Human Body Worth The Sum Of Its Parts?
by Mad Dog
Before you go on a
shopping spree figuring youíll pay off the credit card bill by sending
them your tibiaó ďHey, Iíve got anotherĒóyou need to realize
that itís illegal to sell your body parts.
||We need to start taking
better care of our bodies. After all, experts say theyíre worth about
$220,000, which is a far cry from what we were taught in school when
they told us the human body was worth about 89 cents. Plus tax, of
course. They arrived at that old figure by multiplying the amount
of chemicals contained in the body by the current market value. They
didnít take into consideration the cost of extracting them,
fluctuations in the price of phosphorus on the spot market, or the
advent of eBay, where you could easily get more than 89 cents from some
excitable guy who needs to get out more.
But times have changed and our bodies
are worth more now, a lot more than can be accounted for by inflation.
See, while tissues, diapers, and cute boy bands have become disposable,
more and more body parts are being recycled. Thatís right. Not only do
they transplant hearts, livers, kidneys, and corneas, they use skin,
bones, ligaments, blood vessels, valves, and that little flap of skin in
the back of your throat which serves no purpose other than to make you
snore. You know, the one whose name you wonít say because it sounds
like it should be part of the female sex organs and youíre afraid your
mother will wash your mouth out with soap if she hears you say uvula.
When you add them up, our usable body
parts are worth about $220,000, which is a nice chunk of cash. But
before you go on a shopping spree figuring youíll pay off the credit
card bill by sending them your tibiaóďHey, Iíve got
anotherĒóyou need to realize that itís illegal to sell your body
parts. It is, however, legal to buy them, but only if they were taken
out in a sleazy hotel room and the donor woke up in a bathtub filled
with ice. Just kidding. Thatís actually an urban legend, like
alligators crawling around the New York City sewer system, Neiman Marcus
billing someone $250 for a ďtwo-fiftyĒ cookie recipe, and the Fox
Network launching a new series called, ďWhen Good Celebrity Boxing
Goes BadóTonya Harding vs. Mike Tyson.Ē
the day will come when slightly used brains will be on sale at your
local tissue bank. And if you ever do need one Iím sure youíll want
a smart one. Thatís why you should encourage people to chew gum.
Thatís right, itís okay to buy new body parts but not to sell
your old ones. This just isnít fair. Tissue banks, hospitals, and
doctors can make money off your body but you have to give it away for
free. Worst of all, you canít write it off on your taxes as a
charitable donation. Not even if you leave it to Goodwill.
Not all body parts are usable. One
organ that canít be used after death is the brain. Unfortunately it
often isnít used much before death either. Just the same, a lot of
brains are being saved. Scientists have collected the smartest
(Einstein's), the most powerful (Stalin's), and the most warped (Jeffrey
Dahmerís). The worldís largest collection of preserved human brains,
a whopping 8,000 of them, are housed at the Runwell Psychiatric Hospital
in England. They say theyíre keeping them for research purposes but I
think they look at them as an investment, kind of a cerebral 401-K plan.
One brain even they donít have is John Dillenger's, though the
Smithsonian Institute reputedly does have his penis and, as any woman
will attest, this means they also have his brain.
Eventually the day will come when
slightly used brains will be on sale at your local tissue bank. And if
you ever do need one Iím sure youíll want a smart one. Thatís why
you should encourage people to chew gum. A recent study at Englandís
University of Northumbria found that people who chewed gum for three
minutes before taking a memory test were more prone to stick the wad
under the desk during the test. Just kidding. Actually everyone did
A Japanese textile manufacturer, claims that wearing
clothing made from V-UP will supply you with two lemonsí worth of
vitamin C a day. And youíll get it without having to walk around with
a puckered look on your face.
the researchers really discovered was that those who chewed gum scored
higher on the tests than those who didnít. They think this is either
because chewing gum increases the heart rate or it causes a surge of
insulin since the body interprets the watering mouth as a signal that
itís time for a meal. Either that or youíre one of Pavlovís dogs.
This study is good news for truck stop waitresses, baseball players, and
children around the world, though itís bad news for anyone in
Singapore. Thatís because in Singapore itís not only illegal to
neglect to flush a public toilet, urinate in an elevator, and talk on a
mobile phone while driving, but the sale and importation of chewing gum
is also a crime. Thatís why if Singaporeans want to increase their
brain power they may have to start wearing V-UP clothing.
This is the brand new no muss, no
fuss way to keep your brain and body in shape. Fuji Spinning, a Japanese
textile manufacturer, claims that wearing clothing made from V-UP, their
new fiber, will supply you with two lemonsí worth of vitamin C a day.
And youíll get it without having to walk around with a puckered look
on your face. Well, as long as you donít look at the price tag. These
vitamin-enriched blouses and shirts are available in Japanese stores
now, with T-shirts and underwear coming out in the spring. If itís
successful you can expect to see vitamin D diapers for kids, B12 bras
for women, and menís underwear that dispenses Viagra next fall.
So start getting that body in shape.
After all, it wonít be long before capitalism, the free market, and
other economic forcesólike greedómake selling your body legal. And
when it is, you donít want to be the only person on your block who
canít get anyone on eBay to bid on it. How embarrassing.
©2002 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them while holding the newspaper with the hand you haven't