The Boy was going for a haircut. Pre-vacation, a couple weeks before school starts, a haircut is like putting on war paint. With school supply swords and a good high and tight trim, a near-five year old can drop into the jungles of southeast Asia and survive. Sliding into Montessori should be a breeze. The wife was taking Dos along for the ride and a quick trim on his Christopher Lloyd circa “Back to thee Future” mop. As they readied themselves to leave, I felt some pride. There were my boys, the fruit of my loins, the generations of Otis to come.

Then I paused. I was forgetting something.

“So,” said the over-tired, over-stressed, over-stimulated wife from her spot over the clothes dryer, “when are you going to make that appointment?”

Ah, yes. That appointment.

I’ll be honest. I’d promised to make said appointment with the doctor in June.

“Just as soon as we were sure everything came out okay?” my wife reminded me, and not a little impatiently.

Really, I was all gung-ho about the vasectomy, as odd as that sounds. I figured the wife had gone through the gestating and birthing of two kids, not to mention the recovery and subsequent gym pain that comes from working off the baby weight. The least I could do was go through a minor surgery that might make me sore for a couple of days and give me a really good excuse to sit around and do nothing but play online poker.

“Plus,” I said a few months ago to my friend John over a beer, “they’ll knock me out, couple snips, and I’ll wake up with some really good pain meds.”

I hadn’t finished my sentence before John started shaking his head. “No general anesthesia,” he said. “It’s a local.”

A local? I was floored. For such a procedure, I was sure I’d be off in happy land while somebody messed around with my stuff. I said aloud, “They’re going to stick a needle in my…?”

“Yeah,” he said. “But it’s not that bad.”

I’ve had needles stuck in my mouth, hand, arm, and ass, and every time it was worse than “not that bad.” Never once had I considered the idea of my boys getting stuck with anything and it being anything but out-of-this-world horrible. I sat at the bar for a few more seconds and thought about how chilly it gets in doctors’ offices, how the stress of the situation and the lower than normal temperature might…well, might make that area a little less pliable than it needed to be.

John laughed. “Don’t worry about that. They have this warming gel they rub on…”

I drifted off while he was trying to reassure me. I pictured myself–already a randy and barely controlled animal–sitting with my pants down and some 25-year-old doctor’s assistant rubbing warming gel on my junk. Unless she looked like Abe Vigoda, I feared for the worst. I remembered the recent KY Jelly commercial and thought, “They actually make a marital aid that does the same thing!” That was when I privately–and with no small amount of shame–decided in my head, “Oh, hell no.”

Now, I never really thought the wife would go back on the Pill or would offer to undergo any more medical procedures. This decision was made long ago and I am, for better or worse, a man of my word. So, I knew there was no backing out, per se. However, I thought there was a chance I could delay the procedure for a length of time such that my wife would forget, get that reproducing feeling again, or go blissfully through menopause.

That’s when I entered into a bet with my brother that I may or may not write about at some point soon. Suffice it to say, the bet requires me to be active and fit for the foreseeable future. The last thing I needed was to be sitting around with a package of frozen peas on my crotch. I thought, at the very least vis a vis the vasectomy, I had delayed the possibility of shrinkage turned embarrassing non-shrinkage and the inevitable pressure and pop of a 2009 male sterilization.

And so this afternoon, when the wife brought up the appointment I was supposed to make for June, I said quite confidently, “I don’t think I want to do it until after the first of the year.”

Without missing a beat, my wife turned from the clothes dryer and looked me directly in the eye.

She said, “Then neither do I.”

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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25 Responses

  1. Jjok says:

    BOOOOOM. No boomboom

  2. Falstaff says:


  3. Chilly says:


    Even after the snip you need backup protection. You know that you have to get fertility checks to make sure the snip worked, right?

    She should get an IUD now and you should make the appointment now.

  4. BWoP says:


    Nice zing Mrs. Otis.

  5. Poker Shrink says:

    Not to put too fine a point on it but — Otis you are an incredible pussy! Make the damn appointment, have the doctor prescibe a valium to relax you and get it done. And yes I did, so know from whence I speak down thar.

  6. April says:

    I love Mrs. Otis.

  7. heather says:

    This is why Mrs Otis rocks my world.

  8. franky5angel says:

    Tell, ya what. Let’s make it a double. I’m in for the beginning of next year. Just remember to put your boxers back on, not mine.

  9. JimG says:

    Beautiful! Very similar to to what my wife told me 2 years ago after our third came out ok. Just be careful not to play golf the day after you get it done, may pop a stitch – take it from someone who knows.

  10. Maudie says:

    “blissfully through menopause”

    Oh my. Oh. My my my. Oh my MY my my.

  11. Da Goddess says:

    Since I used to assist with vasectomies, all I can say is: make sure you’re not the last patient of the day and that your doc isn’t scheduled to get on a plane after your procedure. I mean, do you really want him rushing through because he’s going kayaking with friends in Washington? This is one of those times you want a doc to take his time.

  12. Special K says:

    Don’t listen to John. It’s not easy. In fact, I count lying down on that table as one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. Flying into a war zone is distant by comparison. But we do it anyway (and brag about how brave we are later). So it’s time to man-up, grit your teeth, and get-er done. She’s worth it. And get a morning appointment.

  13. KenP says:

    Like Arnold says…

    Girly Boy!

    But then, you wouldn’t want to come off that great as “The Terminator”. Missus O is the obvious terminator here.

  14. lusky says:

    yep it’s scary as hell going in and it does take bravery (or in your case a desire to have sex again this year), yep it will be cold in that room and shrinkage is going to happen from cold and fear, yep its embarassing having your feet in stirrups with no horse under you, yep it pinches a little when they inject anesthetic, yep you need to lay around with a bag of frozen peas on your disconnected nuts for 2 days, but… once you are numb, procedure is painless, afterwards you’ll realize that it wasn’t that big a deal (but not until afterwards, no one can convince you before), you get to have consequence-free sex (with your wife) and you will have kept your promise.

  15. Mean Gene says:

    (crossing and uncrossing his legs)…

    Let me give this small amount of comfort–as someone who got a shot in his ass from a physician’s assistant who would’ve been comfortable on the cover of Maxim, a doctor’s office/treatment room is NOT an easy place to get aroused. She could’ve put on some Barry White, slipped her lab coat off her creamy shoulders, and drizzled champagne over her nipples. I was there strictly for business.

  16. Lili says:

    Otis, do the right thing. Until you’ve carried, birthed, and recovered from (at least) two babies, you’re not on a level playing field here.

    And Mrs. Otis, stick to your guns!

  17. Lee Jones says:

    1. For chrissake go get the procedure. “John” (if that’s his real name) is overstating things. Getting the vasectomy done is a core component of you doing the Right Thing as husband here.

    2. Mrs. Otis, as always, dominates all aspects of the game. You married wisely.

  18. MGM says:

    Seriously. If I had a pair of nuts, I would have chosen the snip over what I had to go through to carry two babies to term and labor and deliver their way into the world. It doesn’t even compare. And you only have to go through it ONCE. And the post op is nothing compared to post-partum. You won’t even have saggy fat waggles hanging off your body and swollen boobs to deal with unless you had those BEFORE the snip), and you certainly will not bleed for 4-6 weeks after wards either. Having your stuff messed with in the doctor’s office for a few minutes is nothing like having your stuff messed with during pregnancy exams and labor and delivery.

    My mom, who was a labor and delivery nurse for 35 years, said that the reason men don’t gestate and deliver babies into the world is because they could not handle it.

    Grow a pair already, and then take them to your local doc to have them snipped! And right on to Mrs. Otis!

    (all in good fun, of course)

  19. franky5angel says:

    Yeah, you and Frank both need to take care of it. Reece is now 2 and I have been asking Frank to do it since he was born.

    You go, Michelle!!

  20. pokerpeaker says:

    1. If you pay any attention to my blog at all – and you probably don’t, but just sayin’ here – you know that I’m active. I was out a week, tops, after the surgery. It will not hurt your plan to get fit.
    2. Ask for lydocaine. You put that stuff on an hour before, and you will not feel much of the shot at all.
    3. Quit being a pussy. Please, do you want to shove a watermelon through the size of a wedding ring? No? This is nothing.

  21. newsmonkey8 says:

    The last thing I want to do is reinforce your worst instincts… BUUUUTTTT, this dance can go on for a while. We’re at three and a half years and counting…

  22. Drizztdj says:

    I suggest taking whatever pill they give you prior to the procedure (not to be confused with John’s “procedure”). Surprisingly, the “could pass for a Playboy model” assistant was not able to cause any uncomfortable moments despite using that warming gel.

    I wonder if that pill was the anti-Viagra.

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