I was playing with my new AP news reader app on my iPhone yesterday (yes, I know I’m a big geek…) when I stumbled across an intriguing headline - “NY man loses prosthetic leg while skydiving“.  The article details the story of Scott Listeman of Poughkeepsie, NY who lost his prosthetic leg during a recent skydiving trip.  Apparently his leg flew off as he jumped from the plane, but before the parachute opened.

While the loss of Mr. Listeman’s leg, the first time, is undeniably tragic, it seems to me that being down one limb already and having a track record for losing them, he might be wise to avoid any activities that could result in the loss of his remaining limbs, or – I don’t know - HIS LIFE!  Is this not the stuff of a Darwin Award?

Thinking about Mr. Listeman’s story, it occurred to me that you don’t often see stories about female skydivers, let alone stories involving prosthetic legs AND women skydiving.  I know women are out there doing it  – hopefully without prostheses involved – but, largely, I think the activity is testosterone-fueled.  Only guys would find fun in hurling themselves out of an airborne plane, falling to the ground using a flimsy piece of nylon to slow their descent and then doing the whole darn thing over again.  Only men would be foolish enough to mistake cheating death for entertainment. 

Women, on the other hand, are sensible creatures who tend to avoid doing things that could kill them or ruin their hair.  And if you’re a woman in the 35 + club, like moi, you may feel you’ve learned your lesson about the dangers of skydiving from watching Jamie Sommers (aka the Bionic woman) nearly kill herself in that dreadful skydiving accident.  The subsequent surgeries for her bionics looked like a big ‘ole pain and the post-op trauma she suffered most certainly resulted in the destruction of her relationship with bionic hunk, The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin.  I know their story killed skydiving as a hobby for me.  Besides, most women would never voluntarily participate in a life or death activity that required someone knowing their true weight.   There’s enough potential embarassment and humiliation woven into the fabric of our everyday lives without us going out of our way to seek it out, thank you very much.

As for Mr. Listeman and his missing leg, the article states that he remains optimistic about its return and that he’s sure “it will show up eventually.”  Despite his belief that his leg will “show up”, he is distributing flyers in the hope that someone will recognize his missing prosthesis and call him.  I think odds of him being reunited with his leg are probably good.  After all, how many prosthetic legs could there possibly be lying around upstate NY, sans owners?  And how many men would be foolish enough to go skydiving wearing a prosthetic leg, anyway?  

Hm.  Never mind.  I think I already know the answer.

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