Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide, our recurring series where our experts provide everything you need to know about your new endeavor, regardless of what it is.
This week, we’ll be taking you through:
The Beginner’s Guide To Pre-Emptive Amputation
If you take up good habits early in life, you’re likely to stick with them. In other words, you can only gain from being proactive—or lose, if you’re into pre-emptive amputation. It’s a great way to get a handle on health problems—or minor physical inconveniences—before they even become health problems or minor physical inconveniences. By chopping off your own arm and/or leg, what have you got to lose except for heartache and heartbreak? (And also, of course, your limbs.) Let’s “cut” to the chase!
Why are you doing this?
There are lots of reasons to carve off one of your arms or legs before its absolutely necessary. Say you’ve got diabetes and you don’t want them to amputate your foot in 20 years. If you cut it off now, you don’t have to fear the inevitable and you can keep eating pie for breakfast. Or, you know how it hurts when you scrape your elbow? That will never happen again if you cut off your arm at the shoulder now. Do you have a hard time finding gloves that fit? That won’t be an issue if you lop those hands off now. And since tattoos and piercings—which used to be badass—have gone mainstream and mundane, what better way to show people you’re edgy than chopping off your own foot?
Choose your weapon, er, medical instrument
Any extremely sharp thing you’ve got around the house will cut off a limb in theory, but they’ve all got their pros and cons. A Civil War-vintage bone saw—like what an Army doctor would use in a crude field hospital is obviously the hipster’s choice, but it’s going to take a really long time to carve through skin, muscle and bone. A surgical-grade bone saw will give you the cleanest cut, but it might take months for the postal inspector to clear it if you buy one from Amazon. A chainsaw is of course the coolest and most metal choice, but you’re gonna wind up with a very sloppy imprecise cut.
If we have to recommend any tool, it’d be one whose purpose is to separate limb from body with one swift, single cut: a butcher knife, or your roommate’s katana he hangs on the wall over his Xbox.
Doing the deed
No matter how you slice it (literally), there’s only one way to chop off a leg, foot, hand, or arm. First—and this is where your knowledge of recreational IV drugs will come into play—use a scarf to “tie off” the limb slightly above where you want to cut it off. Then, with a marker, make a little “X” or line where you want to chop.
Thoroughly clean your chopping utensil (oops, we should have said that first,) hands, and skin with high-proof grain alcohol. Take a big swig for courage and to steady those nerves; you are, after all, about to cut off your foot or whatever! Now, while biting down on something hard, like a bullet or a Now and Later, do what you gotta do: chop that sucker off!
Oh, you should have also laid out some towels or called your dog over — something to clean up the blood as well as any skin or gristle that falls off. Don’t forget to cauterize the wound afterward. Hold your cutting utensil to a hot stove and press it firmly against your wound. It will hurt, but not as much as what you just did.
What to do with the limb?
So you’ve successfully, preemptively amputated a limb. Now what are you supposed to do with that dumb old foot (or hand, leg, etc.)? The possibilities are virtually endless. If you cut off your arm, you could hold it in the sleeve of a blazer and make it fall out at a restaurant and say it’s their fault and you get a free dinner. And speaking of dinner, a big juicy human leg tastes just like ham, and the holidays are coming, so there’s that. Or, you could use it to reward your little helper, your dog that lapped up all the blood you spilled during your surgery. A severed human limb is like the best dog toy ever!