When John Manley experienced fits of coughing and pneumonia that lasted for two years, it was clear that something was seriously wrong. At times, his condition would get so bad he would turn blue and pass out. Manley visited several hospitals and specialists, but none could figure out what was ailing him, including the one guy who offered to remove his entire lung because "that was the easiest way for them." We assume they also suggested lighting him on fire to burn their way far enough inside to conduct a proper investigation.
"AAHHHH! I JUST WANTED A BLANKET!"
Manley's plight eventually caught the attention of Dr. Momen Wahidi, director of interventional pulmonology at Duke, who had the more reasonable idea of poking a tiny camera down there to locate the problem. What they found was what appeared to be a tumor emblazoned with the Wendy's logo, sparking fears that corporations were beginning to target the all-important cancer demographic.
It would seem that Mr. Manley had accidentally inhaled a jagged shard of a Wendy's fork during a meal at the restaurant, and failed to notice the chunk of plastic sliding down his windpipe.
Hey, we've all been there. You're hungry enough to eat a horse. You get a bowl of Wendy's chili. You eat it so fast that the fork explodes into fragments from the sheer G-forces caused by the speed of you hurtling the food toward your mouth. You swallow a thumb-sized hunk of the shrapnel. Then by the end of the meal you've forgotten all about it.
But Could it Happen to Me?
Oh, Manley's own best guess about how it happened isn't any stupider than ours. "It's a fast food place," he explains. "They do things fast. You go in there, you eat fast. That's the only explanation. That's why they call it fast food."
In any event, fast food is always a minefield for unusual fragments of stuff that doesn't belong inside you. There are a ridiculous number of stories on the Internet for anyone who cares to look, with people finding staples, bandages, condoms and even body parts at times. So you should probably give that quarter pounder a tentative strip search before you bite into it.
But even then, we're talking about some foreign object winding up in your digestive tract and (hopefully) your toilet. If you want to keep stuff out of your lungs, slow the fuck down. If you're eating in fast and furious manner that makes you sound like a wood chipper, odds are your table manners need work anyway, fast food or not.
Look, kids are retarded, we all know it. When we look at something and see only unmitigated horror, they're wondering what it tastes like.
Such was the case of an eight-year-old from Indiana admitted to the hospital with mysterious stomach pains that turned out to be the result of the over 30 magnets and chunks of metal she had swallowed.
The problem with magnets is that they tend to lock together and they aren't fussy about whether they're inside two different organs when it happens. The girl came out OK in the end, but doctors say she is lucky to be alive after her x-ray showed a veritable constellation of possible death.
But Could it Happen to Me?
To you? Hopefully not. To your kid, if you have one? Oh, yes.
It turns out Haley had eaten the small toys because they looked like candy. It's a stunning insight into the mind of a child that they can lick a magnet, see that it tastes like rust and go on to swallow 30 of them.
The green ones taste the best. Like magnets.
Her father said he couldn't possibly imagine how this had happened. He repeatedly stated she got As and Bs, and they had taught her "not to do stuff like this." So unlike with utensil inhalation, faulty reasoning has nothing to do with it: Kids just have this bafflingly overwhelming drive to swallow anything they see that's smaller than their head.
"I am the devourer of worlds... also, trinkets."
If it can fit in you drunk drawer, some baby genius has heroically attempted to stuff it down his throat. And magnets aren't unusual, although they're not as common as coins and jewelry. Just keep everything out of their reach. Everything. Just lock them in a padded room until they're 18.
Now, we here can't judge others by what they choose to eat. Since the Cracked company picnic usually consists of Doritos and porn, when we say that something someone eats is batshit insane, you better believe we mean it.
This is how the last three company picnics have ended.
Enter 52-year-old Margaret Daalman, a Netherlands resident who went to the hospital complaining of crippling stomach pains. Her x-rays revealed what appeared to be a huge, dense squid. We imagine the image was instantly faxed around the hospital offices with the caption "Just look at this bullshit."
After unzipping the woman--seriously, we have no idea what surgeons do--the team found enough utensils to throw a dinner party for the United States Senate. They proceeded to remove over 78 spoons and forks, one by one.
Seventy-fucking-eight. This woman chose to swallow 50 spoons and forks, then thought "fuck it," and swallowed 28 more. We have a picture.
But Could it Happen to Me?
The perplexing compulsion to eat things that are not food is a well documented mental curiosity called pica. Generally, we grow out of our irrational desire to eat weird shit when we hit puberty, but some people just keep on munching on tires and engine parts well into adulthood.
Science isn't sure why, but for some reason, almost nine percent of pregnant women develop the urge to eat the drapes with a nice side salad.
It's notable that throughout all her years of eating stainless steel, Daalman made sure to never eat a knife. Because, come on, that would be crazy.
For more helpful facts from Fero check out her blog at thisisnthelpful.
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If you ever find yourself in a situation like the ones above, here's a guide to help you understand your doctor: 8 Medical Terms Your Doctor Uses to Insult You. Or find out about some crazier shit people used to willingly put in their bodies, in The 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History.
Stop by our Top Picks (Updated 4.09.10) to see get your mind off that hairball.
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