fire hydrant, priapism

Tired Urologist Mistakes Fire Hydrant for Man with Priapism

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SPRUCE PINE, NC – “Wow, I feel like an idiot,” said urologist Jason Breckinridge as a crowd surrounded him on the street.  Breckinridge is not one to embarrass easily but he was blushing from head to toes if that’s even possible.  So what exactly happened?  Breckinridge just mistook a street fire hydrant for a man with priapism.

fire hydrant, priapism
“Man, that penis is really engorged and red! Call a urologist!”

“Look, it’s an honest mistake, it was a rough call night, all right?” he explained to dumfounded onlookers.  “I’m tired.  I thought it was a case of priapism.”  He was asked by one of the strangers what was priapism.  “A painful and persistent erection.”  The crowd grabbed its collective crotch and groaned.

To be fair, Breckinridge was on overnight call that proved relentless.  Five consults with two actual cases of priapism that required immediate intervention.  So when the phallic image appeared on a street corner just moments ago, he just assumed it was the third one of the night.

“Come on, tell me that doesn’t look like a penis, an uncircumcised penis?”  He gestured towards the penis-shaped water reservoir.  “See, the top is the glans and the… you can see it now, right?”


We fact checked and studied the anatomy of fire hydrants and it turns out the apparatus includes these actual parts: operating nut, stem nut, glands, and valve check nuts.  The resemblance is striking.

Figure 18

“When I first saw it, I was like ‘Woah, this guy’s, you know, is freaking huge!” explained Breckinridge.  “I struck at it and it was solid, like it made this huge metallic clank.  That’s one hell of an erection!  But then I noticed it wasn’t attached to a human body.  I realized the sidewalk, cars, all the people watching me… and then I knew.”  He sighed.  “Man, I need some sleep.”

For medical personnel, fatigue and its consequences are nothing new.  The most well-known case to date was when tired critical care fellow Eric Jennings accidentally intubated a patient’s rectum.  “I read about that,” said Breckinridge.  “I thought, ‘Man, I hope something like that doesn’t happen to me, wouldn’t that be embarrassing?’  So it goes.  Did I mention I need some sleep?”

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