Saturday, 23 July 2016

A Mohel Story by Naomi Elana Zener

White on white was the d├ęcor. There were no plants. There were just enough Phillipe Stark white Ghost chairs for each person sitting in the waiting room. Aesthetic was everything. Colour came only from the nervous couples waiting eagerly in the reception area for their names to be called. One couple wore matching his and hers Lacoste polo golf shirts, with hers stretched to the max to cover her burgeoning belly. Another was decked out in power suits, having booked their workday around the appointment to be there. The majority was dressed casually, while others looked as though they were there to be interviewed. Despite their dissimilar attire, they all shared one thing in common: a frantic desire to ensure that they got what they came for, a surgical appointment on a date of their choosing. Above the barely audible whispers were the swagger-filled rhythmic tunes of Frank Sinatra. After all, the office was home to the best hands in the business needed to exude the same charm, sophistication, and confidence boasted by its owner. This was the office of Schmeckels by Dr. Peckle after all – the best Mohel in town. If one had birthed a masculine heir, it was known citywide that your first choice physician to perform the circumcision was Dr. Peckle.

Born Cyril Myron Pecker, he felt it was too ironic to keep his name once he entered his medical residency in urology. It also didn’t help that his fellow mature colleagues continually referred to him as “C. My Pecker.” After spending the early years in his career hunched over one prostate exam after another, delivering the dire news that man’s best friend had betrayed him by developing cancer, Dr. Peckle looked to the heavens for an answer. And, the universe responded when he attended the bris for his nephew where he was called upon with his masterful surgeon’s hands to remedy the hack job done by the Mohel hired to perform the Jewish ritual – a family doctor who took extra training to perform the procedure. Handshakes, pats on the back, and words of encouragement from his relatives that he could make a killing at performing circumcisions for not just the Jewish community, but anyone who wanted a foreskin-less penis for their son, Dr. Peckle did some quick math and packed in his prostate cancer practice. Trading timeworn penises for the newly born, he never looked back. Within a few years, he’d developed the reputation of being the country’s preeminent circumciser, traveling near and far, even internationally, to perform the ritual.

“Sundeeps, please go into Dr. Peckle’s office,” a buxom blonde secretary called out from behind the protective Plexiglas, which separated her from the desperation filling up the space on the other side. “The rest of you, please wait until you hear your name.”

Out of the group of people anticipating their consultation with Dr. Peckle sat two couples that stuck out like sore thumbs. It was fair to say that the Silverberg-Smiths were a fair deal older than the others by a solid ten years. Plus, their son, who was running around the waiting room, was a fully developed toddler. The other couple, the Jones’, shifted uncomfortably in their seats, the wife wearing oversized dark sunglasses in a windowless room, and her husband sporting what was clearly a fake moustache and baseball cap. Furthermore, their traditional Jewish orthodox attire of long sleeved-shirts, black long skirt for her, and plain black slacks for him, betrayed their given name. These were no Joneses.

Dr. Peckle’s consultation with the Sundeeps was swift, much like his removal of foreskin. The Sundeeps were in and out in less than five minutes. They understood that Dr. Peckle’s time was precious; it was not something to piss away. Looking at each of the Joneses and Silverberg-Smiths, and the clipboards sitting in their respective laps, the curvaceous keeper of Dr. Peckle knew that they would eat up more of the good doctor’s time.

“Jonses, you’re next. Please go in,” the secretary advised.

Dr. Peckle was a short, lithe, silver fox, outfitted in scrubs to remind his patients that he was in fact still a surgeon, even though his procedures were performed in kitchens, condo party rooms, synagogues, family rooms, and restaurants everywhere. His cap-toothed, whitened smile greeted the Joneses.

“Jones is not our real name,” the extremely pregnant woman advised. She removed her dark sunglasses, and elbowed her husband to remove his fake facial hair and hat. “It’s Jackobowitz.”

“As in?” Dr. Peckle began.

“Yes, that one,” Mr. Jackobowitz advised. “He’s my uncle.”

“I don’t understand. Why are you here?” Dr. Peckle asked.

“We know we’re having a son, and we want you to do the bris,” Mrs. Jackobowitz stated.

“But, Dr. Jackobowitz is an excellent Mohel. Won’t using me cause problems with your family?”

“Frankly, I don’t give a damn,” Mrs. Jackobowitz spat. Her husband stared at her with condemnation for swearing. “Don’t look at me like that. I went on and your uncle has a lousy record – he only scores an average 3.2 rating out of five. And, he’s just a GP. Dr. Peckle is a urologist.”

“In all fairness, your uncle has very good hands. I refer patients to him all the time when my schedule doesn’t work for them.”

“You see, even Dr. Peckle thinks we should use him. Think of the pain you’ll cause if we don’t,” Mr. Jackobowitz pleaded. “Honey, the only difference in paying $1000 to go with Dr. Shmeckle and having it done by my uncle is $1000. I could buy you an even nicer push present with the extra cash. Excuse me for wanting to save a couple bucks. I think my opinion matters too.”

“Excuse you, but I engineered that penis in my uterus for forty weeks. I’m his whole world. You’re just a fucking sperm donor. So, no, your opinion definitely does not matter. I want our son to have a pleasing penis. I don’t want this to ruin him.”

“Rivkie, stop swearing so much. If my uncle does the job, his penis will be plenty pleasing. He did my bris, and I think you’ll agree that mine turned out great.”

“I said I want him to have a pleasing penis. So, for his penis to just look like yours is insufficient to achieve my goals for him.”

Looking at his watch, he took note of the fact that the Jackobowitz consultation had sunk holes in his tight ship. He texted his assistant to send his next patient into one of the examination rooms reserved for his side practice of penis enlargements. Years of reducing the size of babies’ penises weighed heavily. As penance he opened up a top-secret phallus augmentation practice.

“Would you mind excusing me for a moment? Normally, these consults only run five minutes long given the nature of what I do, and my assistant is texting me that I’m now running behind for my next patient.”

The Jackobowitzes were too busy bickering to notice that Dr. Peckle didn’t wait for an answer. Closing the door to his office behind him, he made his way over to examination room A. En route, he sent a subversive text to Dr. Jackobowitz wishing him a hearty Mazel Tov on the upcoming birth of his nephew, and wishing him steady hands in performing the bris. The Silverberg-Smiths were already waiting for Dr. Peckle, when he entered the room, where he found their green-eyed, blonde, zaftig toddler son waddling around unattended due to his distracted parents engaged in a heated debate.

“I don’t want to do this,” Mr. Smith shouted.

“But, you promised that you’d do it once he turned two,” Ms. Silverberg seethed. “He can spot differences. If we wait any longer, Trent will know.”

“Um, excuse my interruption, but who’s Trent and what will he know?” Dr. Peckle asked.

“Sorry doctor. We didn’t see you there. Trent is our son,” Ms. Silverberg advised pointing to the toddler. Trent had a prominent urine stain on his pants as a result of a potty training accident that went unnoticed by his parents.

“Trent is a little bit older than the boys I normally circumcise, so it would have to be done in the hospital under general anesthetic.”

“We’re not circumcising our son. You performed his circumcision two years ago, Dr. Peckle. Don’t you remember us?” Ms. Silverberg whined.

Dr. Peckle looked at the chart on the desk. He picked it up and flipped through it. Impatient and eager to get out of there, Mr. Smith didn’t want to wait for Dr. Peckle to jog his memory.

“We’re here to cut the tip of my dick off.”

“Right, now I remember. You’d agreed to undergo a circumcision by the time your son was two so that he’d look like his daddy,” Dr. Peckle stated.

“Other way around,” Ms. Silverberg advised. “I’m Jewish. He’s not…”

“But, we’re not religious,” Mr. Smith interjected sarcastically.

“No, we’re not. Don’t try to imply that I forced your hand in circumcising our son. You agreed to circumcise Trent for health reasons. M’dear, you agreed that since Trent was having his foreskin removed, in order to avoid him asking questions about why we put him through such a traumatic procedure as an infant if his daddy never had it done, you’d have it done too. And, now you’re trying to back out of our deal.”

“I’ve had two years to think things over, and I’m getting the short end of the stick,” Mr. Smith stated.

“Well, your stick will certainly be shorter after I’m done, but you’ll never notice the difference,” Dr. Peckle deadpanned.

Neither Mr. Smith nor Ms. Silverberg cracked a smile.

“How long is the procedure and when can you book him for the operation?” Mrs. Silverberg asked.

“Although I was referring to your son earlier, as I was operating under the assumption that he was my patient, I’d perform the same procedure on you in the hospital under a general. The entire surgery would take twenty minutes from start to finish. He won’t feel a thing, and moreover, he won’t miss the foreskin once it’s gone. Since I won’t be performing a religious ritual, it really can be done at any time. I’ll check with my assistant when I have free O.R. time.”

“I’m still in the room you know. Don’t talk about me like I’m not here or that this is a done deal. I’m not sure I can go through with this,” Mr. Smith advised. “Honey, be fair.”

“I am being fair. A deal’s a deal. Do you want Trent to ask us why daddy’s ding-a-ling likes to play peekaboo in the shower, or why it resembles our Shar Pei puppy named Wrinkles?” Mrs. Silverberg implored. “You promised to do this one tiny thing for me when we knew we were having a boy. I already conceded on raising him agnostic, much to the displeasure of my observant Jewish parents. I let him eat bacon. This isn’t a hardship for you. Like Dr. Peckle said, you’ll never even notice that the foreskin is gone.”

“I’ve heard that there’s reduced sensation. I definitely don’t want to have a numb penis.”

“Honey, ever since I gave birth to your progeny, I’ve had a numb vagina. If you lose feeling in your dick, we’ll be even.”

“Your penis won’t be numb. But, to be honest, reduced sensation has been a bone of contention regarding circumcision,” Dr. Peckle advised.

“You see, reduced sensation. You want me to lose enjoyment from making love to you?” Mr. Smith implored.

“I’m not really worried about that. I think you’ll manage to enjoy getting and releasing your erection just fine without it. Besides, how can any doctor, or man for that matter, make that claim unless he made love with foreskin and then after being circumcised as an adult?” Mrs. Silverberg questioned. “Do you have a study proving that reduced sensation is in fact a side effect of a circumcision?”

“There are…” Dr. Peckle began.

“I don’t need a study. This man is a urologist and I trust his word. I’m not doing this.”

“Yes you are. Otherwise, I’m calling my lawyer.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Try me. You signed a contract to undergo this procedure to make sure you couldn’t back out of it. Fail to forgo the foreskin, and I’ll sue you for breach of contract!” Mrs. Silverberg shouted.

Dr. Peckle glanced at his watch. He was running even further behind.

“There’s no rush at my end, so take your time and think it over. I have to pop out to see my next patient. I’ll be right back.”

The Silverberg-Smiths were still fighting loudly enough after the door to the examination room was closed. Walking over to his office, Dr. Peckle texted his assistant. He instructed her to refer the Silverberg-Smiths to a psychiatrist for counseling, and to contact his lawyer for him to ensure that he wouldn’t be open to a malpractice lawsuit if he performed the circumcision on Mr. Smith.  Dr. Peckle opened the door to be confronted by the Jackobowitzes, whom he’d forgotten all about.

“You left us in here waiting long enough,” Mrs. Jackobowitz advised.

“I’m sorry about that. My other consultation was more complicated than I’d anticipated.”

“Well it doesn’t matter now. Somehow his uncle found out that we’re having a boy and told us that he cleared his schedule to make sure that he’d be available to perform the bris,” Mrs. Jackobowitz advised.  Mr. Jackobowitz appeared to be relieved that a family crisis had been averted and that his wallet wouldn’t be $1000 lighter.

“Problem solved. God answered your prayers,” Dr. Peckle chimed.

“God, shmod. He told us you’d texted him. Thanks a lot,” Mrs. Jackobowitz fumed, holding up her iPhone. “Now, when my son has a mangled member, I’ll know who to blame.”

“I’d trust your uncle with my own penis. And, if heaven forbid anything goes wrong, you know who to call to fix it,” Dr. Peckle beamed. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, my next patient is waiting to come in.”

The Jackobowitzes stormed out his office.

“I’m ready for my next circumcision consult,” Dr. Peckle buzzed his assistant. “And, don’t forget to clear the Silverberg-Smiths out of exam room 1.”

While waiting for the next patient to arrive, Dr. Peckle took stock of his office, and reflected upon his thirty-year career to date. Foreskin removal made him a fortune, but left him with little satisfaction. Arguments like those amongst the Jackobowitzes and Silverberg-Smiths were becoming more and more common as technology evolved and the public discussed circumcision more openly, making it a hotly contested topic in public chat rooms. Thinking about his own leaking prostate, he wondered if the time had arrived to return to his roots, and help those less fortunate fight the good fight against the evil cancer that most men inevitably face. Before he could declare that he’d reopen his practice to prostate cancer patients, a light bulb went off thanks to Mr. Smith. With the intense debate surrounding the removal of foreskin, Dr. Peckle realized that there was an untapped market lying at his feet: foreskin adhesion. If he could lengthen a penis, why couldn’t he add foreskin back for those men who felt a little light in their boxers, he thought. Already at the top of the circumcision game, he realized that there was no one better to append a foreskin substitute for those men who wanted them. With thousands of infants whose penises had already met his blade, he had a goldmine of potential adult male repeat customers. Dr. Peckle quickly texted his assistant to order new business cards to have them read: Dr. Peckle, Penis Pioneer.

© 2016. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.