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In what should go down in history as one of the least dignified ways to die, an Oklahoma man has been killed by a wedgie.

For those of you who have never been in a locker room, a wedgie is described by Oxford Dictionaries as "an uncomfortable tightening of the underpants between the buttocks, typically produced when someone pulls the underpants up from the back as a prank."

There are three popular variants on the wedgie:

  • Hanging Wedgie: the victim is hung by the back of his underwear on a doorknob or a coat hook
  • Reverse Wedgie, or "Melvin": the victim's underwear is pulled up from the front instead of the back
  • Atomic Wedgie: the underwear is pulled all the way over the victim's head

The atomic wedgie method is what appears to have killed 58-year-old Denver St. Clair on December 21. Police say St. Clair and his stepson, Brad Davis, 33, got in an argument that ended with St. Clair dead from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation. He suffocated on his own underwear. Davis has been arrested and it is expected that he will be charged with murder. Davis is claiming that he acted in self-defense. Good luck to him on that.

Meanwhile, the media has to decide how to write this whole thing up. Death by wedgie is an exceptionally rare and thus newsworthy event, but putting "wedgie" (not to mention "atomic wedgie") in a headline might undermine the classiness of the publication.

Here's how things have played out so far:

Avoid the issue

Man Arrested In Murder Of Stepfather In McLoud -- News9

Murder arrest: Stepson jailed in death of stepfather in McLoud -- The Shawnee News-Star

Say what happened, but be classy

Authorities: Okla. Man Suffocated With Underwear -- Associated Press

Passive voice

Oklahoma man dies from atomic wedgie  -- NY Daily News

Put 'atomic wedgie' in 'quotes' for 'distance'

Police: 'Atomic wedgie' led to man's death -- KOCO

Police: Man Killed Stepfather With ‘Atomic Wedgie’ Days Before Christmas -- CBS Houston

Oklahoman given 'atomic wedgie' died from suffocation, trauma to head -- NewsOK

Oklahoma man charged with 'atomic wedgie' murder of stepfather -- Reuters

Why is this headline longer than three words

Atomic Wedgie Murder: Denver St. Clair Choked From Underwear Around His Head; Stepson Brad Lee Davis Charged In Killing [PHOTO] - International Business Times


'This was more than just a fight': Ex-Marine, 33, 'kills stepfather by ATOMIC WEDGIE' -- Daily Mail

En français

Oklahoma : un homme meurt asphyxié par son propre sous-vêtement -- Le Journal de Québec


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