Monday, December 27, 2004

How To Dismantle A Jewish Newborn’s Penis

I’m going to become an uncle again tomorrow. Hot Wife’s sister, Diga, is going to have a C-section at around noon on Tuesday and there will soon be a new baby boy chillin’ at our family functions. We’re all very excited about his arrival, although my giddiness was tempered somewhat this weekend when Hot Wife told me I’d need to take a day off next week so we could all drive down to San Diego for the baby’s bris (which is Hebrew for “Come on, everyone, let’s all watch the scary, demented rabbi take a rusty old Ginsu knife to the poor little baby’s wiener.”).

I have no idea where the gory, twisted, morbid, inhumane ritual came from, but it is custom for Jews to gather ‘round the crotch of a Jewish baby boy on the eighth day of his life and watch as his tiny little newborn penis is ceremoniously pulled, clamped and mutilated. The last bris I attended was that of my own son a little more than four years ago and I swore on that day that I would never attend another without first consuming three tumblers full of a potent grain alcohol. Here’s why:

When Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son was eight days old, all of our friends and family gathered in the home of my in-laws for his bris. While the others milled about downstairs, presumably talking about what a perfect day it was to mutilate a helpless baby’s genitals, Hot Wife, our son, the mohel (pronounced “moyel,” it means a rabbi who is trained to cut penises for $350 a pop) and I gathered in an upstairs bedroom for the undercard. The mohel unvelcroed my son’s diaper and began to inspect the poor kid’s penis.

“How’s it look, doc?” I asked. “Pretty stacked, huh? Just like the old man.”

The mohel then unzipped his doctor bag and withdrew a syringe with a needle long and shiny enough to make even the most hardened heroin addict run like a bat out of hell for the nearest methadone clinic. He then began to stick the needle into various areas of my son’s foreskin, injecting it with an anesthetic and causing my toes to curl and my butthole to pucker. I don’t suppose I ever really knew my own threshold for psychological torture, but when that motherfucker was repeatedly needling my new baby boy’s schmuck, causing the child to cry and wail like a baby seal being struck by the business end of a square-point shovel, I would have done anything to make him stop. I would have eaten maggots and drunken a gallon of pig piss and worked as a lifeguard at the nudist colony for Morbidly Obese Octogenarians for Christ for the rest of my life to spare my son the pain of having his penis punctured by that mean, mean man and his Syringe of Death.

When my son’s money maker was properly anesthetized, we carried him downstairs for the main event. A microphone was lowered down from the ceiling and a man in a tuxedo began to speak into it.

“Ladieeeeees and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to this afternoon’s main even,” he said as a ring card girl in a sequined bikini walked behind him holding a sign that said Round 1. “In the blue corner, weighing in at eight pounds, two ounces…The Master of Meconium…The Baron of Breastmilk…Little…Baby….Evansssssssss!”

[Applause. Whistling.]

“And in the red corner, weighing in at one hundred and ninety two pounds, with a record of 48 successful penis mutilations and no knockouts…The Sultan of Slice…The Weenie Whacker himself…Rabbi…Shmooly…Schwartzenfinklesteinbergowitz!”

[Boos. Hisses. Projectile tomatoes.]

My son and the mohel meet in the center of the ring. The announcer tells them something about wanting a good, clean bris. He asks my son not to pee on anyone and then tells them to return to their corners and wait for the bell.

Ding ding!

The bris starts benignly, with lots of praying and chanting in Hebrew. My son is stoic, laying there cooing and staring at the ceiling. Then the mohel goes on the offensive, undiapering the boy and applying a series of stainless steel clamps to the poor kid’s anesthetized foreskin. While he clamps, he prays – fucking showoff.

My son responds with a combination – kicking his wee legs and screaming at the top of his lungs – but the mohel isn’t fazed. He applies a funny little contraption to the clamped-off section of dick skin and then produces the instrument that will deliver the knockout blow – a scalpel.

The crowd gasps. The child wails. The mohel moves in for the kill.

Slice! Off goes the foreskin! The child is officially a Jew! Mazel Tov!

The mohel isn’t finished yet though, folks. He wraps the decapitated section of the child’s unit in a piece of white gauze. He walks over and places it into the hand of the father.

“Bury this,” he says.

And with that, the father’s legs turn to jelly. He’s down! The father is down! He’s passed out, ladies and gentlemen! What a spectacular turn of events!

The referee gets down on one knee over the father and begins to count: 1…2…3…4…5…6…He’s not getting up, folks!...7…8…9…10! 10! [Ding ding!] It’s over! The bris is over! The winner and still champion…The Father of Foreskin…Rabbi… Shmooly…Schwartenfinklestein!

When I awoke, there was a cold compress on the back of my neck and a pool of vomit at my feet.

Wanting to be a model Jew, I followed the rabbi’s orders. I went home and buried my son’s foreskin under a red rose bush in the backyard of Evans World Headquarters. And it’s weirdest thing: when you rub the rose bush, it gets bigger.


At 10:47 AM, Blogger Closet Metro said...

When my Jewish grandfather died, I learned a little bit about the faith, and a lot of the traditions really made sense to me, like the torn clothing and the backwards shovel. But this? I'd pass out too!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Roni said...

It must be hard to see this happen to your own son, but trust me, he'll have a lot more luck with the girls now that that piece of skin is gone - for sure. You DO want him to succeed in that department, don't you?

At 11:57 AM, Blogger LadyBug said...

Terrible, terrible story. We had our (now 6-month old) son circumcised the way nature the hospital nursery, with Mom and Dad nowhere in sight. I don't think we could've watched it.

And even though it was obviously quite traumatic for you, you still have that, "At least he'll never remember this," thing going for Left-Handed, Power-Hitting Son. I know some parents who had their son circumcised when he was in kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! Can you imagine what Show and Tell was like the next week??

God bless, er, um, Mazel Tov,

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Pamalamadingdong said...


At 3:23 PM, Blogger Lola said...

I second that OH MY.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Bellerina said...

Wow...I didn't know what a traumatic experience it could be for a bris, thank goodness I'm not Jewish or a boy..LOL...=) Hope you had a great holiday!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

my son is intact. that is the way nature intended.

At 11:04 PM, Blogger Ms-Chievous said...

My 5 year old boys are also "intact". At least physically.
I knew I couldn't handle the "hacking procedure" so I did research to back up my squeamishness.
It will have to be their own decisions to hack away at their wieners. Not mine.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Lexagirl said...

Ultimately I left the final snippage choice for our son up to my husband on the condition that he make all of the arrangements and be the one to take him in for the procedure. Naturally, nothing ever happened. Our son remains intact.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Mrs.Strizzay said...

That is horrid. We waited in the other room while our son was tortured and hacked. And he pee'd on the nurses. Muahahaa

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Cece said...

OMIGOSH. No WONDER my husband wouldn't let me do that to our baby! That is HORRIFIC.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Sissychong said...

Jeez poor little guy, and poor you for having to be there. Look at the brite side you could probably call Ripley's Beleive it or Not to see your Rose Bush!

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