|An ad for a fake artificial limb.|
Could the hottest Christmas gift this year be the fake artificial limb? Chicago Express Prosthetics hopes so.
“Now you don’t have to be veteran, diabetic, or have an unfortunate accident in order to enjoy one of our fine prosthetics.” Said Paul Kramerson, owner of CEP.
The limbs are actually plastic covers that can be placed over an arm or a leg. CEP makes standard sizes that can be ordered on their web site. They will, for an undisclosed fee, create custom “limbs” for walk-in customers.
“Sure you can put a tattoo on your arm.” Said Kramerson. “But you can do so much more with our covers. We can add an iPod holder, spell-out your name with embedded fake diamonds, or add sound activated lights. Our old customers wanted prosthetics that bended in with their bodies. The next generation of customers can expect a fuller, more entertaining experience with our fake artificial limbs.”
Kramerson hopes the plaster the Web with ads by Friday, and start taking web orders by Cyber Monday. He added that he already has several “high profile orders.”
“We’ve had several orders from up and coming rappers who’ve ordered our covers.” Said Kramerson. “Their fans will think they really lost a limb, and that will give them instant credibility. Sure Fifty-cent was shot, but he still has his limbs. Plus his tattoos won’t compare to our pimped out fake limbs!”
The idea for fake artificial limbs came from Jamie Henderson, a resident prosthetist at CEP. According to Henderson, she was along when an unusual visitor stopped by the office.
“He still had all of his limbs.” Said Henderson.
The visitor, according to Henderson, asked to be “pre-measured” for an artificial limb. When she asked him why, he replied that he was going to saw off his left leg.”
“He assured me that a web site taught him how to do it safely.”
When asked why, the visitor said he felt his leg was “alien” and no longer a part of him.
“It’s a prosthetist’s worst fear.” Said Henderson. “A patient with Body Integrity Identity Disorder. He was right in front of me, and there was no one in the office I could ask for help.”
After failing to persuade the visitor to accept his leg, Henderson offered a compromise.
“I had some old parts from my other projects. I didn’t have much time, so clubbed together a cover for his leg. When I put it on him, I said that he could now enjoy the stiffness and discomfort of an artificial limb without the risk of an amputation. If it looked alien to him, than he could accept that it wasn't part of him. ”
The next day, the visitor called Kramerson.
“He kept going on about how he loved his leg again.” Said Kramerson. “He also said that his friends wanted their own covers. At first, I wanted to have a long talk with Jamie, but then I recognized the beginning of a viral marketing campaign!”
If the covers catch on this Christmas season, Kramerson hopes that the mass produced parts will also lead to higher profit margins for their real prosthetic products.
“I wouldn’t have handled that patient the way Jamie did.” Said Kramerson. “But thanks to her quick thinking, I’m going to own a very profitable company. Bring on the Medicare cuts! I’m ready!”
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