Michael Lewis whines about getting his moneyballs snipped
And to the division of Your Kid’s Not Going Pro dedicated to them not doing so because Your Kid’s Never Existing.
USA Today health columnist Kim Painter notes various doctors talking about the tough image of the vasectomy. Tough, in that many men shiver at the thought of issuing a plant closing notice to their vas deferens. Although, according to Painter’s column, the tough economy is causing more men to decide to shut down sperm production like they were GM.
Part of the image problem, Painter notes, is a recent essay by Michael Lewis, in a book called Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, another book Joe Morgan won’t read. (With that title, the book should have been written by Desmond Hatchett.) The essay is about Lewis’ vasectomy, which appeared in the Guardian newspaper in the UK. The essay, not the vasectomy.
Even taking into account Lewis’ tongue-in-cheek account of the perils of parenthood (something Louis CK does far more uncomfortably and hilariously), he (and a few of his friends) comes off as a bit of prick, no pun intended:
The time had come for Daddy to take one for the team.
… Now, with the doctor’s scalpel just minutes away, it was drowned out by a new sound, of a grown man screaming: “They’re going to cut a hole in my johnson!”
I mean, why am I really here, stretched out and hairless and exposed and not knowing what to say to the mute lady scraping away south of the border? What’s the meaning of this outrage? This operation wasn’t about birth control. It was about life control.
I should have fought for my reproductive rights, like other men. A friend of mine, when his wife suggested he might go and get himself gelded, had just laughed and said, “What if I want a trophy wife one day?” Another had declined his wife’s invitation to a beheading by saying, “What if you and the kids go down in a plane crash?” Other men I knew refused the operation on the grounds of rumours they had heard about the side effects.
“I have a friend who had it done and he couldn’t feel his dick for 10 months,” a guy at a dinner party told me knowledgeably. “After that I said no way.” …
I rose from the table, and wobbled. Glued by sweat to my backside, from neck to thigh, was a paper bedsheet that came away only in strips and patches as I picked at it. I stepped into my trousers, hobbled to my car, and drove myself home. A hero to my wife. A traitor to my sex.
A traitor to your sex? As a male, I don’t care of others are getting cut, not getting cut, or going the full eunuch.
I’m speaking as a man who has gone under the ol’ slice-and-dice. My wife and I talked about me doing it after our third child, and in fact I had an appointment scheduled. But some conflicts arose, and somehow I never got around to re-scheduling. After we had our fourth child, I got around to it.
I understand a lot of men are squeamish about getting a vasectomy, although after watching my wife give birth four times I was pretty sure any pain I felt was going to be extremely, extremely minor in comparison. Plus, I was looking forward to the surgery because that would allow me to watch sports and play video games all weekend so I could “recover.” You know you’re a busy, veteran parent when you look forward to illness or injury because you know it’s the only way you’ll ever get a break.
It probably helped that unlike Lewis’ friends, mine were enthusiastic in extolling the virtues of the vasectomy. One friend explained it to me, appropriately enough, as we were in another junk-related situation, standing in line for the men’s room at halftime, inappropriately enough, at a Notre Dame football game under the watchful eye of anti-birth control Touchdown Jesus. As my friend put it, the greatest thing about the vasectomy is the freedom of knowing when you’re having sex, you’re just having sex — no sweating whether you’ve got another kid on the way. (This is the same instinct that has single douchebags getting snipped so the only thing they’ll come away with after an encounter is VD.)
Before I got the surgery, I had the requisite counseling session with the urologist. He noted that I would be given a low-grade Valium the morning of the surgery. I asked, why do you do that? “To help you relax. A lot of men get nervous. Some throw up.” I bet those are the moments that doctor regrets choosing urology.
My surgery went without a hitch, and with just a few stiches. The pain wasn’t even all that bad. And I got my weekend retreat.
So to men like Lewis and his buddies, I say, when it comes to getting a vasectomy: Sack up.