November 14, 2005


For the deeply bored:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Toilets can be the cause or location of many injuries and deathsThere are many toilet-related injuries and some toilet-related deaths throughout history and in urban legends.

In young boys, one of the most common causes of genital injury is when the toilet seat falls down while using the toilet [1]. Smaller children run the risk of drowning if they fall headfirst into the toilet. Injuries to adults include bruised buttocks, tail bones, and dislocated hips from unsuspectingly sitting on the toilet bowl rim due to failure to ensure that the toilet seat was down. Other injuries can be caused by the feet slipping or the toilet bowl collapsing under the weight of the occupant. Pinch injuries can also occur due to splits in plastic seats, and to the various parts of a seat in different configurations. Older high flush cast iron cisterns have been known to detach from the wall when flushed (by pulling a chain) causing injuries to the user. Injuries are frequently sustained by people standing on toilet seats to reach a height. There are also instances of people slipping on a wet bathroom floor, or from a bath and concussing themselves on the fitment.

Most of the injuries described in this article have been with Western-style toilets. Occurrences with squat toilets must undoubtedly exist, but remain to be better documented.

The 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Public Health was awarded to three physicians from the Glasgow Western Infirmary for a 1993 case report on wounds sustained to the buttocks by collapsing toilets. [2]

1 Famous toilet-related deaths
1.1 Possible occurrences
2 Occurrences in popular culture
2.1 Linked to external factors
3 Urban legends

Famous toilet-related deaths
George II of Great Britain died on the toilet on 25 October 1760 from an aortic dissection. According to Horace Walpole's memoirs, King George "rose as usual at six, and drank his chocolate; for all his actions were invariably methodic. A quarter after seven he went into a little closet. His German valet de chambre in waiting heard a noise, and running in, found the King dead on the floor."

American film producer Don Simpson was found dead on the toilet on 19 January 1996. Although his death was officially attributed to natural causes, rumours and tabloid magazines claim he died from a drug overdose.

Possible occurrences
It is often reported that Elvis Presley died on or near the toilet after suffering a heart attack, with gastrointestinal problems combined with a weak heart causing his death. Several sources also say that drug use was implicated in Elvis' death on the toilet. These details were not confirmed by the coroner, however, though the event did take place in the bathroom. The belief that Elvis died on the toilet is so widespread that popular culture often parodies that event. Examples of this are Eminem's music video Without Me and the Married With Children episode I'm going to Sweatland.

Edmund II of England died of natural causes on 30 November 1016, though some report that he was stabbed in the bowels while attending the privy. Similarly, Uesugi Kenshin, a warlord in Japan, died on 19 April 1578 with some reports stating that he was assassinated on the toilet.

Lupe Vélez committed suicide on 13 December 1944, using secobarbital as her drug of choice, in Beverly Hills, California after the end of her relationship with Harold Raymond, whose child she was carrying. She retired to bed after taking the drug, but instead of sending her to sleep the drug upset her stomach and she was actually found dead in her bathroom. A persistant urban myth is that she drowned in the toilet after going to the bathroom to be sick; however, logic suggests this is, in reality, extremely unlikely. Her suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have spawned a cruel but grimly amusing story, made into a film by Andy Warhol in 1965 as Lupe.

Catherine the Great died of a stroke on 5 November 1796, with some believing that it occurred while she was on the toilet.

Novelist Evelyn Waugh died on 10 April 1966 after having put on a lot of weight. The sleeping pills he took, combined with a heavy intake of alcohol, cigars and little exercise, weakened his health, and there have been many reports that he died on the toilet.

Occurrences in popular culture
Injuries and deaths related to toilets have been portrayed in film and other media on many occasions. These appear across many genres, from comedy to action movies:

Slim Newton's comic 1972 country song "Redback on the Toilet Seat" tells the story of a man who gets bitten by a poisonous redback spider while using the toilet, and ends up in hospital, "a sad and sorry plight".
In the 1985 film Back to the Future, Doc Brown came up with the idea of the flux capacitor (which is what makes time travel possible) after slipping from his toilet and bumping his head. The idea came to him in a vision he had after being knocked out.
In the 1989 film Lethal Weapon 2, one of the characters finds his toilet booby trapped to explode as soon as he gets up.
In the 1992 film Home Alone 2, one of the characters has his head lit on fire then he attempts to put out the flames by sticking his head in a toilet full of kerosene.
In the 1994 Kevin Smith film Clerks, a man dies from a heart attack while masturbating on the toilet in a convenience store.
In the 1997 film Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, one of Dr. Evil's henchmen is drowned in a toilet by Austin.

Toilet-related death on The Sopranos.In the 2001 Sopranos episode He is Risen, the character Gigi Cestone, a young man, has a coronary on the toilet.
In the 2004 film Soul Plane, a character sues the air plane company after being sucked into the toilet during flight.
In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode The Weatherman, Larry David pees sitting down because he doesn't have to turn the light on when he goes to the bathroom at night. However, Larry injures himself one night after his wife, Cheryl David (played by Cheryl Hines), forgets to put the seat down.
Linked to external factors
Toilets have been shown as a location for incidents and have caused problems in other ways:

In the 1993 film Jurassic Park, a lawyer trying to hide inside a public theme-park toilet was plucked off his seat and eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, John Travolta's character, Vincent, causes Bad Things to happen every time he uses the toilet. After returning from dinner with Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), she snorts heroin while he uses the bathroom and ends up overdosing. Later, Bruce Willis as Butch enters his apartment to retrieve his father's watch, only to find Vincent coming out of the toilet. Butch shoots Vincent with a silenced MAC-10 sub-machine gun. In a flashback scene at the end of the movie, Vincent is shown reading a book on the toilet in a diner while Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) hold the customers hostage.
In the 1999 film Boondock Saints, one of the brothers drops a toilet onto a Russian mobster's head from a very great height.
In the 2003 film Dreamcatcher, a human host is killed by expelling a worm-like alien parasite while sitting on the toilet. One of the movies' characters later discovers the alien, trapping it in the toilet by sitting atop the seat.
In the X-Files episode War of the Coprophages, a man is apparently attacked and killed by cockroaches while using the toilet, though Dana Scully suggests he may in fact have burst an aneurysm while straining.

Urban legends
There has been a range of urban legends reported regarding the dangers of using a toilet in a variety of different situations. Many of them have been shown to be false. These include the presence of poisonous spiders [3] (primarily due to the Australian red-back spider's reputation for hiding under toilet seats [4]). In large cities like New York, sewer rats often have mythical status regarding size and ferocity, resulting in tales involving the rodents crawling up sewer pipes to attack an unwitting occupant. Of late, stories about terrorists booby trapping the seat in order to castrate their targets [5] have begun appearing.

An urban legend with many variations recounts an "exploding" toilet. These scenarios typically include a flammable substance either accidentally or deliberately being introduced into the toilet water, and a lit match or cigarette igniting and exploding the toilet.

Other common stories relate to the use of vacuums in the toilets of aeroplanes [6].


Blogger middleagesteve said...

Yes, deeply bored

4:22 PM  
Blogger Raci and Eddi said...

Witness poor Betty Butterfield's tragic commode experience...

9:12 PM  
Blogger Lady Bunny said...

And they forgot the urban legend of snakes/alligators coming up out of the sewers to bite ye in yer privates! --B

10:07 AM  
Blogger Raci and Eddi said...

When I was little, I'd always say a little prayer before bed that an snakes and aligators WOULD jump out of the toilet and bite my privates.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's all this s--- about toilets?

Technically speaking, the whole bathroom has been considered a potential place to meet your maker since "Psycho".

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously a gay didn't compile this list because how else can you explain the absence of JUDY GARLAND dying on the toilet!!!

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