Thursday, July 9, 2015

Memories...

In 1995, in the usual tradition, my nephew was circumcised.

The ceremony was at my parent's house. Mom placed the foreskin in a Ziploc bag and put it in her freezer. Her plan was to give it to my sister on the kid's first birthday...  I'm still not sure why.

When my nephew was a year old, Mom went looking through the freezer. She couldn't find the bag. Multiple attempts at moving things around, looking through piles of frost, etc. were unsuccessful. The foreskin had vanished into some sort of interdimensional void.

This became a running family joke. Was it accidentally slipped into a quart of ice cream? Mixed in with the Thanksgiving stuffing? Served with a brisket? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

My mother never gave up. It was wrapped in gauze, in a Ziploc bag with the kid's name on it. No one else in the family said they'd removed it. Repeated searches were unsuccessful.

Last year, after my nephew moved away for college, Mom decided to get rid of the old freezer. She defrosted it, carefully removed and inspected everything in it, and checked every single corner and shelf.

Nothing.

We have no idea. And likely never will.

29 comments:

Powers said...

Am I the only one who finds this profoundly disturbing?

I mean, the very idea of a bris to start with is absurd (at least since the advent of modern medicine). But then keeping the foreskin? That's just a new level.

J said...

You got that right, Powers.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back, Grumpy. I saw this, and thought of you:

http://notalwaysright.com/a-bad-case-of-adamantium-confusion/44147

H said...

1. It is generally considered obnoxious to dismiss other people's religious rituals as absurd to their face, regardless of how one might feel about them privately.

2. Modern medicine is often incorporated into the bris these days, with some physicians becoming mohels and some mohels bringing along an MD assistant. I rarely attend a bris that does not involve the use of some type of anesthesia these days.

J said...

Sorry, I was unaware that keeping severed body parts in your kitchen freezer was a common religious ritual.

Lisa said...

My mother would bury them in the yard on my brothers' (I have 3 of them) 1st birthdays, with a tree planted over it.

Officer Cynical said...

The ransom note must've gotten lost in the mail.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. I'm glad I never had to think about this. The poor woman. It must've kept her up at night occasionally.

a.generic doc said...

Sounds like it has the makings for a Grumpy Boys Mystery book: The Case Of The Missing Foreskin.

Anonymous said...

Some one who visited or lived in the house thought that was gross and disposed of it and will NEVER EVER ABSOLUTELY NEVER confess. Beyond any doubt. I do not know your mother and never visited her house and freezer.

Anonymous said...

Did you check the soup aisle at Walmart?

Lizard said...

that is awesome. Totally awesome. Perhaps the foreskin fairy took it, though I can't for the life of me imagine what such a fairy might leave in exchange.

And to those who posted judgmental shit: you take yourselves way way too seriously. And thank you to H for pointing out the obvious rudeness. Let's get into a conversation about pretending to eat the body and drink the blood of christ, shall we?

was1 said...

Ruth's baby boy is born with only one eyelid. "Oy veh! What am I going to do?" she says to her doctor.
"Don't worry," he replies, "after the bris, we will take the little bit of skin from down there and make him a nice new eyelid."
"But if you do that," says Ruth, "won’t it will make him cockeyed?"
"On the contrary," says the doctor, "it will give him good foresight."

Anonymous said...

Actually, H, increasing numbers of Jews are switching to Brit Shalom which is a way of welcoming a baby boy into the community that does not involve cutting his genitals without his consent.

S said...

Hahahahahahahaha. Hat tip to you!

bobbie said...

was1 ~ You nailed it!!!!!!!

Bobbi said...

Grumpy, the story is hilarious. And very creepy.

H, well said.

Lizard, your use of the word "pretend" in that last sentence is as judgmental and rude as the posts you are responding to.

Anonymous said...

When I was younger, my aunt had a pool. My cousin was being very annoying and mean to us younger girls that day. He had jumped in the pool wearing his clothes, and afterwards changed into his suit. As revenge for his bullying, we stole his wet boxers, put them in a bag, and hid them in the freezer. He walked home without underwear, assuming someone had put them in the laundry. My aunt found them months later. It's become a running joke.

Anonymous said...

Eww

Gracie's Mom said...

I think your father slipped it into the garbage bag when he was taking the trash out one night.

Anonymous said...

Whoopsie, Lizard, overstepping a little bit in a certain direction. Most of the ancient (the emphasis on 'ancient' in this context) for customs, rituals and traditions--- that I am aware --that survive to carry on, are grounded in relevance to a certain time and place, and continue thereafter to bring greater meaning to our lives. We are not automatons, nor robots.

Now, if one wants to get all judgmental and cynical (no offense Officer Cynical!) there are plenty of things to ponder and get ones' undies in a bunch about, such as this joker in Indy determined to found a religion of sorts based on consumption of cannabis. I don't want to get started on that controversial topic, but it is at the opposite end of a spectrum Lizard is deriding, and that is, well, things people do to bring their mind to some sort of tactile understanding of a concept.

I was never involved in that sort of tradition mainly because my spouse is Buddhist, as well as ascribes to Shinto traditions, but there are reasons for a culture not to have to consider that aspect of a religion. Typically, Buddhism was founded in an area associated with a typical geography different than that of Judaism, and to a certain extent the foundation of Catholicism and other Christian religions.

I'm not preaching to the choir, but as healthcare providers, we learn to incorporate acceptance of firmly held beliefs into the wholeness of our patients. Sometimes, well, much of the time, these concepts are what give all of us meaning in trying to improve our lots in life, and an impetus to return to a state of health.

Anonymous said...

Very disturbed at your acceptance of and attendance at a barbaric event of genital mutilation on a baby who cannot give consent. Just disgusted totally. Do you approve of mutilating girl babies and then having their clitoris as a keepsake too?

Anonymous said...

I can see the humor in this... (Yes that makes me in the minority I know). We buried the placenta from our first son under a tree and thought it was cool. The placentas from the other kids are still waiting to be buried - from 4 1/2 years ago and 13 months ago. Sitting in gallon sized ziploc bags in the deep freezer. We keep swearing we will get around to it! :-). But winter and the frozen ground keep getting in the way 6-8 months a year.

Anonymous said...

In the hospital where I work, circumcision is a routinely offered as an optional procedure for newborn males, performed by the hospitalist. Lidocaine is the anaesthesic agent. I find it far more disturbing that American executioners use an unreliable amnesic, sedative.

Anonymous said...

Amputating healthy tissue from a nonconsenting minor is unethical and wrong. No religious belief can justify it. Babies don't have religions.
Also I note that all but ultra-Orthodox Jews are very selective about which ancient practices they continue with. Come to think of it, even ultra-Orthodox Jews don't stone people to death any more.

clairesmum said...

It's funny, in the way that people in healthcare can see humor in situations that normal people find revolting and disgusting.
My husband working in a company that was developing a treatment for virally caused diarrhea in babies and toddlers. The study coordinators had to collect and freeze soiled diapers for later analysis. On occasion the specimens were put in the coordinator's home freezer until it could be driven to the lab. Now THAT seems a bit much, to me.

Allyson said...

Run for the hills, Doc! The Intactivists have found you!

Anonymous said...

At least they're not eating it like some people do with placentas. This practice made sense in the days of starvation, but with modern iron pills, it's... Ah... Past its prime time.

Anonymous said...

Placenta eating anon...It's actually counter productive to eat placenta these days. It contains hormones that work against breastfeeding and other things, like it doesn't help with post partum depression. It's just a fad.

 
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