What The Mop Lady Saw

mop lady

After much soul searching and sleep deprivation due to sharing middle of the night nappy changes and feeds, ( A Japanese prisoner of war Camp Commandant has a  lot to learn from a 1, 3 and nearly 5 year old’s at 3am,) I finally faced up to the fact that I really did need to have the snip.

I hasten to add, I would have continued down the road to ruin and had more children if only for the novelty of making up  extraordinary names,  then settling for normality. And telling each one at individual times amazing lies,

“You were a mistake and your mother trapped me!” This tormented Emily for  a while.

Or

” YOU were always my favourite! Don’t tell your sisters or brother and sister”, – depending upon whom I decided to lie to. Then watching them, unable to resist, going to the  sibling they felt in most competition and saying,

I’m dads favourite! YOU were a mistake!!”

It went on and on. But most of all I loved all of their company ALL of the time.  Just for the simple joy of hearing “Why?” or “What’s that for?” or “How?”. Just anything to have a lovely conversation and coming up with the most outrageous answers. I loved taking them all anywhere. If any of them do read this they’re each thinking “Probably means ME really. Cos I am his FAVE.” Not so.

I mean All and each of you.

The sheer enjoyment of thinking some terrible story (LIE) up on the spur of the moment in reply to a question. For example, I once convinced Emily after she complained about time, (takes so long! Why so slowww!), that if she concentrated realllllllly concentrated, she could stare at the clock and actually SEE time move. Bear in mind there wasn’t a seconds hand.

And she did. AND she convinced Holly to sit with her  – See! See time move holly! ( My work was complete.)

Holly being slightly more clued up even at a younger age lasted a matter of minutes. Emily went on for around an hour.

I don’t know who this reflected the  better on to be honest. Holly for seeing through it or, Emily and her levels of concentration.

So living in a 2 bedroom terraced was fine but rapidly running out of space when Callum arrived. And I more or less immediately made an appointment to  see my local GP about a vasectomy, Had a conversation and then It took me a further 12 months to finally confirm I was having it done and the whole process started to roll forward.

Anyway the day arrived of my appointment  in a private clinic in the center of Manchester, which I had been dreading but was more or less adamant I was having it done. And, it being busy Jane and I decided not to try driving through the heavy traffic but parking on the opposite side of town and walk the 15 minute or so walk over. Beautiful sunny summer day, blue sky lovely and warm. So No worries off we go.

We eventually arrive at a lovely old building and make our way up stairs to the clinic, and walk into the waiting room which is surprisingly small, scuffed vnyle on the floor with plastic chairs squeezed in snugly and its crowded.

Its one of those rooms you walk into and you can actually feel the tension. It was charged with nervous energy. 

Men sat with partners, all either sweating slightly, looking at the ceiling or shoes, or trying to look nonchalant  and relaxed and drape themselves in their chair. Anywhere but at each other.

All,  trying to avoid eye contact and when they inadvertently do slide they’re eyes into someone else’s, sort of raising they’re eyebrows at each other, rolling eyes,giving a slight shrug and a little ” Pff “.

It was like being in your very own private Masons club where everybody knows what’s what, but barring a secret handshake no one is actually going to speak about it. 

Anyway eventually my name is called and I stand up,like dead man walking, hitch up my trousers, square my shoulders and am led (by Jane) into a tiny office adjacent to the waiting room.

There then follows a conversation that began with “Mr. Walsh are you aware of the actual procedure? No? Well let me tell YOU, we Inject  a great big needle into your testicals and ……” That was the way it translated and It was at this point I lost interest and faded the conversation out. (Fingers in ears, sucking thumb etc  “I’minnahappyplace,I’minnahappyplace…”)

So I finally convince the doctor to send me through and just let me GET ON WITH IT.  Because, if I’m honest, I’m fine if I know something has to be done. I just don’t need to know the hows and nitty gritty, chopping and cutting and injecting stuff that is part of the procedure.

And so there I am being led into the next room. And the next room is not a patch on the waiting room. Its about 5 times bigger with a couple of sofas at either end and two doors. Its like going to the swimming baths and first getting in the paddling pool then jumping into the 100m all singing all dancing pool next door. Its massive.

There’s so much space! I’m led to a lovely 2 seater sofa,(leather), Inlaid with Oak (fabulous), cushions everywhere, nice oak coffee table, flowers, lovely thick carpet….

It was a room that exuded Plushness.

And as I’m leaning back being nonchalant, (looking at the ceiling or floor, draping,), I became aware that at the other end of the room, in the distance, Door No 2  opens and a chap who has obviously just had the procedure done, is being led, stumbling slightly and vacant eyed, to another little island  of comfort at the opposite end of the room. Straight away I’m sat up straighter trying to catch his eye while the kindly nurse is asking him if

“..like a cup of tea sir? ..Biscuit??”

Finally she head’s off to pick up Sirs refreshment and as she passes me Leans over and says gently,

“If you’d like to go into the changing room and remove you’re lower half then  on through the next door into the theatre…You’ll be fine…”

And on she goes.

So up I get and make my way to door No 1, and as I do I’m sort of hissing at this guy, until I finally catch this his eye and sort of whisper/shout over to  him,

“How was it mate? Everything ok…???

And he sort of eventually focuses on me and says,

Yeah mate. No problem….. Be over before you know it.”

And so, reassured  in I go. Its a matter of moments  to strip down to my T-shirt and socks and step into the theatre. Where upon the cleaner mopping up and the surgeon turn and look and the surgeon says,

“You can leave your underwear on if you like…” (This actually happened. I cringe even now.)

So Its a quick reverse, undies slipped on, venture back in,(mercifully the cleaner had exited) I’m popped straight onto the table and  begins explaining to me what the procedure entails. Whoooooooah. (No worries doc, I know all about it, you just crack on and we’ll get this over with)

So he begins.

First of all he attempts to slide, (out of my view), 2 forcep like clamps about 12” long which he sort of murmurs,

“We’ll just pop these on…..heeeere….”, And I feel these thing’s sort of CLONK on my testicles.

This isn’t actually too bad at first, but as the seconds pass, the weight of these two clamps hanging from my testicles on either side, dangling towards the floor, begins to tell. In a short space of time it feels like I’ve been kicked (gently) in the bollocks. That achy, throbbing sensation in the stomach, that sort of increases as the seconds tic by. So when he (out of view) slides out this needle you’d use on an elephant, its sort of a relief to know he’s going to numb it. Which he does. Eventually. (Oooooooooooooooooh)

Anyhow, onwards he goes. He’s made the incision, tugged and pulled and does the first side no problem in two shakes. I’m actually starting to relax. Then, notice the lady wandering back in picking up where she left off mopping, gradually working round the room, and I’m lay there with no trousers on, sort of following her covertly out of the corners of my eyes. Trying to decide if this 60-something lady is a nurse or a cleaner?  

Eventually she finally lands court side by the table whilst the surgeon is working away, pauses, has a look down, and  I mean, a really good look, and just stands there for a couple of moments, chin on mop, with pursed lips and you can see her mentally giving out marks. And I’m like,

“Brrrr, Is it cold in here? Is anyone else cold? I’m freezing! You look cold doc. This is not the warmest room I’ve ever been in I’ll tell you that for nothing!!.”

And then she moves on. Mops to Door No 2. And leaves.

The surgeon during this hasn’t even acknowledged her presence or lifted his head. Beavering away finishing off the first side he’s finally cauterizing the incision, with that little electric sizzling sound. Its like an utterly surreal moment, like I was the only one who saw her.

And then, He’s on the final leg so to speak. Last nut to do, here we go home in 40. No problem.

Starts the incision and muttering “Here we go, last bit now, just let me know if you can feel anything…”

And I go “ No that’s fine, it’s okAAAAICANFEELITICANFEELIT!!!!!!” And then he prised me off the ceiling.

Actually it took a couple of attempts, of knuckle gnawing, bed clawing  to finally numb it, by which time I was feeling pasty, very grey and just utterly relieved when the electric sizzling started up. And when the clamps were finally removed I felt that I could actually stop panting and breathe normally again.

Then it was a case of – carefully – standing up, with what felt like a padded 2lb nappy packed into my undies “For support Mr. Walsh“, and a “Just Pop In the changing room (Door No 2) and slip your trousers, on then make your way next door and take a seat.” 

So in I go, hoping I’m not going to bump into the cleaner and see disappointment in her eyes, get dressed and on through the next door, walking like the ultimate stereotypical cowboy into The Plushness. I sort of walk crablike  to the immediate island of sofas and sit tenderly down. Make myself comfortable and try to put out of my mind the shock of the last few minutes. Then a nurse appears at my side and says ” ..Would you like a cup of tea?Biscuit??”

And I just nodded and thought, “Jesus, your dead right I do.”

And as she disappears through Door No 1, I hear ” Psst! Oi! Mate!!” and turn round and at the little sofa island at the other end of the room is a guy sat on the edge of the seat. I looked dumbly at him and he said in that sort of whisper come shout,

“How was it? Everything ok?? “

And  I just thought  “That fucking bastard”, and said

“You’ll be fine mate. Be over before you know it….”

Parking on the other side of town didn’t turn out to be a good idea either.

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