There’s not much connection to human sexuality in this funny “no shit, I was there” anecdote from 1960s South Africa. But it does feature an electric anal probe (sized for a black rhinoceros).

As it happens, one of the first “dirty texts” I ever downloaded from the internet (back before there was a world wide web, this would have been) turned out to be a femdom FAQ that contained a memorable section on mis(use) of veterinary tools. Including electric animal ejaculators. Which are real — but emphatically not tested or certified as safe for human use.

Not much of a connection, I know. But it’s funny in a “rural legends” kind of way:

At this stage, the Director deemed it safe to emerge from the cab of his truck and he came amongst us resplendent in starched and immaculately ironed bush jacket with a colourful silk scarf at his throat. With an imperial gesture, he ordered the portable electric generator to be brought forward and positioned behind the captured animal. This was a machine which was capable of lighting up a small city, and it was equipped with two wheels that made it resemble a Roman chariot.

The Director climbed up on the generator to better address us. We gathered around attentively while he explained what was to happen next.

It seemed that the only way to get what we had come for was to introduce an electrode into the rhino’s rear end, and to deliver a mild electric shock, no more than a few volts, which would be enough to pull his trigger for him.

The Director gave another order and the veterinary surgeon greased something that looked like an acoustic torpedo and which was attached to the generator with sturdy insulated wires. He then went up behind the somnolent beast and thrust it up him to a full arms length, at which the rhino opened his eyes very wide indeed.

The veterinary and his two black assistants now moved into position with a large bucket and assumed expectant expressions. We, the audience, crowded closer so as not to miss a single detail of the drama. The Director still mounted on the generator trailer, nodded to the electrician who threw the switch and chaos reigned.

In the subsequent departmental enquiry the blame was placed squarely on the shoulders of the electrician. It seems that in the heat of the moment his wits had deserted him and instead of connecting up his apparatus to deliver a gentle 5 volts, he had crossed his wires and the rhino received a full 500 volts up his rear end.

His reaction was spectacular. Four tons of rhinoceros shot six feet straight up in the air. The cage, made of great timber baulks, exploded into its separate pieces and the rhinoceros now very much awake, took off at a gallop.

We, the audience, were no less sprightly. We took to the trees with alacrity. This was the only occasion on which I have ever been passed by two journalists half way up a Mopane tree.

From the top branches we beheld an amazing sight, for the chariot was still connected to the rhinoceros per rectum, and the director of the game department was still mounted upon it, very much like Ben Hur, the charioteer.

As they disappeared from view, the rhinoceros was snorting and blowing like a steam locomotive and the Director was clinging to the front rail of his chariot and howling like the north wind which only encouraged the beast to greater speed.