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Middle Finger Medical Maladies
Amoutation is annoying

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READ OUR FINGER UPDATE - for the latest flippin' news!

Most people don't realize that giving the finger triggers a complicated, and sometimes dangerous mechanical process in the body. It's hard to believe anything could go wrong after the flip of a successful bird, but this extreme extremity is vulnerable to a cornucopia of maladies. An evil bacteria, an inflamed joint, even a speeding train could all put an early end to a promising finger-flipping career.

But there is hope.

Doctors have been known to "accidentally" remove a finger during surgical procedures involving the gall bladder. Watch carefully.

The middle finger is a sacred digit that should be protected by any means. The International Foundation for People Without Middle Fingers (IFPWMF) provided us with a thought provoking list of ways in which people can lose, or simply lose the use of, their precious middle fingers.

The IFPWMF was founded to counsel those who have lost the use of their middle fingers to accident or disease. They estimate that there are approximately a half million Americans who lack a centralized digit on one or both of their hands, and even more who simply can not use it. This is a tragedy that mostly goes unnoticed.

Extensive reconstructive microsurgery, prothsetics and even gene therapy have improved the chance that one day people can be reunited with their missing digits. But until that day comes, doctors are still only partially successful in their treatment. Please support our group and help save a child's right to flip a steady and accurate bird!

Destroyed Fingers are Gross

JAMES DOOHAN: Gave His Finger to Hitler

Hitler Stole Scotty's Finger
June 7, 1944: A young Canadian officer fearlessly leads a company of men to storm Normandy beach under a hail of gunfire. After overrunning German positions, and personally dispatching two Nazi snipers, the man future generations would know as, "Scotty", the USS Enterprise's trusty Engineer, is ambushed. Before he can beam himself out of trouble, his body is riddled by machine gun bullets.

Luckily, for countless rabid Trekkies around the world, the faux-Scotsman was down, but not out. His only serious injury was to the middle finger to his right hand. Deciding it canna take it anymore, they amputated what was left of the digit, leaving Scotty one tube short a full bagpipe.

According to his autobiography, Beam Me Up, Scotty!, Doohan used to take special measures to hide his deficient digit, but sharp-eyed fans have caught a few glimpses. Although he is no longer self-conscious about his missing swearfinger, he has had more than one chance to regret it's loss. Especially when you get the privilege to work with an ego the size of Bill Shatner's.
Most people think that with today's modern medicine, short of a catastrophic trip to the wood shredder, it's hard to lose your middle digit.

They're wrong.

What if you woke up one morning and your finger was gone? Disappeared off the palm of your hand. What would you do? Like many Americans, you'd probably scream, "Ouch!", pick the digit up off the floor and run to the hospital.

Amputation is one of the more common dangers facing your middle fingers. Car doors, axes, firecrackers, cotton gins, and five-ton boulders can all pulverize your significant signifier into a fleshy pulp. It happens.

Rushing to the scene or a recent injury, emergency personnel usually collect the fallen finger as surgical reattachment may be a possibility. Appropriate care needs to be directed immediately to the injured digit. Above all, the finger needs to stay moist. Contact lens fluid or even a frothy soft drink can be used in the absence of water to keep the finger from drying out. Remember to avoid using a tourniquet on the stump. This can cause severe nerve damage to the stuff still attached to you and make any reattachment nigh impossible.

Once reconnected with microsurgery, a finger can be rebuilt- however, it may take a long time to heal properly. The sensory and motor nerves, once repaired, will not immediately carry the body's electrical signals to the finger. You'll need grow new nerve fibers to allow the finger to feel sensation. This nerve regeneration is very slow, and it may take months, or years, to once again raise your furious digit toward an adversary.

Snowblower InjuryThe same surgical techniques for the "sewing on" of an amputated finger have also permitted doctors to transplant tissue from one part of the body area to your hand. Hand surgeons can now take a large flap of tissue from your groin area and transplant it directly onto an injured hand that has little remaining, intact tissue left. So science is saying, in effect, if you ran your hand through a paper shredder, you might reconstruct your finger from your ball sac. The question them becomes, do you really need your finger that badly?

Farming is one of the nation's most dangerous occupations. Each year approximately 30,000 individuals working in agricultural jobs experience an injury to the fingers, hand, or wrist. Especially hazardous are grain augers. The spiral, rotating blade of this dangerous machine moves tons of grain and whatever else gets caught in the intake area up and out of the chute into a neighboring storage area.

Daily exposure to a a farm-full of powerful machines leaves farmers vulnerable to losing a limb. Welders, tractors, hoists, combines, grinders, hydraulic jacks, and enraged farm animals pose a threat of finger decimation, when used improperly. High horsepower farm equipment can not only injure the middle finger, but can pull the whole body into the device as well. A farmer's shoulder or chest can serve as a "stop" and keep the rest of the body from being pulled into the machine. In other words- Get off the farm, move to the city and get involved in pornography! You'll be much safer.

Grain Augers Don't Like Digits

Jerry Garcia was a world-renowned fat hippie guitar player of the Grateful Dead, despite the fact he was missing the critical finger-picking middle finger of his right hand. Jerry never liked to talk about it, but apparently it was chopped off by his brother with an ax when they were little. But losing a finger in childhood didn't traumatize Jerry Garcia.

"He turned a missing finger into an asset,'' says his widow, Deborah
Koons Garcia. "He decided it made him special. He was born an optimist."

When Jerry died in 1995, fans posted a poems on the web rejoicing at his reunion with his errant finger in heaven.

Boo Boo Finger
That Can Destroy Your Middle Finger

A gaunt skeleton of a man, all gray robes and rotting limbs, jingles a bell warning people of his approach. This is our unmistakable cultural memory of the leper, cast out of society because of the deadly plague he carries.

Leprosy is an ancient disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae, but to this day doctors are unsure how it spreads. This little organism is one of the world's slowest growing germs and can incubate in a human host for more than 15 years. Yet only 10% of the people exposed to the bacteria will experience any symptoms at all. Some of these unlucky bastards sprout hideous bumps and splotches, melted faces, and claw-like extremities, eventually losing all sensation in their skin. This causes unnoticed wounds to fester, and body parts to be accidentally knocked off.

During the Middle Ages, anyone suspected of carrying the disease was forced to abandon their friends and families and live in a secluded leper colony. Naturally, these lepers became a hostile, sickly group. But could a poor leper unleash his venom on the very people who turned their backs to him? Not if his middle fingers had dropped off. There was nothing left to do but wait to die.

Today, thousands of nerds are afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a severely painful malady that can cause you to lose the use of your entire wrist or hand, even after extensive surgery. What could cause such pain and suffering? Blame the innocent-looking computer keyboard and it's cuter plague-causing cousin, the mouse. "The technological revolution has outpaced human evolution. We are not biologically equipped to perform thousands of repetitive motions an hour," said Dr. Abner Bevin, Director of the Hand Rehabilitation Center at the University of North Carolina.

The QWERTY keyboard was originally designed to slow down pioneer typists so they wouldn't jam their new machinery. Today, this original layout is supplemented by 60 extra keys causing typists to stretch their nimble hands even further. Add a daily average of 17,000 friendly mouse clicks to the equation and you're stressfully repeating quite a bit. And it can only get worse.

As the disease begins, you start to go numb- sometimes described as a tingling or burning sensation over the thumb, index finger, half the ring finger and yes- even your powerful middle finger. Often patients think their hands are 'falling asleep'- but that's not the case. Unless they make drastic changes to the way they work, or even stop using their computers altogether, the pain gets worse- radiating from the hand to the wrist, to even the shoulders.

Computers are not the only villains. Any repetitive rapid movement, such as haircutting, a career of pruning large topiary, or even flipping people off at a street corner all day long can cause it. If you experience great pain if you try to flip the bird, you may want to seek medical attention immediately! For the finger's sake!

Arthritis is a generic term for a bunch of different diseases that cause pain, swelling, and restricted movement in the body's joints- including the fingers. The disease affects almost 40 million Americans, and there is no cure.

Osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis are the three most common forms of the disease. Each of these can cause you to lose the ability to hoist your central flagpole without extreme pain. Osteoarthritis deteriorates the cartilage that covers the ends of bone, potentially causing a finger shooter the intense pain of finger bone grinding against finger bone. Fibromyalgia just causes widespread pain that affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation of the finger's joint lining as part of the body's normal immune system activity. This causes the deterioration of the joint, pain and limited movement.

Arthritis doesn't only affect the old either. Millions of younger people take their daily dose of painkillers just to get through the day. To such a sufferer, it may just be easier to yell an obscenity.

Lepers Drop their Limbs

-ali taylor

The background of this page is a close up of a Mycobacterium leprae infected cells

Gangrene is a skin-rotting and life-destroying infection that occurs when a deadly bacteria prevents blood and oxygen from reaching living tissue. Gas gangrene, the most dangerous kind, can rob you of your precious middle finger- and even your life.

Gas gangrene occurs in wounds affected by bacteria living in low oxygen environments. These deadly microbes release gas and poisons into the body which cause a high fever, brown oozing pus, and gas bubbles to appear on the skin. It spreads very quickly, and can cause a rapid, painful, and somewhat embarrassing death. Think, "Help me, I'm melting!" and you'll get the idea.

Antibiotics may help, but the best way to treat gangrene is to remove the dead and infected tissue surgically with amputation. This is one instance where losing your finger is no problem especially since you're dealing with deadly pus and gas bubbles.

The Dani are a remote central New Guinea tribe that went undiscovered until the 1930's. Dani TribeswomenHidden in the valleys of mountains towering over 15,000 ft, the Dani were stuck in the Stone Age.  The tribe still used wood and stone for their weapons and tools. Today, all of their ancient practices continue, but under the watchful eye of the government. The only verboten exception is the ancient Dani ritual of ceremonial finger amputation.

The death of a man would traditionally result in the amputation of a woman relative's finger. In this primitive society, no anesthetic was used. The woman was usually distracted by being slapped in the face immediately before the axe's blow. Interestingly, this same technique is still used by some orthodontists.

Many elder Dani tribeswomen can still be spotted sporting a few fingers shy a full hand. Were they thrust into our society, they might look to a five-fingered woman's hand in envy­an envy they cannot express with modern methods.


The very act of raising a middle finger not only produces a full fledged insult, but also creates a complex physiologic response in the body which can alter the chemistry of both the sender and recipient. Expressive movements of the body start at birth and end only in death or paralysis. As the brain develops, so does the unique language of gesture.

A gesture of the hand is a synthesis of complex motor impulses. The finger is usually given in reaction to someone or something else acting in a way that causes us to be upset or angry. At the turn of the century, psychologists noted that the first organ of the body to react to stimulus is the hand- then the arm- then the shoulder. This is the exact order that the muscles contract when you give the finger. This indicates that gestures of the hand have the deepest psychological influence of all.

The word 'gesture' comes from the Latin gerere, which means to comport of show oneself, which you are certainly doing when you display the phallic finger. The senses will first perceive a stimulus which causes some form of agitation leading to rage. The vasomotor symptoms of this include a twitching of the body, heightened color of the face, quickened and deep respiration and a protrusion of the eyes and lips.

Rage is usually first detected in the face- the lips tremble and are drawn in anger. Some people start to yell. They open and close their fists. They become totally rigid and tense. Before you know it, they're making obscene gestures.

Quite simply, a maddened person perceives an action for which they deem the finger a necessity. The pituitary gland squirts hormones into the bloodstream causing tension. The brain sends a signal down the nervous system to the muscles of the hand. These muscles contract, leaving an erect middle finger to express its feelings. A lot more goes on inside your body, but the explanation is long and boring, and involves an anatomy lesson the authors' have no patience to give. For more information, go to medical school.

Billions of years of evolutionary trial and error make the vastly complicated action of 'flipping a bird' seem so effortless. The next time tension mounts and you want to deliver a digitary wallop, take a moment to reflect on the miraculous machine we call the human body.

Then stick it to them.

Fingers in Film


Foriegn Fingers


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