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Innovation

Man endures thumb surgery to better enable iPhone use

Definitely this should be filed under "truth is stranger than fiction."Update: Turns out this is fiction, and yes, we got punk'd.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor on

Definitely this should be filed under "truth is stranger than fiction."

Update: Turns out this is fiction, and yes, we got punk'd. But look at it this way. A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world got fooled by Ahmed Chalabi's tales of WMD in Iraq. But no one was hurt by our being punk'd- unless you count bruised rib cages suffered by readers who laughed when they first read this post.

And hey,why not read it again from the perspective of satire?

OK, back as we reported.... 

The North Denver News reports that Thomas Martel, 28, of Bonnie Brae, Colorado recently underwent "whittling" thumb surgery to better enable him to use the iPhone.

Thomas Martel, 28, of Bonnie Brae is a big guy. So he has a hard time using the features on ever-shrinking user interfaces on devices like his new iPhone. At least, he did, until he had his thumbs surgically altered in a revolutionary new surgical technique known as "whittling."

"From my old Treo, to my Blackberry, to this new iPhone, I had a hard time hitting the right buttons, and I always lost those little styluses," Martel tells reporter James Bently. "Sure, the procedure was expensive, but when I think of all the time I save by being able to use modern handhelds so much faster, I really think the surgery will pay for itself in ten to fifteen years. And what it's saving me in frustration - that's priceless."

Well OK, Tom.

"This is really, on the edge sort of stuff," explains Dr. Robert Fox Spars, who worked on developing the procedure. "We're turning plastic surgery from something that people use in service of vanity, to a real tool for improving workplace efficiency."

As Bently describes it, "the procedure involved making a small incision into both thumbs and shaving down the bones, followed by careful muscular alteration and modification of the fingernails.

While Martel's new thumbs now appear small and effeminate in comparison to his otherwise very large hands, he says he can still lift "pretty much anything I could lift before the surgery - though opening spaghetti sauce jars has been a problem. That was a big surprise."

So now, Martel feels iPhone empowered.

But he's not the only one to struggle with opening spaghetti sauce jars. Push down and twist? Yea, right.

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