This Irish girl, a domestic servant, aged 25, had been in England only a week when this happened, last Christmas Day. She had recently lost most of her upper teeth, and had not yet had a plate put in, so her powers of mastication were very poor. After eating a portion of giblets she was seized with a violent feeling of indigestion and she vomited, and the undigested portion came up and stuck in her throat, leading to some dyspnoea. She therefore hastily seized the nearest object, which was this fork, and, holding it by the prongs, she pushed the handle behind her tongue and down her throat. She succeeded in moving the piece of meat and withdrew the fork, but as she felt it was still sticking in her gullet, she proceeded to try the same moneouvre a second time, and this time she got the fork, according to her own description, a long way down. Then, to her surprise, the handle of the fork was seized by an "unseen power" -- probably the constrictor muscles -- and having only a slimy hold on the fork, she lost grip of it and it went down. She went to the hospital on Christmas afternoon, where her story was received with diffidence.
Unfortunately, the X-ray department was not working on that day, and it was two days before a plate could be got to prove that she had swallowed a fork. The plate shows the fork in the stomach, with the handle resting near the pylorus, and the prongs towards the cardia. I operated upon her fifty-four hours after she swallowed the fork, making a small incisiion in the epigastric region to the right of the mid-line, and making a ¾ in. incision in the anterior wall of the stomach, near the pylorus, I seized the prongs of the fork and extracted it. The stomach had made an attempt to pass it on: the handle was in the duodenum, and the hilt of the fork in the pylorus, the prongs in the stomach. Suture was done in the ordinary way, and she made a very successful recovery, going out in a fortnight. Later she said she felt no ill-effects and had no indigestion.
Am I the only person who didn't know that a man could "fracture" his penis (i.e., "I heard a pop," the victim said)? In a courtroom this week in Media, Pa., urologist Pierre Ghayad is having to answer for not recognizing the symptoms. Delaware County Daily Times
Alcohol Was Involved:(1) Carlos Lupercio, 49, was sentenced in Lincoln, Neb., to 2-to-4 yrs in prison for shooting at his neighbor with a crossbow to "settle" the dispute over whether his pit bull was a Labrador or not. (2) Three teenagers shot up a trailer home in Lakeville, Minn., Wednesday, apparently because of disappointment that there weren't no women at that-there party they had showed up fer. Associated Press via Yahoo///Associated Press via WCCO-TV (Minneapolis)
Miracle: Mr. Jory Aebly was shot in the head in Cleveland, Ohio, in February, and no doctors, none, gave him any chance of survival, yet he was discharged this week, and now the hospital chaplain's endorphins are in overdrive because he had "treated" Aebly with a rosary once extra-specially blessed by Pope John Paul II. ABC News
Texas Justice: They don't do "death penalty" cases very well, but they nailed this one: The State Commission on Judicial Conduct charged Judge Gustavo Garza with improper sentencing, i.e., he would waive a $500 fine for parents of truants if they'd spank their kids (clothed) right there in the courtroom. Associated Press via KENS-TV (San Antonio)
Your Daily Loser
It says here that a woman was arrested when she tried to leave a Schnucks grocery store in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold with $1,200 worth of shoplifted stuff but might have gone free had she (a) tried to leave via the correct automatic door rather than the one that wouldn't open for her, or (b) not made such a scene about the door not opening and just quietly eased over to the correct door. Naturally, she did neither. KSDK-TV (St. Louis)
Your Daily Jury Duty ["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
David Brown, 48, Oak Hill, Fla., charged in a strange arrangement: Looks like there was kinda a neighborhood community tanning bed in a "shed" in his back yard, and neighbor girls used it, and then there was a secret camera in there. [Ed.: I dunno. That's what it sounds like. It's a small, rural town so maybe tanning beds are scarce.]Orlando Sentinel
Today's Newsrangers: Paul Pruitt, Willy Carswell, Phil Carhart
Hugmachine.org offers complete instructions on how to build your very own, low-cost hug machine. For those times when you need to feel the comforting press of two mattresses around you.
The Hug Machine was invented by Temple Grandin as a way to treat her autism. From Wikipedia:
The idea for the hug machine was devised during a visit to her aunt's Colorado ranch, where she noted the way cattle were vaccinated while confined in a squeeze chute, and how some of the cattle immediately calmed down after pressure was administered. She realized the deep pressure from the chute had a calming effect, and decided that might well settle down her own hypersensitivity. Whereas psychologists at her high school sought to confiscate her prototype hug machine, her science teacher encouraged her to determine just why it helped resolve her anxiety and sensory issues.
The rules for joining the Sourtoe Cocktail Club are simple. Go to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon. While there consume any drink that has floating in it a severed human toe that has been dehydrated and preserved in salt. The bar conveniently keeps a supply of such toes. While consuming the drink, your lips must touch the toe. And that's it. You're a member of the club.
The rules used to be a bit more strict. Namely, that the toe had to be floating in a beer glass full of champagne. But over the years they've relaxed that requirement.
If you're really brave, you can order a Five Toe Sourtoe Cocktail.
The tradition dates from 1973 when a dried up toe was discovered that, legend had it, belonged to a 1920s rum-smuggler named Louie Liken. What better use for the toe, the hotel figured, than to put it in a drink. Over the years the original toe was lost, but apparently it hasn't been hard to find replacements.
Always better to be able to pay full price for the funeral. Watch out if you prepaid, or, even worse, get an indigent's burial. In Allendale, S.C., a home might have fit a 7-footer into a 6-foot, prepaid coffin, and in Houston, a home might have confused a male with a female and cremated the wrong one. Associated Press via Charlotte Observer///Houston Chronicle
In the last 6 yrs in hospital ERs in and around Austin, Tex., a total of 2,678 of the visits were made by only 9 people, who of course know the secret words that require the hospital to treat them ("chest pain"). American-Statesman
Indonesia apparently permits criminals to profit from their "celebrity," so "Ryan," the gay serial killer awaiting sentencing (which could be "firing squad"), whose autobiography is already on the shelves, is set to debut his angelic voice in an album of pop songs, My Last Performance. Agence France-Presse via Herald Sun (Melbourne)
It was published yesterday, but The Sun's story is certainly real, about one of Sir Richard Branson's health clubs in Acton, England, starting a program for pets. It's just that the pictures look a little April-Fool-ish (but, as with the health clubs themselves, the pets in the pictures all seem to be buff). The Sun
Comments on Things to Worry About Today? Comments 'worry_090402'
Your Daily Loser
This one's a tossup: (1) There's poor Edwin Calix, 19, who tried to snatch a bottle of Hennessey cognac and run out the front door of Sykes Liquor Store in Trenton, N.J., but the clerk pushed the auto-lock, sealing the door. Calix's backup plan was a gun, which he pointed at the clerk, but that only allowed him to see that it wasn't a real gun, and by then, he had 911 on the phone, anyway. Said the clerk, "[Calix] just came up and sat on the floor and started crying." Among Calix's mumbles, the clerk said, was, "I have a child," which complicates the question of why he wanted the Hennessey's. Times of Trenton///KYW-TV (Philadelphia) [mugshot]
(2) The other contenders are two unidentified men captured on surveillance video trying to break into an alarmed private residence in St. Petersburg in daylight. WFTS-TV: "One placed himself in a football stance and ran the length of the yard into the porch door with his body. The latch held quite nicely. The impact sent the would-be thief flying backwards and onto the ground, where he is seen writhing in pain." The alarm sounded; they gone. WFTS-TV (Tampa) Comments 'losers_090402'
Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Arlene Smith, 47, stands accused of several petty thefts from the little store located inside the courthouse in Cincinnati (Reese's cups, Slim Jims, etc.), but let's be fair: No one could possibly be so heartless as to shoplift from a store run by an obviously-blind proprietor, right? Cincinnati Enquirer Comments 'arlene_smith'
Today's Newsrangers: Kurt Knochel, Neil Gimon, Ginger Katz, Stephen Taylor, Paul Blumstein
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.