O Me of Little Faith

The Telegraph reported a fascinating story yesterday about a computer programmer in London who lost a finger in a motorcycle accident. No big news there. I know all kinds of computer programmers who’ve lost fingers in motorcycle accidents. Don’t we all?

The interesting thing is that this guy — his name is Jerry Jalava, which sounds totally made-up but is apparently real — had a prosthetic finger made to give him a full ten digits again. Only the prosthetic can, um, “peel back” to reveal a 2-gig USB device, which he can then detach and plug into a computer. Here’s what it looks like:

Let me quote Mr. Jalava, who explains his now-digital fake digit: “It is not attached permanently in to my body, it is a removable prosthetic which has USB memorystick inside it,” he said. “When I’m using the USB, I just leave my finger inside the slot and pick it up after I’m ready.”

Of course.

This is brilliant, inspiring news. I know most of you have long wished that you could always have a portable hard drive available just like your pinky finger is available. This has inspired me to compile a list of options. If ever I lost a finger in a motorcycle accident, what might I replace it with?

1. A Butterfinger candy bar holder. Because sometimes you are hungry for a crispety, buttery, chocolately treat, but you just don’t have the time to, you know, reach for something. If the Butterfinger was always there, how convenient would that be?

2. A powerful magnet. If someone spills a box of paperclips at work, you could be all, “Stand back, friends and coworkers!” and proceed to pick the paperclips up with your very hand! People would be amazed.

3. A powerful vacuum. If someone spills a box of sawdust at work, you could be all, “Stand back, friends and coworkers!” and proceed to clean up that sawdust with your swooshy suck of a hand. More amazement for sure.

4. A meat thermometer. You know how you’ll be at a cookout and the guy at the grill will want to know if the steak has been cooked to the desired level of doneness? And he has to go inside and get the meat thermometer and how everyone’s just standing around waiting for him to finish up so they can eat already? Not anymore. Now you can stick your finger in the meat and advise the cook. Then everyone will enjoy their steaks while applauding your efficiency.

5. Chalk. People always freak out when people scrape their fingernails on a chalkboard. You can punk them by pretending to do the same. Only you don’t have fingernails! You have chalk for a finger! They will be astounded at the straight line you drew and thrilled that you didn’t just give them the serious heebie-jeebies.

6. Bullets. Let’s just say, when you’re playing pretend cops and robbers with your friends and they extend their forefingers as pretend guns and pretend to shoot you, you’ll actually have converted your finger into a gun barrel, with real bullets chambered in your wrist. This will give you a distinct advantage over those losers with pretend guns.

7. A flag that comes out with text that reads “Bang!” Because that would be a good joke after you shot out the real bullets a couple of times.

8. An MP3 player loaded with cartoonish sound effects. Then you could instruct your Ritalin-deprived nephew to “pull [your] finger,” and oh what funny sounds would result! He might start riding motorcycles, recklessly, just for the chance to have his own bionic finger.


So what would you replace your amputated finger with?

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