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Rectal Foreign Bodies

A Candid Discussion of Gerbils and Other Things People Reportedly Cram Hopelessly Up Their Asses


Medical science is still unsure why men stick foreign objects up their asses.

They know that in many cases, it is for the erotic stimulation of the juicy prostate gland that nestles only a couple inches inside the anus. In other instances, it is for masochistic psychological reasons that may only be helped by a psychiatric professional and/or an exorcist. Perhaps it is for both reasons--a sloppy combination of lust and self-loathing. Or it may happen for spiritual reasons that we human peons, in our arrested evolutionary phase, would never be able to comprehend.

What IS known is that many men stick all manner of things inside their asses. And oftentimes, these things disappear down the bottomless rectal pit, causing intense pain and requiring an emergency-room visit. Medical journals are stuffed to the point of bloating with accounts of "rectal foreign bodies" lodged hopelessly up the bunghole and how they were ultimately removed. These stories-- seemingly so outlandish that a skeptical mind would dismiss them as urban legends if they hadn't been so exhaustively documented--vary as widely as the array of objects than can potentially fit inside a human rectum. One thing unites them--they are all funny.

Ironically, the rectal-foreign-body story which has burrowed far deeper inside the American consciousness than any other--the one involving gerbils --has never been conclusively documented and must be presumed to be the stuff of fable. Long rumored to be a favorite practice of gay men, "gerbilling" or "gerbilstuffing" is said to employ one live rodent, either shaven or not depending on who's telling the story. In most accounts, the gerbil is declawed to avert rectal tearing. A tube is nudged into the rectum, and the gerbil is then placed into the tube, whereupon he trots up into the dark moist anal canal, dancing the Macarena on the prostate gland until he suffocates and his dead body plops out during the host's next bowel movement. I first heard of gerbilling while living in Philadelphia in the early 1980s. A local news anchor, Jerry Penacoli, was said to have visited an emergency room to dislodge a gerbil that had become trapped inside his tush during some homosexual slap-and-tickle with a lover. Although never confirmed, the rumor did irreparable damage to Penacoli's career.

Similar rumors about public figures emerged nationwide throughout the 1980s, culminating in the most famous gerbilling legend of all, that involving actor Richard Gere. It has been long rumored that he was admitted to an L.A. emergency room for gerbil-extraction. In one version, the gerbil was his own pet, named "Tibet."

Avid researchers, including Mike Walker from the National Enquirer, were unable to come up with even a morsel of evidence to corroborate the story. The myth's most plausible origin involves a faxed hoax letter reputedly from the ASPCA accusing Gere of "gerbil abuse" shortly after the film Pretty Woman was released in 1990. The fax was refaxed throughout Hollywood, and a legend was born. When confronted by Barbara Walters in 1991 about "salacious rumors," Gere responded with a Zenlike, "If I am a cow and someone says I'm a zebra, it doesn't make me a zebra."

OK, Rich, FINE-- you're not a cow. And no one's calling you a zebra. But DID YOU STUFF A GERBIL IN YOUR ASS?

An extreme, and obviously false, version of the gerbilling legend involves two male homosexuals who panic when the tiny beast apparently becomes trapped inside one partner's rectum, causing the other partner to light a match in search of it. The flame ignites intestinal gas, causing the match-holder's eyebrows and hair to be scorched.

Due to the gerbilling legend's popularity, someone has undoubtedly attempted to do it--but researchers are unsure if it actually works or whether said procedure ever went awry to the point where it necessitated a 911 call or hospital visit. The American Hospital Association even published a book that included the phrase "rectal mass-- gerbils" under the category of emergency- room procedures that require 25 minutes to perform. But when an investigator contacted the physician who'd authored the section in question, he laughed and said the editors must have slipped the joke in the manuscript before it went to press.

But fret not, my lonely and inadequate reader--I'm about to dazzle your eyes and delight your mind with a staggering array of true rectal-foreign-body stories. Medical annals fart forth a disgusting brown cloud of real items really extracted from the real anuses of real men: glass items such as bottles, tumblers, cups, and lightbulbs... all manner of phallic fruits and veggies ranging from parsnips to appliances including spoons, icepicks, and tin cups...sporting objects such as baseballs, tennis balls, and even (oof!) billiard balls...candles, curling irons, and flashlights...axe handles and broomsticks...animal-related items such as a pig's tail, a steer's horn, a "kangaroo tumor," and a frozen fish...seemingly improbable artifacts such as a pair of eyeglasses, a mannequin's fist and forearm, and a plastic bag containing fish hooks...and, yes, even vibrators and dildos. One complainant's ass contained jeweler's saws--29 of them at once. In three extreme cases--involving a shoe horn, a 22-ounce toolbox, and a two-pound rock--rectal foreign bodies have been known to cause death.

Short of mortality, the aspiring rectal inserter risks permanent muscle and nerve damage, infection due to mixing blood with shit, and even scar formation which can prevent him from ever having a satisfying BM again.

Victims are understandably loath to admit why they were shoving things so far up their poop chute that they became stuck. Older men often claim that they were innocently massaging their prostate or dislodging impacted feces when the big OOPS happened. And there's a surfeit of "accidental" sitting upon large objects which somehow penetrated their anuses to the point of no return. In their selfishly pathetic quest to spare the subject any further humiliation, medical journals tend to avoid identifying factors such as the victim's name and location. Still, we can all enjoy a belly laugh at the following true stories:

A 65-year-old man admitted himself into an emergency room with a peanut-butter jar stuck inside his ass. He claimed that while washing his dog in the shower, he slipped and fell directly onto the jar, which became lodged deep inside his tuchis .

A 69-year-old married man claimed that a toothbrush became irretrievably lodged inside his rectal canal after he was using it to scratch his hemorrhoids.

A 20-year-old man reported to the emergency room experiencing extreme pain after his partner gave him a " concrete enema " through a funnel. The enema was topped off with a ping-pong ball to ensure no concrete would leak out while hardening. The cement block, attached to the ping-pong ball, was removed without incident.

A 20-year-old man in Bulgaria was rushed to an emergency room with extreme pain. Doctors found an oven mitt inside his rectum. He suffered rectal perforation not from the mitt, but from a stick he employed to "introduce" the item inside himself.

An X-ray revealed that a 50-year-old man had inserted a 20-inch live eel inside of his most special of places, ostensibly to relieve constipation. The eel caused rectal bleeding and was removed by surgeons.

A 58-year-old man underwent surgery to have a soda bottle removed from his colon. Two years earlier, he had undergone surgery for exactly the same thing.

Acting on a drunken dare, a 54-year-old man used shaving cream as a lubricant to insert a 100-watt lightbulb inside himself. He walked around for two days until extreme pain during urination brought him into the hospital. Physicians removed the lightbulb intact.


What can we learn from all this?

Unless you're an idiot, you should have been born with the wisdom not to stuff lightbulbs up your doody-hole, so I'll stop short of using the hackneyed "Don't try this at home." But we can learn, once more, to laugh at the misfortunes of others. Although perhaps not as extreme as the stories of the man who, "feeling depressed," stuck a lit firecracker in his ass, or the man who committed suicide by firing a pistol up his rectum, these stories mine rich nuggets of humor. And laughing at others is often the only way to feel better about ourselves.