- Here’s one way to test how steady a surgeon’s hands are.
Pulling something out of a person’s butt is like opening a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get. It could be a sex toy, a doll, a bottle, or perhaps a still-living eel.
Whatever you find, you can usually throw it away without military invention. Unless it’s an artillery round.
The staff at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital were in for a surprise of their lives when a local man showed up in considerable pain. When asked where he was hurting, the unsurprisingly anonymous gentleman indicated towards his lower regions.
When the doctors got to investigating, they sure enough discovered a foreign object lodged in the man’s rectum. And what an object it was.
Inside the man’s butt, the doctors discovered a 57mm World War II-era anti-tank shell. And of course, the guy offered the usual explanation for how it got up there.
“The guy said he found the shell when he was having a clear out of his stuff. He said he put it on the floor then he slipped and fell on it — and it went up his a**e,” an anonymous hospital source told The Sun.
At least nobody popped a cap in his behind with a cannon. But that probably didn’t make the man any more comfortable.
“He was in a considerable amount of pain. I think he collected military memorabilia,” the hospital source said.
Fire in the Hole!
The doctors couldn’t exactly leave the shell in the man’s butt. But here’s the thing — they couldn’t know if the thing was about to blow up the man’s rectum and everything else 50-foot radius.
So, naturally, the hospital called the appropriate authorities.
Gloucestershire police confirmed to The Sun that they had responded to “a report that a patient had presented with a munition in his rectum.”
High explosives stuck up someone’s butt is a bit out of the scope of regular police operations. As such, the cops in turn contacted the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment of the British Army’s Royal Logistic Corps.
While the bomb experts were on their way, the doctors concentrated on removing the shell from the poor man. In what we can only imagine was a very careful operation, they pulled out the weapon of ass destruction.
An Ass-Piercing Round
Luckily for everyone involved, no one was ever in any danger of exploding. When the bomb squad arrived, they quickly identified the shell as a non-explosive anti-tank round.
“It was a solid shot round, a chunky, pointed lump of lead designed to rip through a tank’s armor,” a military source said.
“It was basically an inert lump of metal, so there was no risk to life — at least not to anyone else’s,” they added.
Indeed, while the sell wouldn’t have blown anything up, the man was in mortal danger. Doctor Carol Cooper told The Sun that he could’ve easily died if the shell had pierced his intestines.
And no matter how tough his guts are, that could’ve happened. If the shell can tear through a tank, it sure can do the same to your lower colon.
“The range of objects that are pushed into rectums is incredible, from wine glasses to ketchup bottles and parts of vacuum cleaners. Sadly, it is an everyday occurrence in ER — but I have never heard of the bomb squad being called out before,” Cooper said.
At least the man had the good sense to seek help in time. If only he’d had the good sense to not, erm, slip and fall on a cannon round.
Served with Dignity
As a curiosity, the cannon that the shell was originally manufactured more has quite an illustrious service history. The 57mm shell was likely intended to be fired out of the Ordnance Quick-Firing 6-pounder anti-tank gun.
The British-designed cannon first saw action at the 1942 Battle of Gazala, in the North African campaign of WWII. At the time, it was an extremely effective weapon.
The gun could easily punch any German or Italian tank at the time. In one of its most notable achievements, the Ordnance QF guns of the British Rifle Brigade destroyed at least 15 tanks during the Second Battle of El Alamein.
Its triumph was short-lived, though. By 1943, Germany had rolled out much heavier tanks whose front armor in particular was practically impervious to the 57mm solid metal shell.
In response, the British and the U.S. developed more effective ammunition — including an explosive shell. It’s a good thing the hero of our story hadn’t managed to get his hands on one of those.