Friday, April 25, 2003


For refusing to quit despite having his leg gnawed off by Delphinapterus leucas, my very first Amputee of the Week award goes to the ass-kicking Cap'n Ahab from Moby Dick.

This exchange between the Captain and the ship's carpenter, who is fashioning him a new artificial leg, uncannily reminds me of a conversation I had with my prosthetist just the other day:

"Look ye, carpenter, I dare say thou callest thyself a right good workmanlike workman, eh? Well, then, will it speak thoroughly well for thy work, if, when I come to mount this leg thou makest, I shall nevertheless feel another leg in the same identical place with it; that is, carpenter, my old lost leg; the flesh and blood one, I mean. Canst thou not drive that old Adam away?" "Truly, sir, I begin to understand somewhat now. Yes, I have heard something curious on that score, sir; how that a dismasted man never entirely loses the feeling of his old spar, but it will still be pricking him at times. May I humbly ask if it really be so, sir?"

Cap'n Ahab -- you rock.

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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