The Rectal Gerbil
A 26-year-old man was admitted to California's Cedars-Sinai Hospital emergency room with a complaint of lower abdominal pains and rectal bleeding. He refused to talk to doctors about what his problem was in any detail, but did indicate that they should examine his anal area.
Doctors were reluctant at first in that the bloody anal leakage was particularly unpleasant, but eventually one brave soul dared to examine the area with the aid of a speculum. In the odious passage, he found bloody stools and what looked like the backside of a gerbil.
"Is that the backside of a gerbil?" the doctor asked the patient. The patient tried to change the subject, but then nodded in embarrassment and went back to writhing in pain.
One of the younger doctors had heard of such an incident before. Apparently, some particularly bizarre individuals got their sexual thrills by inserting a paper towel tube into their rear end and then, by convincing a gerbil that this was just another habbitrail tube, enticed the creature to crawl into them. As the animal expired in the unhealthy environment, it wriggled and clawed which gave its host an intense thrill. The animal was then ejected through normal bowel-movement means. In this case, though, it appeared that the gerbil's struggles had so irritated the bowel wall that it had swollen, trapping the pitiful creature, which was, somehow, still squirming about.
The doctors gave the patient a generous supply of morphine and then tried to decide how to free the animal. An intern had an idea that they might be able to slip it out with sufficient lubrication, but first they'd have to see if the animal was holding on with its claws. To determine exactly what the situation was, he reinserted the speculum and, to better see, lit his lighter.
The flame from the lighter had more effect that anticipated. It ignited a pocket of intestinal gas within the patient, causing a burst of flame to shoot forth, sending the patient flying off the table in one direction and blowing the intern across the room in the other. The intern was dazed, but in a moment shook off the effect of the blast just enough to realize that he was lying on the floor and that there was a gerbil -- horribly smelly and burnt but alive -- standing on his chest.
The intern looked the animal square in the eye and said, "Wow. He looks just like Richard Gere." Then collapsed in a faint from the pain of his broken nose.
Behind the Legend
There are three important pieces of information that must be analyzed before it can be determined if this 1991 incident really occurred.
First, the practice of "gerbil stuffing" is related to gaining erotic satisfaction by helping a cuddly rodent overeat, not to, well, the other thing. It is possible that there are some people who are excited by being intimately visited by a gerbil (or in some variations of this tale a rabbit or vole), but if so their kind is either very rare or mighty closed mouthed about the whole thing.
Second, adding a little bit to item #1 is the fact that there definitely are people who insert items into their nether regions for one reason or another. The reason might be sexual experimentation, drunkenness, a college prank, or just a lack of somewhere handy to put something for a second after exiting the shower. For whatever reason the items were inserted, they do often become lodged and the lodgers are forced to go to a hospital emergency room. Emergency room personnel have reported finding items as diverse as soda bottles, fishing poles, golf balls, G.I. Joes, blowfish, and unfinished sandwiches (which were promptly disposed of) in such situations.
And third, gerbils look nothing like Richard Gere. If anything, they look more like Paul Prudhome, Dom DeLouise, or perhaps a lycanthropic Chris Farley. The intern in question could, of course, have been delusional, a big Pretty Woman fan, or both.
Given all this, is the original story true? Based on the fact that hundreds of doctors and nurses from a variety of prestigious hospitals have come forward to say that they were on hand for the emergency spontaneous gerbilectomy aflame, we can only conclude that it is.