The Case of the Purloined Pin

When John Wood fell on hard times and lost his home, he was forced to move his possessions into a North Carolina storage locker. When he got behind on the rent, the company auctioned off the locker’s contents. Shannon Whisnant bought Mr. Wood’s barbecue smoker and found that it held a surprise — a human leg.

It turns out that Mr. Wood had his leg amputated above the knee as a result of 2004 plane crash. He kept the severed limb in his barbecue smoker so that he could be “buried as a whole man when he died.” Now he wants to get his gam back.

Mr. Whisnant claims that he made a legal purchase of the smoker and all of its contents. He has begun making money with the appendage by charging $3 a peek to the local yokels. Insisting that Mr. Wood doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, Mr. Whisnant has threatened to hire a lawyer to protect his rights. With Halloween coming, he believes the lonesome limb will give him a leg up on the horror-show competition.

Decently, he has suggested some kind of joint custody arrangement where the two men could share in the profits. Mr. Wood calls that idea “despicable.”

I think the movie director Robert Altman aptly described Mr. Wood’s predicament when he said, “If you don’t have a leg to stand on, you can’t put your foot down.”

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  1. Woodn’t you know…