Monday, November 12, 2012

Today's guest author: Jeff Hickmott

Today we're hearing from our old friend in the UK, the civic-minded and hilarious Jeff Hickmott. Jeff almost has too many web sites and side projects to list, but let's take a shot...
  • First, we have The World of Jeff, self-described as "Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge"
  • Then we have The Food of Jeff, and there's a joke here about English cuisine and rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge, but I'm not going to make it.

  • As mentioned above, Jeff is a civic crusader and Transition Town Tenterden is where he posts his efforts on that front.
  • His newest wee one, Rosie, has a blog where Jeff does most of the heavy lifting.
So let's see; Jeff does four blogs and pitches in on mine when I ask for help. Meanwhile, I write one and take a month off every year. Now I feel bad. Although, not nearly as bad as he did after this adventure... 

It seems only a short while ago that I was privileged enough to be asked to grace these hallowed pages with a few words to entertain you, the reader. (I'm not saying Clark only has one reader - I merely suggest that he only has one reader at a time. After all, it would be nigh impossible to gather the thousands, nay, millions of his followers (note to self: must find a collective noun for Clark's fans. Justin has his Beliebers, Demi Lovato has her Lovatics - even One Direction, Dear God, have OneDirectioners (a bit lame, that one)) around the screen at one time. You'd never find a building big enough. Or a screen that size.)

But in actual fact it has been a year since I last dipped my toe in the Trickle of Conch. A year. A lot can happen during that space of time. So, what to pick to write about?

Truth be told, I have been saving the story of this particular episode of my life for just this occasion. I have deliberately neglected my own blog ( - gratuitous pluggery, as Clark would say) to relate the fabulous story of how I became sterile by choice.

Hey, where do you think you're going? You don't want to read that? Alright, look, finish your breakfast/lunch/dinner and then read, OK? No gross icky bits, I promise. Well, not many.

It all began many, many moons ago when I first thought of having the procedure done. But then days turn into weeks blah blah blah... and we find ourselves a few years later in a different situation and a different country (where vasectomies happen to be free on the NHS). Bazinga!

Anyhoo, then my new partner tells us we are pregnant, expecting, bun in the oven etc. So I decide to put off the vasectomy till after the baby is born.

I shall now use a time-honoured writer's trick to shamelessly pad out my story, the mildly whimsical flashback.

I remember many years ago when my Dad told me the story of his own vasectomy experience. He went to have it done at a clinic where he'd been several months previously to have a septic cut on his hand treated. At that time, the doctor had looked at his notes and said "Hmmm, Hickmott, Hickmott... do you have a relative named Philip?"

Yes, my Dad said.

"He built a lovely fishpond in my garden, absolutely lovely.."

All the time Dad's thinking, get on with it!

So a few months later he went back to the same clinic for the vasectomy. This was in the days before it was microsurgery. Before it was almost non-invasive. When it was basically, cut him open, spread his goolies out on the table, cut the right bit, tie that bit, and put the goolies back in the right order.

The first thing that make him go 'hmmm', was the fact that out of all the other men who were there for the procedure, he was the only one who'd opted for a local anaesthetic. Hmmm.

The second thing was that when they wheeled him in there on a gurney and lowered a large green sheet over him with a square cut out of it, flopping his tackle through as they did so, the same doctor hove into view.

And then proceeded to have the exact same cousin-fishpond-garden conversation with him. All the while cutting open, spreading his goolies all over the shop, and cutting bits.

When I went to my doctor and asked about the procedure, he explained that it was far less invasive or painful and that nothing of that sort would be happening to me, although he could not guarantee the surgeon's mode of conversation.

Dr. Dowling, my doc, said that when it came to having children, one was procreation, two was population, and three was pollution. I now have four, which is just showing off.

I was referred to a local clinic and went in for a consultation interview with Laura. We sat and talked with Dr. Rajasekar (or Dr. Raj) for about 15 minutes, then he gave me a quick examination in order to see if my Vas Deferens was easy to locate (it was) and the ball started rolling. Sorry, bad choice of words.

I called and got an appointment for Oct. 16th.

In the interim period, we had a baby. See Oh my, more shameless plugging and self-promotion.

On the day, I had been advised to wear tight underwear of the swimming-trunk close-fitting variety. this was in order to help the sutures and dressings stay in place. Now, I am a boxers type of guy. I like freedom of movement. Close-fitting is anathema to me.

Suitably gussied up, I arrived at the clinic. My sister had driven me there and since the clinic was right across the roundabout from Tesco, she and Laura went there while I was esconced in the doctor's capable hands.

As I sat in the waiting room, I witnessed a man exit the doctor's surgery and walk along the corridor in the manner of one John Wayne. He had clearly had the procedure. I knew they did three of them every Tuesday. He was clearly not comfortable. And he was wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend "I AM McLOVIN".

Soon I was called in. Dr. Rajasekar ushered me in and I signed a couple of forms. He then introduced me to his nurse. A tall, attractive redhead. Not what I expected at all.

When you're lying there having the procedure done, and you're like me, you cannot bear to have dead air. You have to fill that void with something. So I was talking. Talking about anything other than what was going on. Opera. Shepherd's Pie. Anything. I notice that doctors these days, when they are about to use a needle of any sort, are apt to say "You might feel a little scratch". Scratch? No, it's a prick. But they can't say "You might feel a prick" when they are performing surgery on your nads.

So it was fairly straightforward and there has not been any pain since that couldn't be managed with Ibuprofen or similar. But one of Dr. Raj's parting shots was "You might experience some bruising or swelling." So far, no bruising. But about four days later, I felt like I needed a wheelbarrow in front of me. To carry my bollocks.

But at least I didn't have to talk about fishponds.   Speaking of ball-busting banter fun, Jeff and I, along with Michael Noble, are The Unbelievables, a crime-fighting trio whose retro-fashion adventures have been chronicled at the Facebook page of The Kitsch Bitsch. Check us out at our brand-new site:!


Jeff Hickmott said...

I should add that my day job (well, night job really, I suppose) is as a bartender at a social club. Some of the club regulars knew I was going to have the procedure, and in the days following, while I was constricted by tight undies, they would regularly interject into the over-the-bar conversation, "How's yer bollocks, Jeff?"

Ruprecht said...

Ho. Lee. Crap.

I about split a gut reading that little tale, Jeff. Tears are still rolling down my eyes as I type and correct and correct again.

Having had said procedure, I can relate ... but didn't find it amusing in the least ...

... until, of course, I read your synopsis of such.

Good. Show. (I mean ... for me. The doctor, on the other hand ...)