Theodore Becker is sitting across from me, laying into a Boost chocolate bar with gusto, holding it in his right hand. His right hand, however, looks a little different to yours or mine.
Becker’s right arm has a second forearm. Or a third arm segment. Essentially, it’s almost 150 per cent as long as a normal arm, because he has two elbows. He has three arm joints.
“It’s proven really useful, actually,” Becker tells me. “ My friends are all really skint because they’ve got to worry about food and transport and rent and all that. But food’s out of the equation for me.”
What does he mean by that? “Well… I just take food from vending machines.”
He first discovered the nifty ability to reach deep into vending machines in primary school.
“I had bought an Icy Pole from one of the machines at the shops near my school – but it got stuck. Like any sensible person, I got down on my knees and stuck my hand in to try and retrieve it.”
For any normal-limbed person, this quest is usually a futile one. But that day, Becker was able to rescue his icy treat. Fast forward to now, and his entire diet is vending machine-harvested.
“Sometimes I worry about the lack of substantial nutritive value in the majority of my food — most of my carbs come from Twisties and those weird apricot yoghurt muesli slices — but then, I reckon most of my peers aren’t eating much better than I am anyway. It’s instant noodles all the way down.”
With the money that he saves by eating only slightly stale chips and peanut M&Ms procured with his special arm, Becker actually gets to splurge sometimes on healthy food. He has an especial fondness for portobello mushrooms.
And what’s next for Becker? “I have considered going into vet science — with the nimbleness for reaching and grabbing I’ve developed, I think I’d be pretty good at delivering cow babies.”