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The Ether Bunny

Claim:   A student who consults a doctor at the campus medical center because of continual soreness in his rectum discovers that his gay roommate has been secretly anesthetizing and sodomizing him at night.

LEGEND

Examples:

A few summers ago, a friend of mine at work told me a story that supposedly happened at the school he went to. A guy went to the doctor because of pain in his rectum. It was discovered that he had a high level of ether in his bloodstream. Apparently his roommate had been using ether on him to knock him out while he, um, had his way with him.
 

A guy in the dorms would wake up in the morning feeling sluggish and experiencing abdominal pains. This went on for a week or two before he sought medical attention at Cowell. After the exam the doctor asked the student if he was gay. The student responded that he was not. The doctor seemed puzzled because he explained that the cause of the student's pains was due to being sodomized on a regular basis. The sluggishness was due to heavy drug use. The student left Cowell stunned. He returned to his dorm room to discover that his roommate had hastily moved out and had dropped out of school. While searching through the items his roommate had left behind this student discovered a beaker of ether and a rag in a large zip-loc bag.
 

Variations:
  • The medical complaint that causes the student to visit the doctor varies
    (e.g., rectal soreness, severe headaches, sluggishness).
  • The manner in which the student learns the truth about his roommate's activities also varies. In some versions the doctor diagnoses the cause on the spot (after detecting traces of anesthetic in the student's bloodstream or sperm in his anus), and in other versions the student discovers the anesthetic and other paraphernalia hidden about the dorm room.
  • The anesthetic used is either chloroform or ether.
  • In some tellings the student already knows his roommate to be gay; in others his roommate's homosexuality is unknown to him until he discovers the hidden anesthetic.
Origins:   As Brunvand notes, this legend has been mentioned in print as far back as 1886, in Richard F. Burton's privately-published Ether The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, and it was included in Gershon Legman's Rationale of the Dirty Joke. (Both tellings involve predators who drug their victims with alcohol.) The story has spread widely in the United States over the last twenty years or so, generally set in military barracks or campus dormitories.

Whereas the college version generally ends with the discovery of the perfidy, revenge is almost always exacted on the perpetrator in the military version, either by the soldier acting on his own or with the help of his buddies. The GI is often said to "beat the crap" out of his tentmate upon discovering what he's been up to. Some tellings of the legend end with the sodomizer dead at the hands of his victim and his victim-turned-killer now serving a life term in Leavenworth.

Last updated:   24 June 2011

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Sources:

    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   The Baby Train.
    New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.   ISBN 0-393-31208-9   (pp. 308-311).

    Ellis, William.   "Sex and the Contemporary Legend."
    FOAFTale News.   June 1990   (p. 7).

    Legman, Gershon.   Rationale of the Dirty Joke.
    New York: Bell Publishing Co., 1975   (p. 156).

    Scott, Bill.   Pelicans & Chihuahuas and Other Urban Legends.
    St. Lucia, Queensland: Univ. of Queensland, 1996.   ISBN 0-7022-2774-9   (p. 56).