Since I was born in Missouri but grew up in Kansas, I can claim either one as my “home state.” This week, I’m claiming Missouri.
From Lawrence, Kansas, comes the story of Ezekiel Rubottom (which is really a name more suited to the Ozarks) and his foot. Rubottom, described as “an artist, recovering methamphetamine addict and occasional hip-hop master of ceremonies,” was born with a clubbed foot and says he has had medical problems with the foot all his life. This past summer, an infection developed that became so severe doctors decided the foot should be amputated.
Afterwards, the foot went where amputated body parts belong — in a bucket on your front porch. Rubottom asked to keep the foot and the hospital agreed. A hospital official said that such requests are not unheard of, and that while “it’s unusual that someone would want a foot . . . it’s within their rights because it’s theirs.” Rubottom was, however, required to keep the foot in formaldehyde, which he has done. Being an artist, he also added other objects including a porcelain horse and a can of beer to the bucket, to make what he called “a collage of myself.” Maybe that has more to do with being a recovering meth addict than being an artist.
Oh, he also removed two of his former toes to give to friends.
Police got involved after a local child reported seeing the Collage of Rubottom, with a human foot in it. Officers who went to the home found the foot, and since the rest of Rubottom was not around, they decided to confiscate it to make sure no crime had been committed. When Rubottom showed up to claim his part, he signed a release allowing police to see his medical records and they then returned the foot.
Rubottom said he was not upset over the incident. “It’s cool,” he said. “It’s all good. Now I’ve got my foot back. That’s all I wanted.”