Sunday Tittle Tattle: It Just Slipped In, Doc

bath tub

Something almost happened to me last week that made me think quite differently about those dreadful hospital stories you hear about foreign objects ending up in places they were never meant to be.

(When I say “ending up” I mean inserted and when I say “places they were never meant to be” I mean the long dark passages of the human body, specifically the back one. If this post sounds as though it’s going to be more than your constitution can handle then I’d advise you to turn back now; it’s only going to get worse.)

Now look; we’ve probably all been told various hospital-based anecdotes about over-enthusiastic object-insertion. Some of them must be urban myth, for sure, but on the other hand I’ve known a fair few people who have actually worked in A&E (ER if you’re in the US) and have revelled in telling their first-hand stories. The man stretchered in from the ambulance with a hoover hose sticking out of his rear, the woman and the coke bottle, the lemon that was wholly stuck in an unholy cavity, like stuffing in a turkey; the stories of cucumbers and remote controls and Christmas baubles and Barbie dolls and things so utterly bizarre you have to wonder what an earth the person was thinking.

We’ve (mostly) all heard these stories and perhaps we’ve laughed, aghast, or winced and wondered at the utter humiliation that would befall a person who had to go to A&E with such a predicament. But for me, the most cringe-inspiring part is always the array of excuses people come up with to explain their condition; the yarns the patients weave in an attempt to clear up any misunderstanding. Rather than truthfully saying “I fancied seeing what it felt like to insert a giant marrow into my bottom because there was nothing much good on telly and my wife had gone to aerobics class” they say things like “I was cleaning the hallway floor – with no pants on – and I slipped and fell and the umbrella was drying upside down and the carved wooden handle just slipped in!” Or, “I was hoovering – naked – and I went to hoover some cat hair from my stomach and my willy just got sucked down the nozzle!” Or, “I had been told that putting a whole lemon inside me – naked – would cure my piles.”

I find the excuses more fascinating than the actual insertions themselves. And – traditionally – I have always dismissed these excuses as being 100% fabricated – elaborate lies conjured up in a panicked attempt to save face. But the thing that almost nearly happened to me last week (not even remotely a close shave but one must embellish for the sake of a good story) has taught me that no matter how unlikely a tale, we should always give people the benefit of the doubt.

(I say “always” but obviously there are exceptions. I mean if someone has a courgette retrieved from inside them and it’s wearing a condom, then that’s pretty clearly on-purpose. No courgette in history has ever done man the courtesy of politely sheathing itself before “pointing up at a dangerous angle from the gap between the sofa cushions where it must have become wedged after I dropped a bag of groceries when I was unloading the car – naked – whilst watching Judge Rinder.”

You’ll be pleased to know that my tale doesn’t involve a courgette (praise be) – it doesn’t, in fact, involve any object whatsoever because nothing actually happened to me. But it’s what could have happened that sent my overactive imagination into overdrive and spurred me into writing this cautionary tale.

Brace positions, please.

I was in an unfamiliar shower setting, which sounds dodgier than it was, and this shower setting happened to be showcasing three of my most irksome bathroom design flaws. The first and most significant flaw was presence of the “over bath shower”, a contraption I’ve always thought to be one of the biggest domestic hazards. It’s dangerous enough showering in a flat, purpose-built shower tray let alone performing intricate washing acrobatics whilst tiptoeing about inside a completely frictionless – curved  – basin. I mean! (The other two design flaws were the pop-up plug in the bottom of the bath and the overly slippery bathroom floor tiles, but they are not really relevant here and so I may have to elaborate more on these in another post.)

Anyway: I was reaching forward – bending over, if you will! – to grab the shampoo that I had placed in front of me in the bottom of the bathtub. As I leant forwards my balance was set all ajar and I squeaked my wet feet about to steady myself, but then – and this is the vital bit – I fell backwards and almost sat on the knob that controlled the mixer tap. I say almost; it was more of a cold metallic nudge on the back of my upper thigh, but still. Imagine if my legs had been six inches shorter?!

Actually don’t imagine. Nobody needs that mental image.

Anyway the point of this post was this: who would have believed me on the paramedics team had serious misfortune actually befallen me? That I had reached for my shampoo and then stepped back at a funny angle, still semi-crouching, and that I had quite literally landed on the tap mixer appendage? Nobody would have believed me, that’s who. They’d have thought that I was doing some weird sexual ritual – I would have been a dinner party anecdote, an urban myth. I’d have been forced to move to a remote island. And the worst part of it all, the biggest indignity, would have been that my story was true.

OK, perhaps not the biggest indignity, but you know what I mean.

But what I’m saying is that maybe people do land on courgettes by accident. OK, that’s a stretch (literally! LOL!) but there must be some A&E stories that aren’t totally fabricated. There must have been occasions, throughout history, where people have fallen and things have – er – penetrated just through sheer force. Since the invention of the hoover, at least one poor sod must have been hoovering without pants on (perhaps he had been eating Doritos during a heatwave and chomped crumbs all over the carpet) and is it that inconceivable that he might have turned the nozzle upon his own person to quickly (and might I say very efficiently) remove the crumbs from his thackets of body hair?

Good God, imagine how well and truly stuck you’d have to be to dial 999 in the first place. The things people must try before resorting to picking up that phone.

“OK Bob, tie this string around the stalk part, if you can find it, and knot the other end around the door handle!”

or

“Maureen? Maureen! Now I don’t want you to panic, but I seem to have had a little accident on the car exhaust pipe. I’m going to need your help, Maureen, but I need you to promise – promise, mind! – that you won’t look directly at me. Just take the folded gazebo from on top of the chest freezer and throw it over my back. Then I’m going to need you to really summon up all of your strength.”

or

“Gloria? Fetch the WD40!”

I know that this is a long shot, but has anyone ever had a really weird accident where nobody believed how it happened? On a very uninteresting level, I once stapled a heavy-duty staple into my thumb when I was fixing one of those huge industrial staplers and it hurt like a b*stard trying to get it out. I had the wound dressed and then, almost straight away, did the same thing again…

Oh: I should point out that the bathtub in the photo isn’t the bathtub that nothing remotely interesting happened in. I just needed a picture to illustrate the post. I considered a courgette close-up but thought the luxury tub was more “on brand”.

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57 Comments

  1. Faye
    August 1, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    I have a friend who was dancing on a table when drunk. She slipped a sliced off some of her lady bits. Like there was a bit on the floor. She is immensely proud of this story for some reason! It became a cautionary drink table dancing tale for the rest of us, ‘I wouldn’t dance on that bar if i was you, you might do a (name)’

  2. Ally
    June 22, 2019 / 11:18 am

    Your funniest post yet!

    Two things to add here. First was my own experience in a shower some years ago. I’ve had back problems since I was born – overenthusiastic forceps delivery snapped a vital tendon in my pelvis and sometimes (before I found a brilliant chiropractor) my pelvis would suddenly go out of line and part of my body would lock e.g. head completely locked over to one side, unable to move. On this occasion, I was in the shower, put both hands on my hair to shampoo then…LOCK. Couldn’t move a thing. Hands on head, legs locked together, starkers obviously. Shower was over a bath, no hope of getting out. Only person in the house was my new flatmate’s boyfriend who I had only met the night before.

    Wondering how much longer the hot water would last, I pondered the horror of having to shout out to him to come and break the door down and rescue me. How would that even work anyway? The shower was behind the door for one thing. For another, how do you get a naked woman whose body is locked like a statue out of a bath? Only one thing was clear and this was that it was going to be unbearably humiliating. I then realised that the noise of the shower and the fact he was asleep meant I had zero chance of being heard anyway. 20 minutes later, just as I was accepting that the shower was my home now and I would conduct the rest of my life in it, my arms suddenly freed up. Although my legs and back were still frozen, I was able to grasp the sink and shower screen and haul myself out onto the floor in what I can only imagine was a graceful display of nude elegance. Once out I called my Mum who rushed me to a chiropractor.

    Second story, a girl I was at school with was on holiday in a room with unfamiliar bunkbeds. She slept in the top one and fell out in the night, landing bumhole-first on a large decorative knob on the back of one of those old-fashioned pine chairs. Essentially had a chair up her bum and had to be removed from it by paramedics on site. She was in hospital for 3 months, in a ward full of men who’d had their own similar “bunkbed” accidents…

    • June 24, 2019 / 2:51 pm

      OH MY GOD. Sorry to skip to the second one, but OH MY GOD! LOL, bumhole first. Can I just ask; is there a slight insinuation that maybe she didn’t “fall” on it in her sleep? Or did she genuinely?! x

      • Ally
        June 25, 2019 / 4:52 pm

        Ha! I know, it sounds unlikely doesn’t it, but she was 11 at the time, I think, so I reckon it was a genuine accidental bumhole catastrophe!x

  3. Shannon
    June 20, 2019 / 9:15 am

    At a summer day care camp thing as a child, I was happily walking along a stone wall when I tripped and landed astride the fence. Broke my hymen which was very confusing at that age.

    First boy I slept with flat out refused to believe I was a virgin up to that moment. Ahh, Catholic sex education.

  4. Jolanda
    June 19, 2019 / 10:49 am

    My grandma’s next door neighbor was standing on a low stone wall that served as a seperation between her house and the neighbors. She was standing on that wall because she was a short women and she was washing her windows.

    One of the stones from the wall broke of, the neighbor fell and the broken stone actually ended up in her lady parts. Full reconstruction down there. Still makes me shiver when I think of it.

    • June 19, 2019 / 9:50 pm

      HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE. The poor woman.

  5. Sneza
    June 18, 2019 / 9:13 pm

    A friend was a serious cyclist with one of those thin racing seats on his bike and got rear-ended by a car. He had to be reconstructed in there. :(

  6. Clare S
    June 18, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    Once upon a time when I was a stupid twenty something I decided to weigh my cat. I put a glass bowl onto a set of weighing scales and attempted to lower the cat into the bowl. Of course the cat didn’t like this much and when her back feet touched the cold glass bowl she freaked out and ran….up my face, leaving a claw embedded just below my eye. I remember turning to my housemate of the time with a trickle of blood running down my cheek as he looked at me unimpressed and continued eating his tea. The next day I had a cut and black eye as a result of the clawing and had to go to work. The best of it was, my boss of the time (a nice but delicate chap) was scared to ask me what had happened as he thought I had been the victim of a domestic violence incident! Well I guess I was in a way…it was just the cat attacking me

    • June 18, 2019 / 6:10 pm

      Glass bowls and cats. Nope. Bloody cats!! I’m surprised more people aren’t blinded by their cats.

  7. Nyree
    June 18, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    I worked as an underwriter many moons ago, and I remember clearly one application i had to assess. The ‘member’ (oh er missus) had declared he had been in hospital 4 time. All to remove items from ‘the void’ (his actual words. I will never ever forget that!).
    He had these removed; A jam jar, a large carrot, a Nokia 3310 and the original jam jar, the other way up. What I wasn’t expecting in the file, was the X-rays!

    It took me a good 30-40 mins to calm down and breathe properly. I later found out it was considered unbecoming and unprofessional of me to laugh at a member file ‍♀️

    • June 18, 2019 / 2:54 pm

      Oh God, please tell me this wasn’t before the invention of the camera phone.. You can send the pictures directly to me, ta ever so.. : )
      x

  8. Rebecca
    June 18, 2019 / 12:29 pm

    I remember being a small child and getting out of the bath tub without the supervision of parents (because I’m a big kid now Mum…). I slipped with one leg over the bath and one still in the bath. Landed with full force on my lady garden, fell out of the tub in pain only to smack my head on the tiles and knock myself out cold!

    • June 18, 2019 / 2:54 pm

      I laughed at this and I can only apologise. People underestimate the pain that falling on that region causes.

    • Jolanda
      June 19, 2019 / 10:52 am

      I on the other hand, have been laughing for a good five minutes about the term ‘lady garden’. The pain I know from experience is no joke, as this happened to me in a pool…

    • June 18, 2019 / 2:55 pm

      It’s at Heckfield Place. Must stress that’s not the bath it (nearly) happened in.

  9. Madalena
    June 18, 2019 / 11:00 am

    “Gloria? Fetch the WD40!” AHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  10. Sarah
    June 17, 2019 / 11:17 pm

    I once read about a woman who claimed to have “slipped” onto a miniature bust of Napoleon whilst dusting. I don’t know if it’s true but I laughed like a drain for weeks.

  11. June 17, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    I’ve been a nurse for 10 years in theatre and also in intensive care.

    Whilst in theatre I had a patient in his mid-60’s come in for “removal of foreign object from rectum”. I checked him in, he wouldn’t divulge what exactly what was in his rectum (a strange stance to take as we literally about to rummage about in there and remove said item) and on the way to theatre stated to me “it was a moment of madness!!!” I’ve never forgotten that moment, it took all my strength not to say “it’s a pain in the arse when things don’t go to plan eh?”

    For your information we retrieved a metal spout, the ones you see on lime cordial bottles at the pub, and it’s metal egg shaped cover.

    • June 17, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      Ha!! “It was a moment of madness.” You can say that again mate! It’s not even the right shape! What I don’t understand is that surely there’s not even any pleasure from these types of crazy objects for people – is it a weird fetish, just like, “I want weird shit inside my bum”? Excuse the pun

  12. Deborah Mercer
    June 17, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    I read a post from doc bastard (I think) about foreign objects where they shouldn’t be. It ALWAYS involved men (though not from some of the comments above) inserting the weirdest thing up their back passages (ooh err). Like the biggest orange, which had to be skewered out, but the worst was a set of metal bbq tongs. Apparently the gap in the handle caught in the soft tissue inside him and they had to use bone cutters to cut them up. I mean, how/why would you even TRY to insert those.

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:20 pm

      IMAGINE THE TONGS WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT OMG

  13. Sharon
    June 17, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    You are a writer of considerable comedic talents!

  14. Becks
    June 17, 2019 / 11:25 am

    This conversation made my Monday

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      I aim to please. Never a dull day! : )

  15. Soph
    June 17, 2019 / 10:50 am

    There is a podcast called Dumb People Town who do an annual round up of all the items that ‘slipped in’ in America each year. It covers all orifices and is a fascinating (and hilarious listen). The latest one included Jon Hamm as a co-host, so extra entertainment.

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      Hahahaha, off to download this IMMEDIATELY.

  16. Gillian Pidler
    June 17, 2019 / 10:41 am

    Totally wetting myself laughing here!! Had to read it out to my daughter!! Brilliant blog post!!

  17. Fabienne
    June 17, 2019 / 10:40 am

    Oh my word! I needed this chuckle! Thank you!
    Of real accidents that I have heard of was of a toddler running around naked and fell rather hard on a glass marble…. I shan’t go any further… poor lad. And a fair warning at that too.

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      Oh goodness! Up the bottom?!!!

  18. Cath
    June 17, 2019 / 10:08 am

    Not remotely anything to do with orifices and things wedged therein, but an injury arising from an unlikely accident all the same: many years ago my dad was on all fours doing some weeding or something in the very large back garden (not a euphemism). We had a new (very excitable) Border Collie/Springer Spaniel cross at the time, who was bounding around all over the grass. My dad decided to whistle her over to give her a fuss, so she bombed towards him, building up considerable speed and momentum across the large lawn, thus rendering her unable to apply the brakes in time. It was my dad’s face that eventually acted as a buffer, resulting in an absolute shiner. Turns out ‘The dog did it’ isn’t massively convincing when people ask how you got your black eye.

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      Honestly, when you said all fours I was dreading what might happen. Is it wrong to say I’m almost glad it involved his head? x

    • Starseed
      June 18, 2019 / 5:34 pm

      I’ve got a shiner from a rather exited Jack Russel terrier once… Try that explanation at 20-something, just moved in w/new boyfriend… Luckily the BF was out of town that weekend

      • Sarah
        June 20, 2019 / 1:19 am

        Oh dear, that’s a tough one! Haha!

  19. Jess
    June 17, 2019 / 7:58 am

    So funny you should post this on the exact day my dad tells me about his own near miss involving the corner of a table! We joke a lot about this kind of thing because my little brother is a doctor and we’ve all been reading “this is going to hurt” by Adam Kay and there’s lots of these kind of anecdotes in there. Last night my dad kept saying at the dinner table (hopefully not the one it happened on) “but imagine if it had been an inch to the left. Noone would have believed me!” Then proceeded to tell us how he wanted to apply some arnica cream to the apparently huge bruise but the small print said not to apply or to the genital region and he panicked and decided against it…enjoy your Sunday roast everyone!

  20. Susanamantha
    June 17, 2019 / 3:57 am

    My nephew sneezed white brushing his teeth, bashed his forehead onto the faucet, cut it the heck open, and needed umpteen stitches.

  21. Sarah
    June 17, 2019 / 3:27 am

    This reminds me of the episode of The Big Bang Theory where Howard used a robotic hand on his nether regions and ended up in the ER! Hahaha! One of the best episodes. I still crack up every time I see it!

  22. Charley
    June 16, 2019 / 10:20 pm

    I’m a doctor and have worked in A&E, and I have to break it to you that some people don’t try to solve the problem themselves before calling an ambulance.
    Any sane person would, you imagine, try anything and everything before turning up in A&E with a marrow up their arse but unfortunately, there are in fact ‘regulars’ who turn up every few weeks to have something removed. I knew one patient who learned the shift pattern of her favourite doctor and would turn up with all sorts shoved up her lady bits when he was at work.

    Ps. My favourite “lost object” was one of those glass bottles with a tiny yacht inside it.

    • June 17, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      “Ah, our miniature crew aboard our tiny yacht, sailing through the seven s- WAIT! Captain! What the fuck is this we navigate? This is no pink wave we crest! We seem to be in a flesh tunnel of some sorts!”

  23. Marjorie
    June 16, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    How in the world did you staple your thumb twice ? :) My husband was an orthopaedic surgeon and once had a patient who had come in from gardening, decided to wash her feet in the bathroom sink, fell backwards onto the floor and her big toe got stuck in the faucet and broke.

    • June 16, 2019 / 8:34 pm

      Noooo! The toe in tap thing seems to be quite common!

  24. Claire
    June 16, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    I seem to remember The Unmumsy Mum running a comp for funny stories. One of the winners was a lady was was bending over naked as she was running a bath for her and her child. And the child ran at her with a toothbrush and it went right up her ‘back passage’. OMG! Imagine the surprise!

    • June 16, 2019 / 8:35 pm

      Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! Oh dear lord!!!!!

  25. Leanne
    June 16, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    This is hilarious!

    It reminds me somewhat of that girl who got stuck between two windows while trying to retrieve her

    • June 16, 2019 / 8:35 pm

      I know, the poor poor girl. Imagine.

  26. Jane
    June 16, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    Oh heavens, I had a hideous accident in my bathroom 3 years ago. I slipped in my bath, just like you described above, fell backwards out of the bath and my left arm hit the flush handle on my loo with such force that the handle penetrated my arm and ripped it right open. It was awful, my husband took one look and called an ambulance, I spent all evening in A&E being dosed up on morphine, only to be told 7 hours after I arrived that I needed a plastic surgeon to put it back together and they didn’t have anyone. Long story short, one operation under general anaesthetic, 29 external stitches plus internal stitches, 3 courses of antibiotics, one infection and two and a half months later it finally healed. I have a very large scar that still upsets me 3 years later. Slippery baths are bloody dangerous- the A&E staff were utterly incredulous when I told them how my arm was injured.

  27. Yusra
    June 16, 2019 / 4:39 pm

    When getting ready, I shower first than decide that I need to iron an item of clothing. It proves to be really dangerous as I burnt my belly and thigh on two different occasions. My husband says howwww..

    • June 16, 2019 / 6:06 pm

      Naked domestic tasks! Inadvisable. Yikes.

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