Something up Orac’s … alley

What? How could Orac pass this story by?


A monument to the enema, a procedure many people would rather not think about, has been unveiled at a spa in the southern Russian city of Zheleznovodsk.

The bronze syringe bulb, which weighs 800 pounds and is held by three angels, was unveiled at the Mashuk-Akva Term spa, the spa’s director said Thursday.

“There is no kitsch or obscenity, it is a successful work of art,” Alexander Kharchenko told The Associated Press. “An enema is almost a symbol of our region.”

In related news, the head of the Zheleznovodsk Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau committed suicide today…


  1. #2 Umbo
    June 30, 2008

    Excellent. All that is needed now is a bronze statue bending over for the imminent (or would that enemanent?)procedure.

  2. #3 Glen Davidson
    June 30, 2008

    What next? A nearby statue of the results of the enema?

    Granted, the old public communist art and architecture was intimidating and totalitarian. But it still wasn’t this.

    Glen D

  3. #4 PZ Myers
    June 30, 2008

    Whoops. I should have known that cunning rascal wouldn’t have missed any enema news.

  4. #5 firemancarl
    June 30, 2008

    Welp, I guess I am now officially crossing off Zheleznovodsk as a vacation spot.

  5. #6 Celtic_Evolution
    June 30, 2008

    “An enema is almost a symbol of our region.”

    And thus the rare perfect 100 is scored on the unintentional comedy scale. Just outstanding.

  6. #7 thalarctos
    June 30, 2008

    I think it’s the cherubs bearing the bulb that give the entire sculpture that certain je ne sais quoi.

  7. #8 MPG
    June 30, 2008

    A toast to their unashamed pride, I say! Bottoms up!

  8. #9 PatrickHenry
    June 30, 2008

    I am thinking of organizing a tour for those who want the experience of viewing this artistic achievement in person.

    Also, they really need a new regional slogan, something like “Virginia is for lovers,” but more … appropriate. We leave this as an exercise for the reader.

  9. #10 skyotter
    June 30, 2008

    i sure hope the hot “nurses”* didn’t hurt the solemnity of the occasion

    *okay, maybe all Zheleznovodski medical professionals wear lab coats as mini-dresses. but probably not with 6” heels

  10. #11 amy
    June 30, 2008

    According to Milan Kundera (in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”) Kitsch IS “the denial of shit.” So, no, this isn’t kitsch. πŸ˜‰

  11. #12 Bruce Armstrong
    June 30, 2008

    Nothing wrong with nurses in mini-lab coats and 6″ heels. Sure would help to take your mind off the 800-pound enema ball coming at ya… πŸ™‚

  12. #13 SplendidMonkey
    June 30, 2008

    Is that a scale model?

  13. #14 PatrickHenry
    June 30, 2008

    Where’s Ronald Reagan when we need him? He’d go over there and say: “Mr. Kharchenko, tear down this monument!”

  14. #15 Zeno
    June 30, 2008

    It’s nice to see the former Soviet Union learning the art of commercial promotion. Of course, in this country we have Christian colonics. For some reason, right-wing Christians love crank medicine.

  15. #16 Rey Fox
    June 30, 2008

    They should ship that to Gotham City. The Joker said that they need one.

  16. #17 David
    June 30, 2008

    Would someone explain why this is a bad idea? I mean, sure, it is a thing that you put in your butt. But they’ve obviously worked past their inhibitions in this matter. I think it adds a certain local charm.

    Not that I’m going, of course.

  17. #18 Dave
    June 30, 2008

    When I click through to the original article, there was a sidebar quiz that referenced the following:

    Dont know how you could have missed that PZ!

  18. #19 Nentuaby
    June 30, 2008

    That’s… Special.

  19. #20 Patricia
    June 30, 2008

    Imagine all the pictures that are being posed for with the thing as a prop…*gack*

  20. #21 dinkum
    June 30, 2008

    Hell, I thought it was an onion. Silly me.

  21. #22 Coragyps
    June 30, 2008

    And here I thought the anus mundi was out here in West Texas somewhere…..

  22. #23 SC
    June 30, 2008

    Dozens of monuments dedicated to characters from tall tales and popular jokes have been erected in post-Soviet Russia.

    This is all really interesting in light of the history of monumental sculpture there. Hm. Now I want to look into it more.

  23. #24 SC
    June 30, 2008

    Damn tags. That first sentence was a quote from the article.

  24. #25 Donnie B.
    June 30, 2008

    I’m smelling “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” all over this.

    Hmmm, that’s probably not the best way to phrase it.

    How about… I think “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” is gonna take an in-depth look at this.

    No, that’s not right either. I know: “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” is sure to get to the bottom of this.

    Okay, I give up.

  25. #26 decrepitoldfool
    June 30, 2008

    I like it better than the public “art” that tax dollars were spent for, now gracing the atrium of the building where I work.

  26. #27 Jeph
    June 30, 2008

    Coragyps @#22: The anus mundi may not always be found here in Texas, but he does own a ranch in Crawford.

  27. #28 Elli
    June 30, 2008

    If only it had a fountain coming out of it…

  28. #29 Phil
    June 30, 2008

    I thought it was some sort of Hershey Kiss chocolate for a minute.

  29. #30 Ron Sullivan
    June 30, 2008

    I dragged Joe in to see this, of course.

    “OK, I’m putting that on my list of places to go before I die. Just before I die.”

  30. #31 thegomezsymbol
    June 30, 2008

    If we could only switch the several-times-a-day prayer with several-times-a-day enemas, the world would be a much peaceful place.

    Who could ever hijack a plane or plant a bomb again after such an experience?

  31. #32 Joe Mc Faul
    June 30, 2008

    I thought you said you had written your last EXPELLED post.

  32. #33 Jens
    June 30, 2008

    Do you think they are trying to sexy it up with the cute Russian ladies in short lab coats? I can tell you my lab coat never showed that much leg, and I’ve always been told to wear long pants and sensible, closed toe shoes.

    Mabye this “Spa” lies more toward the erotization of medicine/science than they are letting on. There are, after all, enema fetishists. Shudder.

  33. #34 DrewTheJew
    June 30, 2008

    Because when I think of a Giant Enema, aka Ass-dousche, normally Ben Stein comes to mind.

    But a giant bronze enema held by angles is far funnier.

  34. #35 Kseniya
    June 30, 2008

    From Wikipedia:

  35. “The name translates as Iron Waters as the mineral waters springing from the earth in Zheleznovodsk were believed to have high content of iron. Zheleznovodsk, along with Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki, Kislovodsk, and Mineralnye Vody, is a part of the Caucasus Mineral Waters, a renowned Russian spa resort. The town economy revolves around sanatoriums, where dozens of thousands of people from all over Russia and former Soviet republics come year-around to vacation and rest, as well as prevent and treat numerous stomach, kidney, and liver diseases.
  36. “Zheleznovodsk is a town of exceptional and mesmerizing natural beauty. The walks in the Lechebny Park (Healing park) on the picturesque slopes of Mount Zheleznaya and Mount Razvalka are unforgettable.”
  • #36 Neil B
    June 30, 2008

    For those who want to know how the topic of bowels relates to religion, I learned in college that Martin Luther had his big revelation about what Protestantism should be all about while sitting on the privy. Protestantism (especially as Puritanism) has often been considered “anal retentive”, but few know how literal the connection is. (I don’t have much sympathy for organized religion as a member of the few, the proud: those neither “godless” nor part of received faith, but making up what they want to about God as they go.)

  • #37 MAJeff, OM
    June 30, 2008

    If only it had a fountain coming out of it…

    …it would only be a matter of time before someone added chocolate pudding mix to the water.

  • #38 JJR
    June 30, 2008

    @21 above: “Hell, I thought it was an onion. Silly me.”

    Certainly looks like something that would normally be in the pages of THE ONION that’s for sure.

  • #39 Ian Mc
    June 30, 2008

    Was this paid for out of public funds?

    If so, then surely it’s an enema of the people.

    *gets coat*

  • #40 Alex
    June 30, 2008

    …it would only be a matter of time before someone added chocolate pudding mix to the water.

    How did we get to pudding enemas? Is this s science blog?

  • #41 Holbach
    June 30, 2008

    The angels gave the intent away! Since you dumb Russians will not receive god through your thick skulls, we’ll try another method; we’ll infuse you with the lord through your most vulnerable portal!

  • #42 MH
    June 30, 2008

    Now visitors to the Stavropol Krai region will have to decide whether to see the Zheleznovodsk Enema held up by cherubs, or the Novoblagodarnoye Douche held up by leprechauns. Next year, things will get even harder when Pyatigorsk erects their statue of a giant dildo held aloft by Oompa-Loompas.

  • #43 Ichthyic
    June 30, 2008

    I’m looking at the crew standing next to that statue, and of course, the very first thing that came to my mind was a little diddy I recall from way back when…

    I’m sure someone on one of the threads was thinking the same thing, posted or not!

    great song.

    apologies to patricia (I didn’t name the band πŸ˜‰ )

  • #44 Ichthyic
    June 30, 2008

    How did we get to pudding enemas? Is this s science blog?

    oh, beg your pardon.

    This more to your liking?

  • #45 Alex
    June 30, 2008

    Now it’s all the way to dildo-wielding oompa-loompas. I think that was in a movie somewhere…

  • #46 Alex
    June 30, 2008

    Yes Ichthyic, but I did not read that the silicone oil was flavored like pudding.

  • #47 Bride of Shrek
    June 30, 2008

    I like the way its facing towards the sky. Sort of like an enema for the universe… and if that thing doesn’t scare the bejesus out of any hostile alien lifeforms that errantly land near Zheleznovodsk then nothing will.

    At any rate I think there were more appropriate places to put this sculpture, like outside of any parliament house on the planet. Because giant arseholes need giant enemas.

  • #48 Ichthyic
    June 30, 2008

    At any rate I think there were more appropriate places to put this sculpture, like outside of any parliament house on the planet. Because giant arseholes need giant enemas.

    oh my, that was good.

  • #49 Alex
    June 30, 2008

    “…like outside of any parliament house on the planet. “

    I was thinking the same thing, but additionally, most of the people who frequent those buildings are full of shit.

  • #50 Marcus Ranum
    June 30, 2008

    It is hard to get started on your day without your first cup of coffee….

  • #51 Patricia
    June 30, 2008

    Holbach, you made a funny…

  • #52 Vince
    June 30, 2008

    This is exactly the kind of entry that is needed to introduce friends to The Wonderful World of Science Blogs. Thanks PZ.

  • #53 Patricia
    June 30, 2008

    Thankyou Ickthyic, chivalry is not dead among Elitist Bastards. πŸ˜‰

  • #54 Ichthyic
    June 30, 2008

    but I did not read that the silicone oil was flavored like pudding.

    I seem to recall the brand name for “pudding flavored silicon colon lubricant” as “Santorum”.

    or maybe it was a variant on that (no, I don’t want to know for sure).

  • #55 clinteas
    June 30, 2008

    You sciencey types clearly have issues with repressed sexuality.

    The pleasures gained from a skilfully administered enema to both the administerer and the receiver are just beyond imagination,and those pleasures are not one-dimensional like the shallow orgiastic satisfaction gained from the old in-and-out game,they are multi-dimensional and appealing to all the senses,be it visual,olfactory,or tactile…..

  • #56 Geoff
    June 30, 2008

    I’m laughing. About. Suicide. (see George Carlin’s Rape can be funny)

  • #57 CortxVortx
    June 30, 2008

    Wheel that thing over to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • #58 Emmet Caulfield
    June 30, 2008

    If so, then surely it’s an enema of the people.

    Public Enema Number 1?

  • #59 Benjamin Franklin
    June 30, 2008

    The actual origins of this sculpture date back to the Alabama Supreme Court. The court offered this piece as a replacement to Roy Moore’s monument of the Ten Comandments when the Justices fired Moore and told him that he could shove his rock up his ass.

  • #60 Holbach
    June 30, 2008

    Benjamin Franklin @ 59 Love that one! That cretin really thought he could pull that shit off with the support of most of the stricken religionists of Alabama, mindless confederates of Texas and Louisiana. Do you recall that video of the protesters to keep the statue there, and one of the creotards stretched out on the ground and wailing his demented brain and eyes out as if he was being eviscerated. Oh, the poor weeping retard. Where was his god to prevent the statue from being carried away by humans! Appalling example of religion gone beserk!
    Another example of the demented being abandoned by their god: In Worcester, Massachusetts the head sheep herder is closing several churches because of low attendance. Huh? Where are the faithful to populate those insane houses? Why doesn’t their god round them up kicking and screaming to these tax exempt shit houses? But here is the insane pathetic aspect of the whole sorry mess. Not one of those morons who are occupying those churches to prevent the closings will even give a thought as they are kneeling like morons, praying to their imaginary god, will say to one another, “hey, something is wrong here. Why doesn’t our god come down and intervene to save these madhouses?” The thought is so far removed from their demented minds that to even question it in thought is sacriligious. As I have said before and many times, religion is a most pernicious form of insanity.

  • #61 Jack Bishop
    June 30, 2008

    if that thing doesn’t scare the bejesus out of any hostile alien lifeforms that errantly land near Zheleznovodsk then nothing will.

    In Russia, aliens get probed by you!

  • #62 the great and powerful oz
    July 1, 2008

    When Hitchens said of Falwell “if you gave him a fucking enema, you could bury him in a shoebox” this is probably what he had in mind

  • #63 J Inwood
    July 1, 2008

    I wouldn’t mind going to see those angels though.

  • #64 Eric Paulsen
    July 1, 2008

    I wonder if we could petition them to name the statue after Bush?

  • #65 Rarus.vir
    July 1, 2008

    Aparently this is someplace that is more full of shit than Kansas. Amazing.

  • #66 Dancaban
    July 1, 2008

    I have one of these in my house! That’s because I’m married to a Ukrainian and they are quite common out there. Except the one we have is blue and made of rubber. Never had to use it of course. :-))

  • #67 astroande
    July 1, 2008


    That’s exactly what I was thinking too, heh.

  • #68 Longtime Lurker
    July 1, 2008


    “The town economy revolves around sanatoriums”

    Skimming over this, I read “Santorum”.

    Glad to see Ichthyic was reminded of Man-on-Dog Man too.

  • #69 CWD
    July 1, 2008

    Where do you rub it for luck?

  • #70 Ben Riddell
    July 1, 2008

    Jack Bishop @ #61

    Giant enema bulb + Yakhov Smirnov…


  • #71 Mooser, Bummertown
    July 1, 2008

    Three angels? I see four, and maybe one more hidden behind the bulb?

    How’s about a high-colonic, comrade?

  • #72 Orac
    July 2, 2008

    I’m devastated that PZ doesn’t read every pearl of wit that emanates from my MacBook’s keyboard. πŸ™‚

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