(Note: Scott DeSmit is out after a very valuable body part failed him last week. This column was originally published in 2016)
I think I may have passed a kidney stone. Either that, or I had a brief UTI.
Whatever it was, it hurt, but I’m a real manly man so I didn’t cry. I whimpered a lot, but I didn’t cry.
Then a few days later my knee buckled and popped. I was just standing there doing nothing.
I need a new body. Brainwise, I don’t feel old. But sometimes my body reminds me that I’m 51 and have abused my body for 50 of those years.
Fell out of trees, dumped myself skiing, hit a hurdle running track, broke a few bones here and there, been in a wicked car crash.
I eat too much and smoke too much and drink too much and I’m constantly in motion doing this and that and by the time 10 p.m. comes around I crash on the couch.
And my bones ache. I need lubrication in the morning. Like The Tin Man.
I need a new body.
Thanks to our friends in China, I may be able to get one.
This was in the New York Times last week: Dr. Ren Xiaoping (pronounced ‘Dr. Smith) is proposing a full body transplant for a 62-year-old man named Wang who was paralyzed from the neck down six years ago.
Wang is one of six people who volunteered to be guinea pigs for Dr. Xiaoping, who in 1999 assisted in the first-ever hand transplant.
He is “building a team” to prepare for the transplant.
Here’s how it goes: Remove two heads from two bodies, one of which is dead. Connect the blood vessels from the dead guy’s body to Wang’s head, insert a metal plate, bathe the spinal cord in goop that aids regrowth and sew up the skin.
Sounds like a plan, though some other doctors believe it’s impossible.
Cutting the spine, they say, cannot be repaired.
“Neurons cannot be reconnected so it’s scientifically impossible,” said a former deputy of health in China.
Never say never, is what I say.
We had hand transplants, uh, groinal area transplants and even face transplants.
Why not a full body?
We put a man on the moon, maybe, and they said that was impossible. We have the Internet, for goodness sake.
And, remember, this is China. The Chinese are brave, bold and way ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to science.
This is the country that in 2004 brought us urine therapy, where you, well, you know.
Chinese also believe in ant therapy, apitherapy, where bee venom is injected into the body. And we all know China is famous for its organ transplants.
Of course, many of the ‘donors’ donate at gunpoint or are just killed outright for organ harvest.
I don’t care. If I’m going to get a new body, I sure don’t want some guy who just got hit by a truck. I want a nice body. An intact body.
I shall require a body with longer legs. I want to be taller. Six feet will do. Not too short and not too tall where I bang my head on doorways or get the “How’s the weather up there?” jokes.
I want size 11 feet and nice calves, though the ones I have are pretty nice. I want bigger arms and hands and a flat stomach. Not a six-pack because that’s kinda gross. Just a flat stomach with a lot less hair. One that a little kid can punch and hurt his hand.
I also wouldn’t mind being able to throw a baseball 90 mph and I sure would like to try jogging so my new body must be built for running.
My new body must have knees that are impervious to kinks, pops, twists, turns and all-out failure. Same for my back.
I’m sure there are donors out there who will gladly trade bodies or be so kind as to die so that I can have theirs.
In the meantime, I will search for the perfect body and contact the good doctor in China to volunteer for his surgery.
I’m hoping he could tweak my face while he’s at it. It’s starting to droop and crack in a few places.
Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter. You can contact him at email@example.com.