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A bit of a leg over

by Adam Hills

4th July 2005

Let's not beat around the bush here, I'll cut straight to the chase. No more faffing, let's get on with it. We'll separate the wheat from the chaff, the sh*t from the shinola, and the men from the boys. I have news, and there's no easy way to put it, so I'm just gonna lay it on you straight, shoot from the hip, and fire away with both barrels.
As I say, there's no point delaying the inevitable, I'll just hit you with it head on, as if it doesn't still bring a twinge to my side, a lump to my throat, and a wayward piece of grit to my eye. My news is this, and this is my news ... I recently broke up with my girlfriend.

There, I've said it. It's out there in the open for everyone to deal with, and in many respects, so am I.

It happened about three months ago, and I immediately did what any mature, vaguely intelligent and recently single man would do in similar circumstances. I drank an enormous amount of whisky. And wine. And beer.

Once I had finished battering my liver like a Mars Bar in Glasgow, I awoke to find myself 'back on the scene'. I should clarify at this point that the last time I was 'on the scene', the line "Who Let The Dogs Out?" was being heard for the first time.

As any recently-singled person will tell you, I have been asking myself the usual questions: will I ever meet the right person for me? Where does one go to meet the right person for me? Will anyone ever think I am the right person for them?

And as any amputee will tell you, I have been asking myself some slightly more unusual questions too: when is it an appropriate time to tell someone I have an artificial leg? What will they think when I tell them? Where does one go to find someone who is OK with a one-legged comedian?

And, from another perspective, here's a question I have also been pondering: what must it be like for a woman to meet a guy at a bar, and find out that he has an artificial limb? More to the point: what must it be like for a woman to go home with a guy, and then find out he has an artificial limb?

I place myself in the shoes of a young female lady, who has ventured out on the town to celebrate Katrina's hen's night, met a young male man, struck up a conversation, laughed, made him laugh, flirted, maybe danced a little, and eventually decided to ditch the girls and head back to his place for a fling. A bit of fun. A good time. You know ... a drunken one night stand.

I can only imagine the thoughts running through her head the next day as she awakes in an alcoholic daze, scanning the room in a desperate attempt to remember how she got here, where here actually is, and who is sharing here with her. We've all been there (or is it here?) - let's not deny it.

Her vision, however blurry, encompasses a bedside table with obscure reading material, a foreign set of keys, and a digital clock that screams: "Thank God this isn't a work day". The floor looks like the bargain bin of a clothing shop - men's and women's jeans strewn across a collared shirt, a pair of high heels, two sports socks and a handbag.

Slowly the human camera pans to rest on an upright object, about fifteen inches in height, seemingly standing of its own accord. As the lens focuses, it becomes apparent that the upright object in question is in fact ... could it be ... it looks like ... it is ... A LEG. A FULLY UPRIGHT, TOTALLY STANDING, REPLICA HUMAN LEG.

As far as I'm concerned, any woman in that situation should have every right to think, even if only for a moment, "Oh My God, what kind of freak have I picked up? Was I drinking at a bar for circus performers? Or was he so keen to get out of here that he actually chewed his own leg off rather than wake me up? I know I was legless last night, but this is ridiculous"

I have no idea what it must be like to wake up next to someone missing a limb. I have no clue what kind of reaction a woman in that situation is likely to have. And I don't know exactly what words would spring next from the mouth of a typical female lady.

I do promise you, however, that I intend to research the topic diligently. It may take a while, and I may have to survey a broad cross section of the female community, but eventually I will find an answer to this most intriguing question. All in the name of research, of course.

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