Published on Mon 01 January 1996

"In retrospect, lighting the match was my big mistake. But I was only trying to retrieve the gerbil," Vito Bustone told bemused doctors in the Severe Burns Unit of Salt Lake City Hospital.

Bustone, and his homosexual partner Kiki Rodriguez, had been admitted for treatment after a felching session had gone seriously wrong.

"I pushed a cardboard tube up his rectum and slipped Faggot, our gerbil, in," he explained. "As usual, Kiki shouted out 'Armageddon', my cue that he'd had enough. I tried to retrieve Faggot but he wouldn't come out again, so I peered into the tube and struck a match, thinking the light might attract him."

"At a hushed press conference, a hospital spokesman described what happened next. "The match ignited a pocket of intestinal gas and a flame shot up the tube, igniting Mr Bustone's moustache and severely burning his face. It also set fire to the gerbil's fur and whiskers which, in turn, ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the intestine, propelling the rodent out like a cannonball."

"Bustone suffered second degree burns and a broken nose from the impact of the gerbil, while Rodriguez suffered first and second degree burns to his anus and lower intestinal tract. Sheriff Hugo Root later told reporters: "It's Faggot I feel sorry for. Being stuffed up some queen's tradesman's entrance ... "

(Bloomberg News Service 11/8/93. Spotter -- Dr Stewart A. Cowley)

This joke was tagged #english