Saturday, August 6, 2011

An amazing medical discovery - and it's no leg pull, growing back appendages WITHOUT surgery. True.

Remember John Wayne Bobbitt?

Most blokes will remember him with watering eyes and females with a wistful though grim and nodding smile. For in 1993, John-boy and his missus Lorena gained worldwide notoriety for a particularly noteworthy marital dust-up - madam lopped off hubby's whizzer, after its unauthorised usage in the marital bed after a drunken fight.

Certainly not a subject that The Magpie or any other bloke would want to dwell on at ... errr ... any length, but the saga of John Wayne's John Thomas sprang to mind this week when he read of an apparently genuine and genuinely amazing discovery in the US - a substance that allows dismembered appendages to grow back without surgery! 

This is not a Magpie leg-pull, it's apparently fair dinkum, and has already worked spectacularly in one instance. 

Join The Magpie on a cheery trip down memory lane and possible uses closer to home for this remarkable medication.

To summarise the Bobbitt history, in June 1993, John Wayne, a bastard as well as a boozer, arrived home drunk from a party and proceeded to commit what the Yanks call 'spousal rape' that is when the bloke ignores the wife's claims of having a headache, or just plain isn't interested, and goes to it anyway.

Lorena, however, wasn't going to take this lying down, so as to speak.  She got hold of a carving knife from the kitchen, went back to the bedroom and threw back the sheets from her sleeping husband. The little woman then went to work on his little man with an enthusiasm that had battered and abused women around the world cheering. She sliced it off and then ran from the house, driving around for a while before tossing the dismembered member into a field.  She then had a change of heart and called the police, who found the item, packed it in ice, enabling surgeons to re-attach it in a nine-and-a-half hour operation.

In the subsequent court case, Lorena was acquitted, judged to be temporarily insane because of the continual abuse and battering from her dickhead husband.

Later stories that John Wayne Bobbitt got a job working for Snap-On Tools have been discounted, but before turning to a life of crime, he did start an unsuccessful band called The Severed Parts, and starred in two movies with the unsavoury titles of John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut and Frankenpenis. Both went limp at the box office. True.

So what's the purpose of all this cheery reminiscing? Well, just this ... 18  years too late for Mr B, scientists in America have come up with a way to bypass surgery and grow back parts of the body that have been accidentally been lopped off, or organs that have been removed. This is (apparently) true and comes from a respected news source, CBS, which reports that scientsis have created a powder formulated from pigs' bladders, with the rather grand name Extracellular Matrix (now there's a movie title in waiting).

The researchers say one man grew back the tip of a finger after it had been severed by the propellor of a toy aeroplane. CBS says he sprinkled the remaining bit of his finger with the new powder, and within four weeks, his finger tip was back, 'flesh, blood and nail'. (This incident explains why any toys with propellors have always been banned from nudist camps, as have been games of leap frog).

Dr Stephen Badylak of the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute For Regenerative Medicine told CBS ' Somehow, the matrix summons the cells and tells them what to do'. 

If only they could do it for bank accounts.

Of course, discoveries like this raise plenty of questions. The one in which The 'Pie is most interested, especially if used in Bobbitt-like cases, is how does the matrix know when to stop growing? And would a nail be involved in all re-growths, anywhere on the body? In Bobbit-like cases, a nail would certainly be a startling novelty, off-putting to some, but as Mongrel the Barrister so indelicately put it 'Maybe it might tickle the gals' fancy'.

But in his usual angular way of thinking, The Magpie now wonders if this discovery will soon be able to correct the deficits we so often perceive in our elected officials. 

Will this matrix be able to restore spines?

Brains? Nah, too much to hope for, much to the disappointment of that fixed-grin problem Rob Oakeshott.

And the heart might be a bit of stretch for some of our dearly elected. (A digression: You may not know it, but politicians who have to  have any surgery connected with their hearts face massive financial costs. A typical example for the average pollie would be $10,000 for the actual surgery and $50,000 for the 'search and locate' fee). 

But the question running through your minds, don't deny it, is whether this matrix can help people like, for instance, Craig Cuddlepie Wallace have a shot at getting back some balls? 

It is one of the great mysteries of science, ranking with where elephants go to die, that somehow, when a popular and decent elected state member from Townsville is made a minister, his (or metaphorically, her) balls suddenly disappear. Does Anna meet them at the cabinet room door with a pair of tinsnips and some rubbing alcohol?

Seems so, but we'll never know. For instance, not Cuddelpie or any of the other gormless state MPs from hereabouts who are supposed to look after our interests will clearly state what they believe the effects of a carbon tax will have on the electorate, so caught are they like mesmerised bunnies in the glare of Canberra's political headlights. 

(Another digression: that uncompromising martinet Margaret Thatcher was once hosting a cabinet dinner. When the waiter asked her choice of meal, she replied 'Steak'. 'And the vegetables?', he enquired.?' 'Oh, they'll have steak, too.' She was a real cutey-pie and it would seem, a role model for those on the other side of politics on the other side of the world.)

Going back to dickheads, on our national scene, here is a pic that's been doing the rounds of the right wing redneck networks. Talk about association of ideas - this self-congratulating, self-stroking turkey in the Slim Dusty hat put The 'Pie in mind of no less than that pioneering feminist, the late and wonderfully articulate Betty Friedan. 

At a feminist rally in Florida in the 60s, she was heckled by the American equivalent of  our T-shirt mate, who yelled out 'Are yew wun o them feckin' les-be-ans?' Friedan, who wasn't a lesbian anyway and always to her great credit, maintained feminisim was about equality not sexuality, looked sweetly and directly at the bloke, and replied, 'No I'm not, but if you're the alternative, I may be soon'.

That yuk-yuk T-shirt is in the same mold as a lot of the underhand and overstated alarmist nonsense about refugees, but The Magpie idly wondered if Bob Brown might fight fire with fire. Perhaps with: 
This is Tasmania,
We eat vegan quiche
We drink skinny soy chai latte 
We talk barely disguised socialist horseshit.

There is Australia's dilemma ... what a bloody choice between these two points of view.

Enough for now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar, where the old bird will be-bubble a suitable companion, in the hope that the barman will be the only to do any 'cutting off' this evening.      



  1. Red faces for the Townsville Daily Fishwrapper's sub-editors who missed the Saturday gem by Kathleen Skene where she asked us to regard her column as "... a fluffy conversation with a chatty friend in possession of a self-defecating sense of humour." I don't know about the rest of you, but that gave me a nice warm feeling.

  2. Yeah, Glen...I was laughing so much at that self-indulgent pap that I pissed myself as well

    And that old chestnut about the steak and veggies, when I heard it last it was being credited to Joh

  3. Thanks for reading - and laughing at - my self indulgent pap.
    That was the point of it after all. Clearly it wasn't the subs who missed something obvious there...

  4. Huh?

    There is a difference in making a joke and being the know, laughing with as opposed to being laughed at.

    Darn - you have started me off again...