The E-Files Presents:  Presents:
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Once again, the topic of circumcision rears its ugly hood - I mean, HEAD...

To cut, or not to cut. That is the question.

Circumcision. The other 'Big-C'

Considered by some to be 'the most unkind cut of all.' I'm not sure what your opinion is on the topic, and I'm going to keep mine to myself. But I think there is one thing we can all agree on. Many men who read this (maybe some women, too!) are going to be crossing their legs and grimacing, much like we do when we watch a baseball game and see someone taking a line drive to their own personal 'foul zone.'

I was recently had a link to this article waiting for me in my own 'virtual daily'. Some of you may think that I actively search some of this stuff out, but in many cases it just  finds me. The article was titled  '5 Things You Didn't Know About Circumcision.' 
I didn't see 'But Were Afraid To Ask'  after the title, but it should have been.

Read on, and be enlightened!

If you made it through the article, I hope you found it as informative as I did. My favourite point was  the one that explained how 'the foreskin is more complicated than you think'. See? Of all  the accusations us guys have of 'letting the little head doing the thinking for the big head', maybe this lets off the hook some, as this area of our anatomy isn't as simplistic as others have been led to believe. Worth a try, anyway.

So now we have men divided into two basic camps: cut - or uncut. Pretty clear distinction here, not much of a gray area to be had. Are you 'cut'? I'll deal with you later in the article. For you 'uncut' fellows, here's some food for thought.  
Should you be considering this procedure for yourself or a loved one, you basically have two major options - shop it out to a professional, or 'do-it-yourself'. Should you decide to go the professional (or, 'hands-off) route, you may find that doctors might be increasingly reluctant to perform the procedure. Concerns exist that the patient may sue them later in life, if they want to make the case that the surgery was done against their (such as when an infant), or if, got forbid, something went terribly wrong. Several insurance companies consider circumcision elective surgery and may not cover it. Check your policy or contact the BA at your workplace if unsure  I haven't priced one out lately, but I'm sure it's going to be a bit pricier than neutering a puppy.

If you are Jewish, you will likely be familiar with the services of a mohel. I don't know of any myself, but I did find this one on the internet Seems like a nice enough fellow. I imagine you can also  contact you local synagogue. I'd rule out the yellow pages, as I did not find any listed in mine, and I live in a pretty large city.  I did check both 'mohel' and 'foreskin removal services. No luck in either case.

As you see, it is possible to get a quality, professional job, as long as you're willing to do your homework, but maybe you're like me, and want to save a few bucks by doing it yourself at home. Having the right tool for the right job us just as important in circumcision as it is in drywall, plumbing, or carpentry. Unfortunately, you just cant go down to your favourite hardware store and expect the same service that you  expect for caulk or faucet repair. I tried, and just the store guy (didn't feel comfortable asking a woman, but that's my problem) just looked at me strangely and quietly walked away in order to talk to someone wearing a security uniform (looking for a new tool belt, perhaps). I took this as my cue to look elsewhere for information.

I did find a couple of DIY options, and they are as follows:

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Look at this bad boy on the left, here.

It's the Mohel-Master 3000, which I found for US$69.95 at Kalman's Kosher Korner. It's a 3-piece set (how ironic!), and it includes two different cutting instruments, easily suited for the size, shape and roughness of the intended work surface.  

The third is to 'shape and contour' the finished product.

When used properly (instructional DVD included!), you'll never know that it's been 'in the shop'!

Or maybe you're looking for something with a more rustic, 'back to basics' feel to it.

While this beauty on the right is no longer in production, you should be able to find one in antique stores, S&M supply houses, or Amish curio shops.

Norm Abrams is said to have demonstrated one of these on an unruly intern in an episode of The New Yank-Me Workshop. You'll have to check the DVD releases for that one, as PBS refused to air it.

They took enough pipe over running Infant Skull Surgery way too frequently during pledge drives in the 1980's.
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Now let's say you've had this body modification already (with or without consent), but you now wish you  were as you came into this world. For at least the first seven days, anyway. Don't despair - there is reason to hope. A non-surgical solution, called the TLC Tugger, has been around for quite some time now, and I actually had reported in the original version of these stories back in 2006. Rather than repeat the whole story here, here is a link to the Original Article or, just go directly to their Home Page.

Well, having said all of this, I think I've earned a snack. The cucumbers from our garden have started to become ready, and they're pretty good. Kind of feel guilty about peeling them...