Once upon a time, there was a couple named Karen and Ted, who were happily married. But it was time for them to have "The Talk."
One sunny afternoon, Karen broached a difficult subject with Ted.
"Ted," she said. "Do you see that roller coaster awkwardly placed in the back of this picture that we're in? That roller coaster is a glaring metaphor for all of the pregnancy scares that I've had over the years. I do believe that it's time that we talked about permanent birth control. Permanent birth control for men."
"Let's wait to discuss this over coffee while sitting on our futon couch," said Ted.
And so they waited.
"I don't know that a vasectomy is really necessary," said Ted. "Just seeing you sitting there in those blue leggings and old gym socks might be enough to guarantee that we never have sex again."
"Shut up, Ted," said Karen. "You're getting it done. And did I ever tell you that you look like Scott Peterson?"
"Did I ever tell you that you have bad taste in futon pillows?" Asked Ted.
Little did Ted and Karen know that the procedure wouldn't prevent further spats like this one. Vasectomy or no, they were destined to a lifetime of bickering.
Reluctantly, Ted went in for a consultation. "Your weenie is right here," the doctor said, while gesturing towards an anatomically-correct drawing. "Your marbles are right here. We'll just be snipping the tube that now serves as the marble/weenie connector. Do you have any questions?"
"Are you sure that you can see the connector properly through those coke-bottle glasses?" Ted asked.
"Don't worry," the doctor said. "I'm having Lasik done next week."
Of all aspects of the surgery, Ted found this one most troublesome.
Strangely, the surgery aged both Ted and Karen about 20 years. Karen traded in her leggings for high-waisted grandma pants, and Ted suddenly sprouted cankles. Isotoner slippers were worn by all during the recovery period, while Karen served Ted sliced apples along with his tall glass of gin and bottle of Vicodin.
And after that, every day of life was just like a walk in the park. Although Ted did feel the need to wear an overly-long jacket to hide the shriveled remains of his once virile man-parts.
Story by Martha Kimes, The Random Muse, reprinted by permission of the fabulous author. Pictures by mysterious unsung medical illustrator.
Martha's new book, IVY BRIEFS: A Privileged and Confidential Law School Story, which tells her comic adventures as a Midwestern girl who survives Columbia Law School, is coming out this fall. She saw the above pamphlet photos in a doctor's office recently and couldn't stop howling. Thanks to my secret reader who forwarded me the link!