having to wear a pair of tighty-whiteys for the first time in goodness knows how long (I am a strictly boxers man these days), as everything had to be kept nice and snug.
I’d arranged to meet Mrs L. at a nearby store, (in hindsight, perhaps not my smartest idea, but by no means my most stupid) and managed to shuffle there in a drug induced haze. Despite my mind being addled but a potent mixture of chemicals, remarkably I didn’t draw any attention to myself. In fact, it is possible that those meds had actually improved my mental agility as I had evidently become a bit of a dab hand operating my phone (something I struggle with when I am not under the influence of high grade sedatives). I don’t recall any of my visit to the shop, or the hour and a half conversation I had with the lady who had taken care of the kids while Mrs L. and I went on our date. No, the only thing I can really recall, is that I woke up the following morning (in my own bed) with a sensation like I’d been given a good old kick in the nadgers!
To be honest though, that really was as bad as it got, and as I was given a generous supply of pain killers, over the next two or three days, this reminder of the procedure was fleeting at the worst.
Now, a few weeks on from the whole ordeal I have a few suggestions to those men who are considering having the snip, but for whatever reasons, aren’t sure.
First; be sure that you won’t want to have any more children. You need to discuss this with your partner too and make sure that she is in agreement. Don’t enter into it flippantly as vasectomy is permanent, although in some cases can be reversed. I hadn’t had the procedure done before now as I was irrationally worried about losing my family in some sort of calamity, and would want to start a new family. As I said; irrational!
Second. In my experience, it doesn’t hurt. I can see how that would be a concern, and will readily admit that I had some reservations of my own in this regard. Even if it did though, imagine the bragging rights you’d get. “I was the guy who had the snip, even though the local anaesthetic didn’t work!” I doubt even Chuck Norris could compete with that, and from what I understand, that guy is pretty tough!
Third. Stop procrastinating! There’ll always be something which is preventing you from making that phone call. Tomorrow never comes, but babies do! Trust me, I’m a bit of an expert on that score.
Forth. Take control of the situation. (I have to declare that I didn’t do this and ended up getting strong-armed into it.) Assuming that she is onboard, your partner will thank you for it, especially as this is such a personal matter, and as a rule, guys don’t do that stuff well.
Fifth. I know that it’s expensive, but trust me $425 is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of a child.
Finally. A wise man once said, that it is better to unload a gun than to wear a bulletproof jacket. This is the responsible thing to do. I have read of men saying that for their sex-lives this was the best thing they did, as there is no longer that nagging voice in the back of their minds whispering “Are you ready to be a daddy again?”
With the exception of the first point, this can all be summed up in three words.
GROW A PAIR!
Oh and if you happen to have a comb-over, come on mate!