In a professional capacity, I have been privy to eye and head injury statistics over the last 10 years. During the time period that I was researching and promoting injury prevention, reality shows arose like Jackass, Scarred, and World of Stupid, as well as video games such as Grand Theft Auto. These glorify idiotic and dangerous behaviors and I find them revolting. I spoke firsthand to the physicians who treated horrific injuries caused by idiotic antics such as hot dogging on skateboards and car surfing.
On the lighter side, sitcoms sometimes portray injuries with hilarity – a case in point is the Seinfeld episode called The Fusilli Jerry. Kramer makes pasta sculptures of his friends including one of Jerry using Fusilli pasta. George’s dad Frank falls on the Fusilli Jerry and they have to take him to a proctologist to have it removed.
On occasion, I amuse myself by reading some of the brief NEISS injury reports culled from U.S. hospital emergency rooms related to more interesting body parts. I imagine in many instances the victims weren’t honest and toned down the real-case scenarios … or emergency room personnel summarized the incidents and something was lost in translation. But nevertheless, these cases speak to the innate vulnerability and stupidity of our species. The craziest cases involve the pubic region (readers beware):
- A 40-year-old woman thought she was pregnant and stuck a scoop of ice cream into her privates, resulting in a vaginal laceration and bladder infection.
- While jumping over a fence, a 49-year-old man stabbed himself in the scrotum when the knife he was carrying in his waist sheath slipped.
- A 49-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with a long metal nail lodged in his penis.
- A 21-year-old man stuck a plastic pen top into his penis, resulting in pain and urethral injury.
- A 16-year-old boy blew air into his penis using a sharpened bicycle needle pump, suffering a puncture to his scrotum and pain while breathing.
- A 40-year-old woman was experiencing an itch and tried to scratch it by sticking a bobby pin into her vagina, resulting in a urinary tract infection.
Here is some further food for thought. An estimated 52,500 people were treated at emergency rooms in 2010 for pubic-area injuries. Of these, 2,112 were serious enough to require hospitalization and 1,885 involved foreign bodies stuck in places where the sun don’t shine. Fact is indeed stranger than fiction.