What you can do with one arm | AspenTimes.com

What you can do with one arm

Janet Urquhart

So, like anyone else who hasn’t spent the last week in a cave, or pinned beneath a rock, I’ve been wondering if I’d have the guts to lop off my forearm with a pocketknife if it came to that.It would be novel use of my Swiss Army Knife. So far, I’ve only employed the bottle opener – an essential wilderness implement.But, since getting my ears pierced made me woozy, and my idea of a daring self-rescue is cutting off a clump of hair if it gets caught in an eggbeater, I’m thinking if my arm was stuck under a huge boulder in some remote canyon, I’d probably just whimper until I expired.The now-legendary Aron Ralston is clearly made of sterner stuff than I am. The man has my respect. I believe he and I were introduced once, here at the office, so, of course, I say, “Sure I know him,” whenever a friend from far off inquires.His story got me thinking about life for an active guy with one arm. It’s hard to think of it as an impairment in Ralston’s case, considering he has already rappelled down a cliff literally single-handedly.Actually, I’ve concluded there are plenty of things a person can do with one arm, including some I’d consider worthy accomplishments, like giving up golf.Or, how about:-Answer that eternal question: What is the sound of one hand clapping?-Earn a Ph.D.-Become a Major League baseball pitcher. (Remember Jim Abbott?)-Scratch yourself.-Scratch your dog.-Swap war stories with John Wayne Bobbit.-Go as the bad guy from “The Fugitive” next Halloween.-Surf.-Work the TV remote.-Drink beer.-Type faster than a lot of putzes I know.-Save money on dumbbells.-Hitchhike.-Give someone the finger, a thumb’s up, the OK sign or a high-five.-Hold hands.-Play horseshoes.-Play the slots.-Row a boat in circles.-Flip a coin.-Take up the harmonica.-Lose one glove from a pair of ludicrously expensive ski gloves and not care, provided it’s the right glove, or the left one.-Ski better than I do. (Admittedly, this is not difficult.)-Get a new nickname. (I think Lefty has a better ring to it than Righty.)-Make love, not war (the Army recruiter will leave you alone).-Ride a bike.-Wave.-Do one-handed pushups.-Lather, rinse, repeat.-Play with a yo-yo.-Wear a watch.-Dance.-Pick a flower.-Pick your nose.-Skip stones across the water.-Lend a helping hand.-Keep on climbing fourteeners.Janet Urquhart wonders how long it will take Aron Ralston to have a prosthetic designed with an ice-ax attachment. Her column appears on Fridays.

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