The “wedgie” is a simple, uncomfortable childhood prank that involves pulling a person’s underwear uncomfortably into the crack of their butt.
It’s been immortalized in pop culture ranging from The Simpsons through Captain Underpants. But in reality, the wedgie can be deadly.
Well, not deadly, exactly, but greatly inconveniencing. Just ask Baylor University.
In September 2009, a 50-year-old man presented with a 7-day history of acute low-back pain, accompanied by numbness and tingling down his left leg and into all 5 toes. The symptoms had begun immediately after his 34-year-old wife had given him an unanticipated playful wedgie of moderate force as he was arising from a sofa. Heat therapy and analgesics had provided pain relief, but putting equal or heavier weight on his left leg rapidly reproduced the numbness and tingling, as did sitting in certain positions and lying on his left side. Examination revealed no loss of strength, function, or mobility in the affected limb. We anticipated eventual symptomatic improvement and recommended conservative measuresNational Library of Medicine
It healed… but not nearly as quickly as expected.
During clinic visits throughout the next 6 years, the patient said that standing with all weight on the left leg evoked the same distinct symptoms. The symptoms were bothersome rather than disabling, and imaging studies were not deemed necessary
A six-year wedgie is daunting. But it’s not the most disturbing story. For that, we have to go over to the U.K., where a group of schoolchildren had learned about wedgies from the aforementioned The Simpsons, and were giving them to each other.
It was decided to test the limits of the wedgie… and Jack Watson was the target.
From the Yorkshire Post:
A 10-year-old boy almost lost a testicle when schoolmates copied a prank they had seen on a cartoon and pulled his trousers up as far as they could go.
Jack Watson had to have an emergency hour-long operation to reattach a testicle tothe lining of his scrotum after friends gave him the excruciating “wedgie”.
That is considerably worse than six years of numbness and tingling. You know what’s even worse, though? Death.
That’s what happened after a night of drinking ended with a brawl between 58-year-old Denver Lee St. Clair and his stepson, Brad Davis.
Davis, having knocked St. Clair out, decided to humiliate him.
“I’d never seen this before, but when we first looked at our victim seeing the waistband of his underwear was around his neck,” Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said.NewsOK
The cause of death has been determined to be from blunt force trauma to the head and asphyxiation. The death has been ruled a homicide, said Amy Elliott, Oklahoma state medical examiner’s spokeswoman.
The effort to humiliate instead caused suffocation, and Brad Davis was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
He may be the most dangerous inmate in Oklahoma, however, as he is required to have his weapon of choice on him at all times.
Question of the Night: Do you have any favorite articles of clothing?