A collective "awwww, fuuuck" went out across the land as the nation took in our story that poor, poor Edgardo Toucet's penis was cut off near Orlando while operating some despicable-sounding machine known as "the peeler."
Yesterday, we tried to talk with Toucet to, if anything, lend him an awkward pat on the back, a shake of our head, and murmur in condolence, "shit, man."
But Toucet didn't want to talk with us -- or anyone -- his attorney Mike Valen told us.
"It's awfully embarrassing for him," Valen said. "It's a tragic story in which the man lost his entire package and his testicles. He's had multiple injuries, and now he's required to have hormone therapy."
The brief interview was pained, awkward, and laden with pauses.
"It is what it is," Valen said.
"So, that's a 'No,' to interviews," he added.
When asked what Toucet was up to now -- because my God, what could this poor man do now? -- Valen said, "That's not relevant. He's on disability now."
According to the complaint filed in Hillsborough County recently, on January 13, 2010, Toucet was operating "the peeler," which is apparently uses a razor blade to cut carpet foam, when his junk "came into contact with the machine's spinning blade and his penis and testicles were completely severed."
The complaint describes a machine spawned in a land too evil for words.
- The peeler machine does not have a brake that stops it from moving.
- The peeler machine is continuously sharpened as it spins.
- The peeler machine has a rundown cycle and... takes 45 to 60 seconds to come to a complete stop.
- The unguarded spinning blade is positioned at approximately waist level.
Toucet, who studied in Puerto Rico and cannot speak or write English, says he wasn't given proper instruction before manning the peeler and is suing for gross negligence. The complaint says the accident "exceeds damages for $15,000."
Valen said others had been injured operating the peeler, but no one like Toucet.
For this, we rejoice. Our hearts couldn't take another story like Toucet's.