Eat Your Heart Out

Image from

Mechanisation is the key, so they said. Climate change, wars and crop failure have made food so scarce that the adverts really made sense to me. Mechanise. It’s the only way.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes — I love that ad. The jolly jingle just hits the spot. I know it’s all about hearts and minds, persuading people to make uncomfortable choices in their own best interest, but I really like it.

So I did my feet. A perfectly serviceable, low-end pair of mechanical feet.

I didn’t just jump into anything without thinking. I went on ChopChat and asked around because it’s a big decision to cut my feet off. OffCut8994 was really helpful — useful advice, links to the best feet suppliers. And Hopalong73331 is an absolute goldmine of information. Really, the whole elective amputation community was great, apart from SurSelfie77. Ignore him.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes…

With my old feet gone, my dietary requirements are reduced and I can eat my own feet. Perfect. Except there’s not a lot of meat on feet, and honestly, my feet didn’t need much dietary support, so it wasn’t much of a gain. My new left foot squeaks — which is OK because Hopalong73331 warned me about that, and told me the right grade of oil to buy.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes — I missed the point of the ad. It’s not just hearts and minds, but major body parts that are the issue. Feet are just the tip of the iceberg — nine-tenths of the calorie consumption is elsewhere.

I got my legs done next. I know I could have done it in stages, cut off at the knees first, then go the whole hog, but I thought it would be easiest in one go. Best to be bold. Without my legs, my whole dietary requirement baseline has shifted and there was plenty of meat on my bones. I’ve still got half my left thigh in the freezer.

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes — the jolly jingle is misleading, but also quite literal. It turns out that I missed the fine print. In the battle for hearts and minds, they put in a bulk-discount offer. Looking back, OffCut8994 mentioned it, but I wasn’t paying enough attention.

When they say mechanisation is the key, they really mean you to go all the way. The less meat on your bones, and the fewer bones, the less food dependency. I know there’s still that thigh in the freezer, but I’m going to do my arms next. I’ve always been prone to biting my nails, but I’ve been looking at my fingers and thinking about a rich, peppery sauce, or perhaps some garlic. If I’d done that from the start, I could have saved a bundle of cash — three limbs, amputate the fourth one for free. I could have saved enough cash to buy a spare pair of feet.

Hearts and minds. I’m sold. I’m mechanised. I’ve been reading about the latest developments in artificial hearts. With no arms and legs to support, I can use a really small one. It’s in the new advert.

You put your left leg in…

It’s settled. I’m going to eat my heart out, but only a little bit at a time. I don’t need so much food now. Unless I sell my meat. The price of batteries is extortionate, and the one in my right leg is failing.

You put your left leg in…

About “Eat Your Heart Out”

I wrote this for the #BlogBattle writing prompt in December 2018. The prompt was “Heart” and as so often happens, my orthogonal approach went completely sideways.

My more light-hearted monthly blog Writing On The Edge, is devoted to whatever entertained or annoyed me — usually the animals around the farm.

You can find some of my other stories here on Medium with Lore Fiction or check out my novels Hell of a Deal and Road To Hell on Amazon.

Mark Huntley-James