I Don't Miss My Arms

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Vol 31 Issue 05

Style Replaces Substance

In a change years in the making, style officially replaced substance Monday, tipping artistic balance of power from deep, meaningful expression to glossy, superficial artifice. "Form has finally assumed its rightful place as the driving force in the creative process," said Harv Nevitt of Style magazine. "No more time will be wasted on genuinely substantive content." Style is expected to reign supreme over substance until style itself becomes substance, when it will be replaced by an even more vacant form of style.

Government Squandering Social Security Funds On Cake

WASHINGTON, DC—An independent panel revealed Friday that Congress is squandering the nation's $80 billion Social Security reserves on cake. According to the panel report, some of the cake was served in "extra-large helpings," sparking outrage among taxpayers. Cake-related abuse of funds will be further investigated by a congressional subcommittee, headed by Sen. John Ashcroft (R-MO), who reportedly "does not like cake."

Paramount Home Video Pleased To Bring Man Feature Presentation

SOMERVILLE, MA—Paramount Pictures CEO Jerry Rubin announced Monday that his company is pleased to present Beverly Hills Cop 2 to Somerville-area home-video rental consumer Nathan DeGaetano, 36. Said Rubin, "I know I speak for everyone here at Paramount Pictures when I say that we are pleased to present this terrific Paramount Home Video release starring Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold to Mr. DeGaetano." Paramount will personally convey this sentiment to DeGaetano with a colorful, computer-generated image of a mountain and a professionally pre-recorded message immediately preceding the feature presentation.

Felt Board Adds Clarity To Christ's Teachings

WILMINGTON, NC—A felt board made the teachings of Jesus Christ clear and easy to understand for the sixth-graders attending Sunday school at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church Sunday. "The white block letters velcroed onto the felt board helped me to understand that I will burn in hell if I sin," said Brian Klesko, 12. Sunday school teacher Helene Hildebrant used the felt board because of the children's natural interest in both colorful objects and fuzziness. "I decided that the concepts of ritualized cannibalistic consumption of Christ's body and blood and the condemnation of all non-Christian peoples to eternal suffering in Hell would be easier for today's children to understand if presented in a fun and colorful medium such as a felt board."

Military Hazing

The U.S. military has come under fire for hazing recently, most notably for a controversial videotape depicting Marines "pinning" new recruits, stabbing medals into their chests. What do you think?

Gymnasts Are Hot!

My spectator event of preference would be the sport (perhaps even "art") of gymnastics. There is nothing in this world I prefer to a quiet afternoon sitting on my rattan sofa watching lithe nymphs express themselves through motion on the uneven bars. Their supple bodies wrap around the wooden bars and contort themselves in ways nature never intended. They are as fiexible as the branches of the fragile willow blown by a cruel wind.
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I Don't Miss My Arms

It's been almost two years since the auto accident, but you know what? I don't miss my arms at all!

There are so many things that I never would have experienced had my upper appendages not been ripped from their sockets on that fateful day. For instance, I bet I never would have known what a great public speaker I was if I hadn't had my accident and joined up with the other kids at Diversabilities.

Instead of touring local schools and hospitals talking to groups of disabled kids, I'd be doing all the same things other kids do, like hanging out with friends and having fun.

I'd be wasting my time shooting hoops, dating girls and playing the oboe as the youngest member of a nationally recognized symphonic orchestra. You know, if I had remained third-chair oboist at St. Luke's, I never would have developed my singing voice.

Of course, I only sing songs like "Everyone Is Special (Me and You, Two)" to hospitalized children, because if I tried to sing regular rock songs everyone would laugh at me. They'd say, "Hey, look at that singing armless guy!"

There are plenty of other things I've learned since I "lost" my arms. (I didn't really lose them. They were right there in the ditch only three feet away!) Before the wreck, I never knew how to type with my face. Heck, I'd never even tried before!

I know someday I'll meet a special girl, maybe at church, someone who loves me for who I am. Someone who finds human arms unattractive.

Before my accident, I used to get in arguments with other guys my age that would end in fistfights. Now when someone insults me, I just cry and cry, and they always apologize right away.

I hardly ever need to do that, though, because people are nicer to me than they ever were before. Growing up, I was always told that I was too cocky, but now everyone likes me. Ever since the accident, everyone's called me Tommy, a diminutive version of my name Thomas. It's great!

I used to be just another face in the crowd. But now that I'm the teenager with no arms, people remember me! And pray for me!

Nope, I don't miss my arms at all!

Flepper resides in DeKalb, IL, where he is currently working on his autobiography, My Arms Are With The Lord Now.

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