On the other hand, I do have more sympathy for every pet I've owned now

As mentioned, my Bride and I have been pursuing medical intervention to ensure we don't propogate the species any further. Between the Critter and Squrimy, we've replaced ourselves in the gene pool, and we figure we can be done and feel good about it.

Though it took several months of effort, I finally had managed to get on the schedule for the clinic, where a doctor was due to get intimate enough with my intimates to perform the operation. I don't know how odd it is, but the night before, my Bride asked me if I was having any second thoughts about the operation or the lasting effects, and gave me the opportunity to opt out if I was. It was awfully sweet of her, but having been woken up on a Saturday morning at 5:30 am by Squirmy, because he thought it was time that someone came and played with him for a while, I was pretty set on going through with it.

Here in the UK, our local NHS hospital schedules these things in groups, on a Sunday once a month or so. Ever been to your local suburban hospital on a Sunday morning? We did a double take in the parking lot, because there were so few cars there. The halls of the hospital were empty, with only the sound of a radio playing in somebody's distant office telling us there was anyone around. It was very 28 Days Later.

We followed the sound of music (which was playing, I kid you not: Me and Mrs. Jones) and found a sign, propped up in the hallway, and a bunch of men kind of hunched over in their chairs, staring at their shoes. About two out of three men had a woman with them, presumably their wife or partner. Unfailingly, the woman was smiling and laughing. One guy had two women with him, about the same age. Which made me wonder if he had a particularly supportive sister, or what, exactly?

About a half an hour later, I met the smiling doctor (male) and a bevy of nurses (female), who came in one after the other to tell me to disrobe, or to check if I was ok once I was disrobed, and if I had the right underwear to put on after I was done being disrobed, and to tell me I had a beautiful baby while I was lying there, disrobed (which seemed a little ironic, given where I was). After the third visit from one of these nurses while I was lying on the hosptital bed in my socks and my t-shirt, reading a Star Wars novel in an attempt to distract myself (what a dead sexy mental picture I paint, eh?), the doctor came in and punched me in the crotch.


"Did that hurt?"

"Um. A bit."

"Ok, well, at least we've established your sensitivity level. [read: pansy-boy]I'll use more anesthetic before I do the other side."

Ah. Fun. The other side.

If it hadn't been for the four months of wait to get this appointment, I would have considered saying let's stop here, and I'll come back another time to finish the other half of the job. To his credit, it did feel like he put a couple of paper towels around his knuckles before he punched me in the crotch again. But then the nurses let me put my clothes back on, and gave me a cup of tea. Which is the British version of pity.

An hour later, I was on my couch at home, with all the tylenol I wanted and a bag of frozen corn to soothe my pride. But on the way out of the clinic, I took this picture of an "out of order" sign on one of the emergency kits in the wall: