What’s your forearm?

Note: No mammals were harmed in the making of this article

An old Craig David song inspired the title of this week’s post. Back when MTV was still a thing, his song, ‘What’s your flava’ got a lot of airtime. Don’t be confused though; this entry shares only the title. A few years back, I did this short creative writing course. Most of the group was unremarkable, save for Imogen. She came in the second week of class. Her missing forearm was the first thing we noticed about her. Before I continue, I’d like to stress that I try not to discriminate against the meek. Being handicapped doesn’t preclude you from accomplishing great things. However, I must admit that some shortcomings are more pronounced than others.

The class

The class was all about experimentation. Our tutor encouraged us to try new writing styles and gave us weekly homework. A number of us would then print out copies of our work. We would distribute said copies around the room. Finally, we would read out our work. I got to do so twice during term. I must admit that it was a nerve wracking experience. For about half of the course, I ignored Imogen. Although I was curious to know about what happened to her forearm, I knew that wasn’t a good idea. Nothing screams faux pas more than asking a girl about what happened to her missing forearm.

Limb-it-less’

Speaking of missing body parts, there’s this Aussie who’s become the face of the movement. Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs but his engaging and cheery persona attracts women like bees to honey. He was featured on Sixty Minutes. A day later, while waiting at the barber shop, he was the talk of the oldies. While browsing at Dymock’s, I even found out that he’d penned a memoir. There was an ep of Parks and Recreation where Chris (Rob Lowe) talks about this book, Limb-it-less. The read featured a man with no arms and legs but became a world beater or something. Incidentally, Vujicic’s memoir is also titled Limitless.

Aside from Vujicic, Dylan Alcott is another torchbearer. He’s a household name in Oz after winning all those grand slams. Unlike Nick, he has limbs. However, he’s a quadriplegic, which makes his accomplishments even better. He was crowned as the 2022 Australian of the Year. Now retired, he can rest assured that his achievements merit him a place in the pantheon of greats. In all these example, I can’t help but admire their resolve. In spite of the challenges, of having missing limbs, they managed to deliver. Others may have a complete set of limbs but either don’t make the most of it or use them for the wrong purposes.

Scrabble and Scrivener

Later on, both of us were early to class. I jammed with her. I learned that she was doing her master’s at a top uni. She was currently working on her thesis. I asked her which writing software she was using. She said Scrivener. She then asked me the same question, as I had been juggling two projects. Storyist, I replied.

‘What’s that?’

I told her it was just like Scrivener but had a focus on fiction, in particular, novels and stories.

‘It doesn’t have as much templates as Scrivener. That one’s packed with features.’

She admitted that she enjoyed playing scrabble. I told her that I was a two-time champ in school. I’ve been contesting the board game with another peer after class. I told Imogen that she liked to make up words and check the dictionary. Imogen said that she was strictly by the book. Once, I matched up against her after class. I won, but it was a close fight. After this, the three of us faced off. I was first to use up all my tiles. This meant that they had to subtract their letters. It was a nail biting finish.

A word on the title

As a side note, I wanted to title this post as Who’s your forearm. This is a nod to Who’s your daddy. I quickly put together though that the current post title makes more sense. While Christmas Day is about our loved ones, we will have another two days to unwind. Boxing Day is about two things: shopping and sports. Cricket fans will flock to the stadium for the Boxing Day Test. Basketball watchers will tune in to the NBA’s Christmas Day treat. Those who would do neither will be snapping up bargains around Sydney. David Jones will open at seven am while Myer and Westfield will welcome shoppers at eight. This is far from a downtown affair with other suburban centres joining in on the fun. From North Ryde to Parramatta, Bondi to Hornsby, there’ll be no shortage of berserk bargain hunters. Experts forecast that this would be the busiest Boxing Day since the pandemic commenced.

From Topher to my dear readers, I wish you all a cracking Yuletide season and a rosy 2023.

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