Public Service Announcement: Never trust someone’s friend about anything

In the crazy media world we live in these days, I saw multiple headlines about a story in which Nicki Minaj had tweeted that a friend of her cousin who lived in Trinidad and Tobago got swollen testicles and became impotent after taking a covid-19 vaccine and his fiancee called off their wedding. The ensuing publicity resulted in the minister of public health in that country wasting his time investigating this before announcing that they could not any evidence of swollen testicles.

I grant that this story has many clickbait features: A celebrity, covid-19, impotence, and swollen testicles.

But really? Whenever you hear an outlandish story, your guard should immediately go up. And you should definitely ignore the story if it is ascribed to an unidentified friend of even someone you know personally, let alone someone whom you do not know at all. That almost guarantees that the story is at best highly exaggerated or more likely outright false.

This has been a Public Service Announcement. We now go back to our regular programming.


  1. Bruce says

    The one question that might be vaguely of interest to the celebrity’s fans is if the celebrity made it up herself, or was tricked by her cousin, or by her cousin’s friend. That is, is the celebrity evil or gullible or both?

  2. Allison says

    And if the story seems to support a particular contentious political position (e.g., anti-vax), then one has to consider the possibility that the stories are nothing more than propaganda.

    I can’t help thinking of all those “trans women attacking cis women in women’s toilets” stories, none of which has ever been able to be verified, despite considerable efforts, and whose original sources are almost always known transphobes.

  3. says

    I heard that if you give someone ivermectin and their balls swell, you can return them to normal with a swift kick. And if you do it hard enough they may be able to urinate from their ears afterward. I totally believe this because my source is Ted Nugent’s lawn mower guy and it happened to Nugent except the kick missed and knocked his asshole up into his mouth, but cured his COVID-19.

  4. Deepak Shetty says

    But really? Whenever you hear an outlandish story,

    But you still read it 🙂 -- which I suppose is some form of mission accomplished for whichever site published it.

  5. blf says

    I rather liked one of the late night hosts take on the story — I vaguely recall this was Stephen Colbert but could easily be mistaken — (paraphrasing from memory) “That’s way you get the shot in the arm.”

  6. Mano Singham says

    Deepak @#6,

    Actually I did not read about it because I did not actually click on any of the stories. I couldn’t avoid it because it was included in the monologues of Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Jimmy Kimmel.

    blf @#7,

    It was indeed Stephen Colbert and it was a good joke. After recounting the story about the swollen testicles, he said “And that’s why I got the shot in my arm.”

  7. KG says

    That’s odd -- a friend of my cousin reported that after being vaccinated, they developed the ability to have hour-long multiple orgasms, hundreds of times more intense than anything they had previously experienced.

  8. Katydid says

    And yesterday I read about a woman who died of COVID just before her wedding, which is…a thing that actually can happen.

  9. mnb0 says

    Good advise, but I don’t get why I should listen to Nicky Minaj anyway on anything. I don’t even like her music.

  10. DonDueed says

    The story got so much attention that the White House invited Minaj for a bit of an info dump about vaccines.

  11. says

    Dark Helmet: “I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.”
    Lone Starr: “What’s that make us?”
    Dark Helmet: “Absolutely nothing! Which is what you are about to become.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *