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By Hook or by Crook

When I was six I was introduced to my first hook.

Interestingly, it belonged to the headmistress of my infants school and yes it scared the crap out of everyone, pupils AND teachers alike.

You see, when you successfully read a book and could answer questions on it (Example: 'why did Jack and Jill go up the hill?'), you were sent to her office to receive a treat.

On this particular occasion it was a couple of Quality Street chocolates. I went with a girl called Sharon who had also read the same book and doubtless hoped I'd be her first boyfriend.

When we arrived outside the headmistress's door, we politely knocked and entered. Let's call her Miss Ratchet for the sake of argument, smiled, welcomed us in, and then having congratulated us on being so brainy, picked up the large, family tin, raised her right arm and with all the brutish strength of a seasoned slaughterhouse butcher, punctured a hole in its lid.

Tugging slightly to tear it open, she then allowed us to slide our hands through the torn and shiny

'wound' to retrieve our hard-earned reward.

I fancied her.

Not Sharon, but Miss Ratchet. And it was all because of her hook...

I saw a guy on the bus on the other day, and he had a rubber, prosthetic hand. And I don't mean one of those 21st Century, all digital, electronic marvels. I'm referring to what was simply a shop window dummy's hand, lying flat against his thigh, shiny, inert, dead.

God it gave me the creeps. And made me wonder too what it's purpose was? Surely far better to stick a modern-day, all-singing, all-dancing appliance to what was left of the forearm than something as lifeless and clammy as that?

True, prosthetics today are a marvel. And I dig the fact people have stopped trying to disguise them. After all, which would you rather have caress you? Something that glides like an inflated balloon across your back or feels like a garden rake?

Tough call I'm guessing.

Life is all about choices and this year has taught me that when you're less-abled, it's far more dignified and, yes, sexy to be honest about your impairment than trying to wear a toupe.

There was a photo a few weeks ago that went viral - it was of a beautiful young woman, posing in a typical glamour shoot (stockings, lacy undies etc) while wearing her leg bag. And damn if it wasn't sexy (which of course was precisely her point).

Brilliant! And full marks to her for going so deliciously public.

Indeed, I think it's astonishing that more and more individuals with physical aberrations are now choosing to put these on show via modelling and performance-related mediums.

It's ballsy, it's eye-catching, and it's forged out of devil-be-damned bravery.

More power to their elbows I say... so long of course as they aren't rubber.