I perch myself in front of the computer and bring up his website but as I type the number into my iPhone I am overcome by nervous energy. The screen starts moving back and forward, towards and away from me, and I feel like I might faint.
‘Good afternoon, Dr Snip’s office,’ the receptionist says.
Her voice is mature and soothing and has a way of calming me and I almost regain full control of my mental faculties. But, as usual, my mind intervenes to form a picture of her answering the phone in a blood-covered surgical gown and flicking an errant piece of scrotum off the receiver.
She sends a quizzical hello down the line before I manage to answer her. ‘I’m ringing for two reasons,’ I say. ‘First I need to get a vasectomy. Second I’m Reservoir Dad and I’d like Dr Snip to sponsor me. Can I speak to him in person?’
I am amazed by the accidental authority in my tone – it gives me some confidence – but again it is quickly undermined by my own fear-induced scattergun thought-process.
When she says, ‘Hold on, I’ll just see if he can come to the phone’ I am overwhelmed by the following scene –
The nurse slash receptionist opens the surgery door and mouths Reservoir Dad’s on the phone so dramatically that Dr Snip turns and slices the testicles off the poor sod lying on the operating table. The receptionist responds with a silent scream before we go to a close up of Dr Snip’s head. He looks directly at the camera, puts his hand on his cheek and makes a dramatic O-shape with his mouth, then shrugs, picks up the severed package, drops it into the pocket of his surgical gown and turns to a mirror behind him.
On the desk below the mirror are several jars of formaldehyde, each with a pair of testicles floating inside. There is white masking tape on the outside of the jars with names marked in black ink. Before the scene changes I read Clint Eastwood, Gary Sweet and Julian Clary. There is a close-up on a new jar, already filled with formaldehyde. Dr Snip picks it up and scribbles on it. When he puts it back down it reads, RESERVOIR DAD and the camera pans out to Dr Snip and receptionist dancing excitedly, ring-around-the-rosy style.
The scene repeats itself again and again, gaining speed in a crazy black and white Groucho Marx kinda-way. The song in the background is Will Smith’s dance hit Getting’ Jiggy Wit It which manages to bring a manic tension to the already frantic unfolding of events.
When a male voice enters my braincase the scene disappears but the jittery terror remains. ‘Hello?’ it says.
‘Is this Dr Snip?’
‘I run a popular website called Reservoir Dad and…’
‘What’s the web address?’
‘It’s reservoirdad.com,’ I say. ‘I’m doing a series of posts, documenting the journey of my vasectomy, and I’ve already mentioned your…’
As I’m talking I open my favourite stats-tracking program woopra.com and up comes Dr Snip’s IP address. He’s viewing the front page of my website as we speak, probably impressed by the layout and the cool disco dance floor banner. I nod to myself with pride as I think he’s definitely in awe of my serious-faced, sunglasses-wearing avatar, until it occurs to me that his main business is testicles and suddenly the slope of my bald head looks almost exactly like a swollen ball-bag.
‘…I’ve already mentioned your business and I was wondering… if I stayed with you through the whole process… if you’d sponsor my vasectomy.’
During the pause that follows, woopra.com tells me that Dr Snip is clicking through my first two Vasectomy Diaries posts.
‘Okay,’ he says. ‘Let’s do that then. I’ll sponsor you.’
‘Great,’ I say, with a breath of relief. ‘I’d like to interview you along the way, and maybe try a few other ideas, so if you send an email via my website, I’ll send you all the details over the next few days.’
Woopra.com tells me that Dr Snip is accessing the Reservoir Dad Contact Form and seconds later an email pings from my Inbox.
The fact that I’ve saved hundreds of dollars has lifted my mood somewhat and there is an awkward joviality to the short conversation that follows. We manage a semi-relaxed chuckle at one point and I even find the strength to redirect my mind when it begins to interpret Dr Snip’s laughter as the sound of a machete being dragged across the surface of a sharpening stone.
When we hang up I flick through his website and notice the slogan No Scalpel Surgery and my first thought is ‘that’s great!’ quickly followed by ‘well, he has to get into my scrotum somehow’. I make a mental note to ask him about this in the interview.
I hold to a slight sense of achievement. I have made contact with a vasectomy guy. It’s one small step in the process. It’s something. Reservoir Mum will be pleased.
I go straight to YouTube and listen to Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It while celebrating my efforts in the form of dance.
My huzzah is short-lived however. Once I click out of YouTube I am left staring at the screen with my hand on the side of my face, my mouth making an O-shape. Woopra tells me that Dr Snip is still accessing a particular page on my website and an image forms in my mind –
Dr Snip is sitting at his desk in front of the computer screen. On his left shoulder are several lengths of severed vas deferens. On his right shoulder is the hand of his receptionist, who is standing beside him. The lights buzz in and out above them as they laugh manically, watching the strange antics of their next victim – the sometimes affable, always dramatic, Reservoir Dad – dancing in his living room Gangnam Style.