Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

MY  SURGERY WAS COMPLETE, so I returned to my humble abode, and did rest. A few beverages, a cold compress to reduce the swelling, and sleep.

I awoke feeling some tenderness. Mild discomfort. This was to be expected, I was advised. I was further advised to avoid sex for 7 days, and continue to use protection for a month, until such time as I could return to the doctor’s office and it could be determined that I was, in fact, sterile.

However, upon rising from my chair I saw that mild discomfort was merely the beginning. There was an odd sensation of pressure, and a distinct pain that went with movement. It was rather like a small dog had bitten my crotch, and would not let go.

My wife, ever concerned about my well-being, inquired:

“How are you doing, sweetie?”

Here the principle of male toughness came upon me. I was not previously subject to this affliction, but something about having my reproductive capabilities removed made me attempt to compensate. I replied:

“I’m good – it’s… tender.”

I further attempted to modify my gait, to prevent any sign of discomfort. This increased the actual discomfort, but soothed my ego, seemingly bruised during the procedure.

Three days showed subtle signs of improvement. Less pain, less swelling. I also noticed that the prohibition against sex was beginning to vex me. I was in earnest to test the system. I at least wanted to see if a dry run was possible. In a private moment, I made a preliminary test. Yes!
Early success made me confident. It also gave me an appreciation of the workings of the male reproductive system, to wit; much jostling goes on. Certain parts of the male anatomy, especially the lower parts, tend to get bumped around. Curiously, I had not been aware of this fact, but it became painfully obvious now.

It occurred to me that I could easily avoid injury (and therefore have sex) if I could simply prevent certain types of movement. I shared this theory with my wife, who concurred. She had been chafing under the same restrictions it seems, and was similarly eager to have a full test of the system. We commenced at once.

All seemed to be going well. With careful planning, we had taxied to the runway, took off, and were now in level flight. A small amount of turbulence gave me momentary concern, but as we approached our destination, I was confident of a successful landing. Oh, how wrong I was.

It would seem that the doctor’s advice existed for good cause. My dry run had been successful to a point, but I had avoided a full test. I see now that was a mistake. It is curious, but once you are at a certain point in your final approach, you can’t change your mind. That is the ‘point of no return’. I had reached that point, and so I landed. Upon which, my engines burst into flame.

My wife, oblivious to all of this, was aware of the landing, but not of the difficulties that it presented. She again made inquiries into my health:

“How did it go?”

Once again, the principle of male toughness was invoked. I replied, slightly breathless:

“Ahhhh… That was outstanding.”

And then I passed out.

A month later, I reported to the doctors office. After adjourning to a small room for a final test, I was certified as a sperm-free zone. All tenderness was gone, and though an initial fear of flying had to be overcome, many safe and happy flights ensued.

[Chapter 11 of The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)]

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