Theophanes is a New-England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of cats.
I remember when I was just an adolescent girl being absolutely horrified when I learned what tampons were for. “You shove what up where now?!” Though my opinion has not changed at least now I have several legitimate reasons for tampons to give me the heebie jeebies. Below are true life stories of killer tampons.
You might not know it but tampons are an ancient invention. They have been around since the first Egyptian woman wondered if there was some way she could cork herself and invented the papyrus tampon. A similar invention was used by the women of ancient Greece. Our modern tampons with those handy little applicators were invented in 1929, bizarrely by a man. His name was Dr. Earle Haas and he patented his invention in 1931 as a money making device, coining it forever as the Tampax brand.
Toxic Shock Tampons
Tampon technology moved forward in 1978 to the demands of women who wanted something they could keep in there for as long as possible. Changing them is such a pain you know. In response to this Proctor and Gamble invented the Rely tampon, a tampon that could contain an entire menstrual flow, up to 20 times its own original weight! All I can say is yuck! Who can slosh around with that much blood and feel comfortable and not wonder if they’re baiting wolves with their smell? I don’t know, but it was apparently popular enough that women bought the product and used it as intended.
Suspiciously at the same time Toxic Shock Syndrome was first described. It was a disease that started with fever and could end in coma, organ failure, and death. The strange thing was that the people most at risk for getting this new disease were menstruating women. These were the women who kept their tampons in too long, letting them turn into little bacterial cesspools. It’d be two years later before anyone was able to put this all together and the Rely tampons were taken off the market.
A Texas blogger named Danielle recently made a pretty gnarly discovery about her tampons. Usually she, as most women, does not pull her tampon out of the applicator and check it out under a microscope. However one fell out one day and she was not happy to find it covered in black spots. She wrote to the manufacturer who sent a quick e-mail back saying not to worry it was just common bread mold and wouldn’t cause any harm. She wasn’t one to appreciate the idea of unknowingly letting a strange fungi fester in her lady parts and soon found her whole saga on the news. Since then I have been able to find no information about whether or not this is a real health risk or just one of those gut wrenching “ewe germs” sort of moments.
Cindy Davidson of Salt Lake City was recently thrown for a surprise when she bought a box of 16 tampons from a lost freight retrieval store. The buy was a real bargain, especially since wrapped inside the applicators there was a shower of cocaine. Fearing it might be a terrorist attack of anthrax she called the cops. They confiscated the tampons and proved it was cocaine. Good thing she didn’t put any of them in! She claims the bag did not look tampered with. Chilling. Perhaps next time she’ll think twice about buying tampons from unknown sources.
The Ill-Used Tampon Bomb
In Australian news, a 27 year old woman by the name of Rebecca Leigh Crimmins, thought it’d be super funny to throw a wet tampon at a McDonald’s employee. She claims the ensuing jail sentence was too harsh, that the tampon wasn’t bloody, merely sopping with juice. This is such a messed up story I don’t even know what to say, though I will admit that I would have the same response as the male worker – shock, horror, and concern for disease. Does this mean there will soon be tampons used to rob convenience stores? I don’t know but I wouldn’t put it past some women, especially the women in my next section.
Tampons for Alcoholics
Ever since the invention of alcohol man, and apparently women, have been wondering, “How can I get drunk faster?” In the United States women in our penitentiaries have found the answer – a vodka soaked tampon! Sure, you just sop up some liquor, shove it up your who-ha and wait for it to enter your bloodstream, far faster than it would if you’d just drunk the damn liquid. But what if you’re a man and don’t have a who-ha? Male inmates don’t seem to care. They’ve found other orifices to use. That all being said this a terrific way of not only getting drunk super quick but dying of alcohol poisoning so please don’t try this at home!
Manhood Killing Tampons
Who says tampons are only good for harming women? Maybe some like to give men a run for their money. Since the advent of the US Patent Office "anti-rape" devices have been put on record at a fairly alarming rate. Some of them are quite horrific, all are designed to lie in wait in a lady cave, ready for that moment when a rapist comes along. Depending on the design the device then does a series of ghastly damage to the rapist's unsuspecting bits. Perhaps it's a design that cuts and slices or maybe one that shoots wee arrows with the help of a spring. Perhaps its one that captures the rapist in a finger trap-like way with many backwards facing spears (as pictured) or maybe this guy was the unlikely bastard that got the chance to try out the model that pops a balloon of acid on him. Who knows! Most of these devices never saw production but there is a man in South Africa, Jaap Haumann, who seeks to change this. Tired of seeing his country have some of the highest rape statistics in the world he's developed a wee tampon guillotine and wishes to put it to use. He thinks up to a million women may give it a try. I think he's daydreaming but who knows. Certainly not me!
Tampons Deemed Deadly Weapons
In Texas it's legal to bring a gun into a courtroom - as long as it's claimed, but not tampons. Women attending any court proceedings will find that they have to check their tampons and pads at the door, leaving it with security, why? Because they've been deemed deadly weapons in the state of Texas. This is an old policy that was recently brought to light when an anti-abortion bill brought women in numbers to the courthouse. Of course there's a great solution here. If guns are legal all these women have to do is learn how to fashion their own tampon bullets. It beats a rotten tomato, but if tradition means a lot to you then perhaps the tampons can be soaked in rotten tomato juice first for comedic effect. SPLAT! As a footnote I should mention that if the lawmaking men of Texas are afraid of tampons being thrown en masse at their heads... well they're doing it wrong.
Dissolvable Disease Killing Tampons
OK, so we spent an entire article outlining how tampons can maybe sometimes kill people but what are tampons doing to reclaim their good name? A lot apparently! Scientists are now working on dissolvable tampons that prevent HIV. Of course condoms are the best way to prevent HIV transmission but it's sort of hard to ask your man to use a rubber if you're a Nigerian child bride. For years scientists have been working on and selling various antimicrobial gels but they're messy, don't always cover everything, and require you to sit in aforementioned goo for twenty minutes or longer before it actually works. Sexy and inconspicuous? Please. But there is an an answer! The magical disappearing HIV killing tampon! Hopefully by the year 2024 these little gems will be sitting discretely on pharmacy shelves. They dissolve in just six minutes upon touching a woman's naturally moist areas, making them easy to conceal from your misogynistic husband or captor. And hey if that's not good enough if this technology passes the test there will be all sorts of new tampons on the market - ones that kill HIV, ones that kill other STDs, and even birth control tampons. Oh the wonder!
And now I leave you with Australia's funniest tampon commercial
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StitchTheDamned from Clifton Park, NY on May 15, 2013:
Very good article! I've never heard of the anti-rape devices. That looks horrifying for any potential rapist. lol
Cat from New York on March 29, 2013:
I couldn't agree more!
Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on March 29, 2013:
Humor is essential. I have pity for those who don't seem to have any. What a bleak world they must live in! Of course finding someone with an equally quirky sense of humor is always appreciated on both sides. :)
Cat from New York on March 28, 2013:
Thank you for having a sense of humor that I can appreciate; I imagine some would fear to tread these waters. I was unaware of the article on condoms but will certainly have to check that out as I'm sure it is a "must read" :-)
Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on March 28, 2013:
Awe thank you Cantuhearmescream. You are very kind. I do have an admission... both this article and the one I wrote on condoms were two of the articles I just had the most fun writing. I learned a LOT writing both and got quite a few good laughs (and maybe some cringing) besides! Thanks for commenting!
Cat from New York on March 28, 2013:
I would have never thought there would be an article worth reading about tampons! If anyone could do it; it's you. Who would have known there was so much history to these annoying little, rarely talked about devices. Thanks for giving me something to add to the Sunday brunch conversation ;-)
Voted up, awesome, funny and interesting!
hecate-horus from Rowland Woods on August 24, 2012:
I agree with ladywithwords. I never felt completely comfortable with tampons...but yikes and double yikes. Voted up and interesting.
(Funny commercial! Those crazy Aussies! LOL)
Ginger Ruffles on June 17, 2012:
Holy moly, moldy tampons, yikes!
DearBandit on June 05, 2012:
The U tube video was hilarious!
ladywithwords from Saint Paul, MN on May 08, 2012:
I am now afraid of tampons!
Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 08, 2012:
I find it more revolting than scary but cheers! Hope I haven't ruined them too much for you!
Joan Whetzel on May 08, 2012:
THis is kind of scary. All the years I used tampons, I never thought any of these things could happen - except the toxic shock one. THe people most likely to get toxic shock from tampon use were those who left them in for a while. I mean days or even weeks, if you can imagine anything so disgusting. The lonber you leave them in, it seems, the more likely you are to get toxic shock. But frequent changes only left you with minimal risk.
Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 07, 2012:
Thank you MrsLWarner, I wasn't quite expecting it to go in the direction it did but I am happy it made someone laugh. :)
Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 07, 2012:
LoL, Thanks kryptowrite. You must be of a curious sort!
MrsLWarner from North Carolina on May 07, 2012:
This gave me a good laugh! & Also very informative! Thank you
Rodney C Lawley from Southeastern United States on May 07, 2012:
As I guy, I have to comment. This was a well-researched, well-written, and just darn funny article. Nice work.