A couple weeks back, Valdemar Lopes de Moraes walked into a clinic in Montes Claros, Brazil, complaining of an earache. Instead of an ear exam, he ended up with a vigilante vasectomy and his ear still aching.
I know you’re wondering: What? A man goes in with ear trouble and they cut into his ballsack? Don’t those Brazilian docs know the difference between ears and testicles? And if they thought poor Valdemar’s testicles were his ears, why didn’t they try to do something about the sorry condition of his oddly elongated one-eyed head while they were down there?
I can just hear the docs in the operating room: “No wonder this man cannot hear. He has no ear holes.”
“Yes. That will trouble him all of his life. We will make him some ear holes. Scalpel!”
Here’s what happened, according to Reuters: While our man Valdemar was in the waiting room, another patient, Aldemar Aparecido Rodrigues, was called into the vasectomy room. Valdemar, Aldemarit all probably sounds pretty much the same when you’ve got ear trouble. Next thing Valdemar knows, a doctor’s got him laid out on a table and starts messing around with his boys. I know it’s none of my business, but I say Valdemar should’ve spoken up then, even if he was enjoying the attention.
“He asked no questions when the doctor started preparations in the area [that] had so little to do with his ear,” said clinic manager Vanessa Guimaraes.
I’m pretty sure that if something like this makes the wire services in Brazil, it’s probably going on all over the place, and nobody ever hears about it.
So, as a man who’s had a few earaches and one vasectomy, I feel a duty to save potential vigilante-vasectomy sufferers some misery. Let me explain the differences between earache treatment and having your testicles permanently disconnected from your manly ejection equipment: When you go to the doc’s office with an earache, they sit you up in a chair, or on one of those butcher-paper-covered examination tables. They don’t ask you to lie down, and they don’t ask you to take your pants off. If a true medical professional is doing the ear job right, nothing happens below your ear lobe. Somebody will shine a light in your ear and send you out the door with a prescription for drops or pills.
A vasectomy is way different. You will be pantless, and you will be lying down. Somebody will gently grab ahold of your boys and shave them ever so carefully. So far, so good. But then comes the local anesthetic, which, for most men, will cause a never-felt-before sensationspecifically, manparts with little or no feeling in ’em.
That’s when, if you came in for another procedure, you need to get up off the table and run out of the room. Don’t worry about leaving your pants behind. If a man runs bottomless long enough, somebody will eventually offer him some pants.
Anyhow, if you’re really there for a vasectomy, you’ll feel some pressure and some pulling and tugging. Pretty soon, you’ll feel the doc pull on your vasa deferentia, which are the last-exit off-ramps for sperm. When the doc pulls ’em, you’ll think they run all the way up to your ears. (That explains why our man Valdemar stayed in the vasectomy roomhe says he thought maybe he had an ear infection that went all the way down to his testicles.)
Then comes the big finish: The doc will cut each of your vasa in two, then set the cut ends on fire with something that looks like a soldering iron. You’ll hear two hisses and see two puffs of smoke. At that point, it’s all over but the stitching and two days of ice-bagging the fellas.
As for de Moraes’ mixup, it turns out that he already had two children, so he didn’t really mind getting the operation. The docs at the clinic, to their credit, fixed up his achy ear for free.
There’s a serious lesson to be learned here, which is: People are way too trusting. De Moraes saw some people wearing lab coats and toting stethoscopes, then decided they were experts and knew what was best. He complied with their orders, flopped down on a table, and let ’em cut on his perfectly good ballsack. No, bubba, no! Don’t let anybody cut you until you’ve got a second and third opinion, and you’ve made the cutter hold his hands out to show you they don’t shake.
When I was about 4 years old, my daddy, Jabo Jowers, taught me everything I ever needed to know about trusting people. Here’s how he did it: He walked in the front door one day after work, squatted down on the floor, held out his arms and called me to him. I ran toward his open arms, but at the last second, he shifted to his left, like a catcher trying to block a low inside pitch. I hit the wall hard. Jabo said, “Let that be a lesson to you son. Never trust anybody. Not even me.”
Pretty good advice, I say. Especially when a stranger is reaching for your scrotum.