The phrase “shell shocked” took on new meaning last week when a man in Gloucester, England managed to lodge a 2-inch-wide World War II anti-tank shell in his rectum.
The owner of the rectum, who (understandably) chose to remain anonymous, told medical staff at the Royal Gloucestershire Hospital that the 57mm cartridge, which was part of the Second World War memorabilia collection of the man, had become embedded in his anus after he “slipped and fell”, as has been known to do in England.
An explosive ordnance disposal team was then called to the hospital to ensure that the ammunition was not in danger of exploding in the individual’s personal locker. By the time EOD personnel arrived, medics had already removed the shell.
“It was essentially an inert piece of metal, so there was no risk to life – at least not to anyone else,” a spokesperson told The Sun, adding that the round did not was more active.
“He was in a lot of pain,” another source expertly deduced.
According to Dr. Carol Cooper, the patient, who is expected to make a full physical recovery – mentally, that’s another story – is just one of a slew of rectal cases doctors encounter each year.
“The range of objects that are pushed into rectums is incredible, from wine glasses to ketchup bottles and parts of vacuum cleaners,” Cooper told The Sun.
“Unfortunately, this is a daily phenomenon in [the Accident and Emergency department] – but I’ve never heard of the bomb squad intervention before.
It’s also worth noting that anti-tank anal plugging, or ATAC, is a sensation remarkably similar, according to nutritionists, to that experienced by service members who exceed two consecutive weeks of MRE consumption.
The more you know!
Observation Post is the Military Times’ one-stop-shop for everything off-duty. Stories may reflect the author’s observations.
JD Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.