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What day is it? What day is it? Mike Mike Mike Mike Miiiike. Oh man. You guys remember that Geico commercial? A classic. Totally still funny to quote in work contexts to this day. Anyway, today is Wednesday, which means I’ve got another “would you rather?” question to answer once and for all. Last week we talked about having sex with a goat (to reiterate, I was for it), so this week we’re going to go with something a little less traumatizing. Not a lot less though. As always, I will present two choices, of which you have to choose one. Here we go.
Would you rather: Lose your arms or your legs?
Simple, but tough. Do I want either to happen? Fuck no. Either choice will make my life much, much harder. However, “fuck no” isn’t an option so I’m going to have to pick. Before I do, however, let’s get some questions answered.
1. Where is the amputation?
Great question. There’s a huge difference between having zero arms and having halves of two arms (which, due to the transitive property, equals one whole arm, but, in reality, definitely does not). Since I’m in a good mood, I’m going to say the legs would be amputated from below the knee, and the arms from below the elbows. That means prosthetics are totally doable, which brings me to the next question.
2. Can I get dope robot limbs to replace them?
Yes. But more realistically, no. Here’s the deal: Whatever your personal life circumstances are right now will not change after the amputation. You won’t get compensated for whatever freak accident caused you to lose half of your limbs, so unless you’re already just rolling in it, having the cash to get robot limbs is going to be tough. I’ve done absolutely zero research because that’s a personal rule I have when answering these questions, but I’m sure robotics arms and legs don’t come cheap. You’ll probably end up with whatever your insurance will get you, so… probably nothing.
Now that we got those details squared away, it’s time to think this through. Basically, this comes down to which limbs you use more, and which would inconvenience you the most not to have. If you lose your legs, you’re going to lose the ability to walk. That’s pretty huge. Walking is something I do every day. I walk to the train, I walk to work, and I walk to the bar. I had one of my legs incapacitated by hip surgery earlier this year, and I gotta say, I did not realize how important walking is until then. This would be a huge bummer.
However, when it comes to my livelihood, my arms are way more important. Much like most of you, I sit in front of the computer all day and type. I would not be able to do that without arms. Not even with the best of prosthetics (I think. Again, I’ve done no research). That would be tough. Sure, my company can’t fire me due to my disability (which I know because I had to sit through a three-hour “Respect In The Workplace” seminar last week), but it would still be tough for me to rise through the ranks at my planned rate.
I’m sure there is voice technology that would make my job doable, but then everyone could hear that I’m browsing Reddit, like, 80% of my day. And what if I want to draft a tweet? Have you read my tweets? No way in hell am I saying those out loud, and then repeating them ten times with different word variations until I find the one I like. Nope. Can’t do it.
So basically, would I choose to make most of my life easier, or my work easier? It’s tough. Both have upsides as well. If I lose my arms and can’t work, but also can’t be fired, I can just show up and collect my current paycheck forever. It’s not a great paycheck, but it’s not the worst either. My girlfriend would stay with me, because she’s a saint, and she’s the breadwinner of the household anyway.
On the other hand, if I lose my legs, I never have to walk or stand again. I know I was originally counting this as a negative, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I get to sit all the time, which I’m a huge fan of, and I get to go right to the front of the line at Disneyland. Yup, that does it. I’ve made my choice.
I would choose to lose both of my legs and keep both of my arms.
I’ve got pretty good insurance so I think I could lobby for cool prosthetics, and failing that, my girlfriend’s an engineer, so she could probably build me some. I’d probably end up more athletic than before to be honest. It’s not like there was a high bar to beat. That’s my choice. What’s yours?
Unfortunately, disabled people completely nullify this “would you rather” by being as capable as anyone else, but I’m choosing to ignore that fact for the sake of making this question interesting and also because their tenacity and strength make me feel bad about myself. .