Many of us - most, perhaps - have carelessly spoken of putting a rocket up someone's backside. But now, a pioneering Australian researcher has shown that in fact this would be a highly unwise act: not only would the recipient of the combustibles be unlikely to be galvanised into helpful activity, he or she might also wind up in the cooler helping the police with their enquiries.
We know this thanks to a searing report by the Sydney Morning Herald, chronicling the misadventures of an unnamed man in Darwin who had evidently decided to find out for himself the effects of posterior explosives emplacement. To do the man credit he chose himself as the experimental subject.
"A young male decided to place a firework between the cheeks of his bottom and light it," Senior Sergeant Garry Smith of the local police told the newspaper.
Rather than causing him to do his job better and faster or similar, it seems that the backside blast actually had the effect of causing the man - perhaps a student of management studies or the psychology of motivation - to seek immediate medical assistance.
"Paramedics were called although the man had reportedly already taken himself to hospital by the time they arrived," reports the SMH. It appears that the bold researcher may have to be airlifted to a specialist Australian burns unit where experts in injuries of this type are available (the existence of this burns unit is heartwarming).
The possibility exists of course that the episode was not motivated by linguistic or psychological research (as in previous cases where the term "thinking outside the box" was investigated by university academics with the use of some large boxes). The alternative and perhaps more likely explanation - and the one the police are pursuing - is that of drunken tomfoolishness.
"Alcohol was a possible factor," according to local plods, the SMH reports.
Such was also the case in the similarly eyewatering "Bumfire Night" incident some years ago, in which a British soldier similarly discovered the actual effects of putting a rocket up his arse.
Even once his burns have healed, the nameless Australian at the centre of today's story may find his troubles are not over. There are suggestions that he may find himself hit with a hefty fine by the Aussie fuzz for possession of a firework outside the approved period (in the Northern Territory, one may only legally let off fireworks on 1 July, the anniversary of the state being awarded self-governance). ®