The Double Amputee's Oral Learning Story: Bargain Replantation

Eldon Reishus

Tim looked into the morning sky and saw the moon. The coyotes within him broke into howls; the mice covered their ears and danced. Then when Tim turned fifty, the tags on his T-shirts started to really irritate the back of his neck, and he accidentally sheared off a thumb trying to remove one. No-one was in any shape to drive, it being Tim's birthday, so he Ziplocked his thumb's freshness in crushed ice and began the long walk to the hospital.

On the way Tim saw a man in cut-offs with no legs on a cart showing pictures of his stumps to youth. What a dumb ass, Tim thought, lost both legs, and doesn't even know how to make it work for him. Tim thought: That man should wear a dotted sign around his neck. Tim thought: That sign should read: »Severe at dots.«

A car pulled over and some dudes passing around a bong wanted to know what Tim was carrying. Tim greeted the crew with his thumb and a barrage of questions concerning his address not being one and his insurance not being any. The answers Tim received must have cheered him from consciousness, for the next thing he knew he was smiling in a wheelchair like the nerves and blood vessels of both legs had been successfully reattached during a complicated three-hour microsurgery process.

What clues do we have that it is the man in cut-offs with no legs in the cart who originally told this story orally? Do you think that in real life the double amputee actually does show pictures of his stumps to youth? Why would this be a dumb ass manner to make the loss of both legs work for him? On Tim's birthday, when he shears off his thumb, everyone is too looped to drive him to a hospital. The dudes in the car are passing around a bong. Tim wakes from his bargain replantation in a wheelchair with a smile on his face. Are drugs always wrong? What other hearer expectations does this oral learning story expand, reprove, or disappoint?

Eldon (Craig) Reishus lives with a piano and last night three mice in a Celtic setting outside Munich beneath the Bavarian Alps (Landkreis Wolfratshausen – Bad Tölz). He is the German-English translator of numerous books and films, and an all-around print and web media pro. He originates from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Hire him (»Have Laptop, Will Travel«):