Image Credit: Courtesy of Justin Allen

My Interview With The Guy Who Got A Vasectomy During The East Coast Earthquake

What’s more viral than a rare East Coast earthquake? A guy who had a vasectomy during an East Coast earthquake. Justin Allen, 33, was halfway through surgery — “the doctor was in-between testicles” — when the urology clinic started to shake on the morning of April 5. The 4.8 earthquake (centered near Lebanon, New Jersey) reached Horsham, Pennsylvania, where Justin and his wife live with their two children. Thankfully for the internet, as soon as the doctor gave the go-ahead to pull up his pants, Allen hit tweet. And thankfully for us, Allen was willing to chat with Betches about going viral for getting a vasectomy during an earthquake. Below is a condensed version of our conversation less than three hours after his surgery.

Do you have any leftover anesthesia? Are you fully of mind and body at this point?

No, the feeling is definitely back at this point [laughs].

Well, I appreciate you pushing through the pain to chat with me. Bet you didn’t think you’d be talking to this many people about your vasectomy. 

I’ve talked to about five or six reporters so far today. And then a million family members and friends who are reaching out saying somebody at their work sent them my tweet or whatever. And it’s just, it’s a lot to keep up with.

In a list of bad things to do during an earthquake, a vasectomy is probably high up on the list. So, what actually happened? Set the scene.

I went in for a 10:00 AM procedure. I think after they prepped everything it was probably like 10:15 when they actually started — and it’s only about a 15 to 20 minute procedure! So, we were literally at the midway point. I was fully awake for the procedure — they just numb you down there. I can’t say definitively if he was in-between testicle for sure, but he was down there when we felt the whole room shake.

I didn’t know if it was a train passing by or what was happening. Then the doctor was like, “Oh my God, I think that’s an earthquake.” I thought he was just messing with me! And then it continued on for a minute or two and he asked the nurse, “How long does an earthquake typically last?” And she said, “A minute or two.” After it was over, he went back to doing the procedure.

Then when we were done, I got my pants on, got my phone out of my pocket and sent the tweet out just thinking a few of my friends will think this is hilarious — this could only happen to me. And then I went to the reception area and the doctor came out. He said, “Oh, it was a 4.8. It was a real one.”

What was going through your head when you realized it was a real earthquake?

It’s definitely awkward, but it was also hilarious. We laughed because how could this even be a possibility?! Let alone this is going to be an experience that I’m going to talk about for the rest of my life. I’ll never forget where I was when it happened, and my doctor will say the same thing. He was in the middle of operating! So, we were all just laughing about it the rest of the time because it was something that was just so bizarre.

Looking back, do you wish you would schedule it on another day or is it almost worth it for the story?

Honestly, I think it’s kind of worth it for the story. My wife and I picked the date back in November. It was about a month after her due date with our second child — our daughter was born on Leap Day this year. There’s obviously no way of knowing. You can’t predict an earthquake, especially not on the East Coast.

Congrats on your baby girl! Is your first born old enough to know what happened? Or ask questions? 

Not really. We have our newborn that’s about a month old and our eldest is two. They were at home with my mother-in-law. The earthquake woke the baby, but our toddler just kind of continued on like nothing happened. 

Did you feel like this was a sign from the gods? It’s such a dramatic crossover.

I mean, for my wife, she keeps telling me, “I think it’s a sign that we should never have kids again. Ever.” But in general, I thought it was one of the things you definitely think like, “Oh wow, what is this a sign of?” But it is nothing more than just something I’ll laugh about looking back for a long time.

How does it feel for vasectomy story to go viral?

Initially, my wife and one of my friends retweeted it, and it was something that I thought was just humor for my friend group. Then it just kept going from there. It definitely can be overwhelming. I had to mute the notifications and stuff, so I’m not seeing any of the replies anymore. I’ll go through once the dust settles and go back and find the things that I think are funniest.

If you could give yourself a dumb viral name what would it be? And it can’t be Vasectomy-Gate! 

Oh man, I haven’t even thought about that! [His wife laughs in the background.] It’d probably be something about, I dunno, like Earthquake Snipper, or something combining the two things that happened.

I like Earthquake Snipper. Well, I hope you’re well stocked on frozen peas. Happy healing! 

Melanie Whyte
Melanie Whyte
Melanie Whyte (she/her) leads the lifestyle and relationship content at Betches. As an amateur New Yorker and professional bisexual, she enjoys writing about the bane of sex and relationships in the city. She is also perpetually in her messy house era despite spending all of her money on Instagram ads.