The Museum of Hoaxes
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Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Paul Krassner's Stereophonic Hoax, 1960
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
Penis-Melting Zionist Robot Combs
The phrase 'penis-melting Zionist robot combs,' while not widely known, does seem to be growing in popularity. The phrase refers to a mass panic that swept through Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in September 2003. The people of Khartoum feared that a Satanic foreigner was going around shaking hands with Sudanese men and thereby causing their penises to melt upwards inside their body. In one case a man reported that he was approached by a stranger at the market. The stranger handed him a comb and asked him to comb his hair. "When he did so, within seconds... he felt a strange sensation and discovered that he had lost his penis." The Sudanese journalist Ja'far Abbas interjected a note of scientific rationality into the growing hysteria by making this observation in his column in the Saudi daily Al-Watan:

No doubt, this comb was a laser-controlled surgical robot that penetrates the skull [and passes] to the lower body and emasculates a man!!
I wanted to tell that man who fell victim to the electronic comb: 'You jackass, how can you put a comb from a man you don't know to your head, while even relatives avoid using the same comb?!' ... That man [i.e. the mysterious stranger], who, as it is claimed, is from West Africa, is an imperialist Zionist agent that was sent to prevent our people from procreating and multiplying.


James Taranto wrote about this case of mass hysteria in the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today column (October 2003), and he's credited with the first use of the phrase 'penis-melting zionist robot combs' (although I can't actually see where in the article he uses that specific phrase). I think people mostly just like repeating the phrase because it sounds cool, but I guess it could also be used to refer to any instance of extreme gullibility. For instance, one might say to a friend, 'that's a rather penis-melting-zionist-robot-comb-like belief you hold.'

Incidentally, shrinking-penis fears are centuries old, and there's even a term to describe them: Koro, or (more scientifically) 'genital retraction syndrome.'
Timothy Hall has an interesting analysis of this syndrome on his UCSD webpage.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Mass Delusion
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 14, 2004
Comments (14)
OK I think that this is so stupid about a man's penis dispearing. This site is really cool, but that is just really un-cool.
Posted by Brittany  in  A hole in a peanut feild in southeast Alabama  on  Fri Jun 18, 2004  at  05:43 AM
And people wonder why there are others who swear that they were abducted by space aliens?
Posted by Bob S. Yunkle  on  Sun Jun 20, 2004  at  04:40 PM
I always thought penises should be retractable...when we need them, bop the men on th head like clicking a pen...
Posted by catlady  in  PNW  on  Wed Jul 28, 2004  at  01:15 AM
... and pull on their ears to make 'em longer and thicker...
Posted by tericson  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  06:58 PM
The belief that witches can instantly steal your penis is pretty common in Africa and the Middle East today, and I have read stories regarding magical penis theft in the U.S. as well...dating from the 1600s.
Posted by Crow T. Robot  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  08:00 PM
Those pesky Zionists!
Posted by zionist_robot_queen  in  UK  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  08:31 PM
So that's what happened to my penis. Huh.
Posted by grytpype  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  08:37 PM
I knew it! I dated a this annoying broad a few years back who was Jewish, and just the sound of her voice would cause the gear to retreat upwards.

Clearly, this explains everything.
Posted by I knew it!  in  DC  on  Thu Mar 02, 2006  at  02:33 PM
Chandler? Is that you?
Posted by hairyhemphill  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  07:06 PM
heyyyy... on that website the show the abbreviation of gential retraction syndrome as GRS. which happens to be the abbreviation of another method of loosings ones penis... gender reassignment surgery

coincedence????

probably
Posted by joeodd  on  Thu Mar 23, 2006  at  03:18 AM
Do these penis shrinking combs come in designer colors?

I have posted this item on Misc-Reports

http://miscreports.blogspot.com/
Posted by zinetv  in  New York  on  Sun Sep 24, 2006  at  01:46 PM
very imbecilic and fascist article
Posted by monica  on  Mon May 21, 2007  at  07:11 PM
You can easily push the penis back into the abdomen if you are so minded although when invited to do so by a New Guinea tribesman with whom he was staying during the making of the TV series "Tribe" the presenter was so overcome with the enormity of the deed that he threw up. I couldn't have enjoyed it more.
Posted by epidermoid  in  GB  on  Sun Apr 27, 2008  at  01:03 PM
I find that Annie Sprinkle has the opposite effect.
Posted by James Hutchings  in  Melbourne, Australia.  on  Thu Mar 11, 2010  at  09:17 AM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
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