Alibi V.29 No.33 • Aug 13-19, 2020 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: United Kingdom

Odds and Ends

A man grew a penis out of his arm to replace the one he lost to an infection. In an interview with The Sun, British mechanic Malcolm MacDonald explained that he lost his penis after a long-term perineum infection developed into sepsis. The condition turned his fingers, toes and penis black, and the penis eventually fell off. Professor David Ralph, a penile reconstruction expert at London’s University College Hospital, built a new penis for MacDonald out of a skin graft from the man’s left arm. For MacDonald, the medical miracle has been a mixed bag. Since 2014 he’s been waiting to have the newly grown appendage removed from his arm—where it is still attached. MacDonald has nicknamed the penis “Jimmy” and seems able to see the humor in his situation. “Of course it is mad—having a penis on your arm,” he told reporters. “Not even I am used to it. But when you think about it, it’s actually amazing. That they can make me a new penis at all is incredible—but that they can build it on my arm is mind-blowing. It looks like something out of a weird sci-fi comic. But it’s my chance at a normal life.” He said he hopes to have the final procedure performed later this year. During the operation, surgeons will remove the penis from his forearm and attach it to his groin. To enable “mechanical erection,” a tube and a saline pump will be attached internally.

An acclaimed Irish novelist accidentally featured fictional creatures from the video game series The Legend of Zelda in his recent historical novel. The Guardian reports that an astute reader of John Boyne’s A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom noticed what they believed to be an homage to the video game series. During a scene in which the novel’s narrator attempts to poison Attila the Hun, it’s pointed out that the compound being used was made from “an “Octorok eyeball” and “the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms.” These ingredients seemed to be references to the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but writer Dana Shwartz had another theory. “While John Boyne was doing a perfunctory google search for how to dye clothes red,” she wrote on Twitter, “he found a site listing monster parts and accidentally put them in his Very Serious book. I am very embarrassed for him and this is my nightmare but it’s also very funny.” Boyne responded to the accusations, confirming that he was neither a fan of the game nor of video games in general. “I’ll leave it as it is,” he wrote in response. “I actually think it’s quite funny and you’re totally right. I don’t remember, but I must have just Googled it. Hey, sometimes you just gotta throw your hands up and say ‘Yup! My bad!’ ” Boyne said he will be adding the game to the acknowledgments page in future editions.

Dateline: Washington

Psychics from Portland are offering to find “lost weed” in Maine for a fee. According to WJBQ in Portland, Wash. the state of Maine has legalized the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana but hasn’t legalized recreational sales or gifting of the drug yet. This leaves cannabis users in a bind, but a Portland-based company has reportedly found a solution. Marijuana company Incredibles.me says it’s offering a brand new psychic service for Maine residents and visitors. “So under your scenario you are in Maine vacationing, living, etc. … and you lost your weed,” the company wrote on its website. “Oh no! Who do you call? The Incredibles.me Psychic Service! We have psychics roaming all over Portland communicating with their deity, their spirit guides, and having religious moments of clarity. We can guarantee to find your lost weed! (For a small, but very worthwhile fee!)” The company notes that if potential clients are under the age of 21 or within 1,000 feet of a school, “maybe it is best that you lost your weed.”

Dateline: Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island accidentally issued tax refund checks signed by Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney. According to CNN 176 tax refund checks were sent to Rhode Island residents last month with the unlikely signatures in place of those of the state treasurer and controller. Most of the checks were related to sales tax and corporate tax credit refunds. Rhode Island Department of Revenue Chief of Staff Jade Borgeson told reporters that the invalid signatures were misprints caused by a glitch in the state’s check-printing system. Borgeson said Mickey and Walt's signatures came from the Division of Taxation's test print files and were accidentally included on the real checks. “The division is continuing to proactively contact impacted taxpayers to remedy the error and apologizes for any inconvenience the error may have caused,” Borgeson said. The Rhode Island Department of Revenue asked that taxpayers who received any of the misprinted checks contact the agency. The checks have reportedly been voided, and corrected ones were issued last week.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.