COMMENTS: No Fingers, All Thumbs

It is Friday, which means week-ending human interest features. NBC and CBS both found an artistic angle. On Assignment America, CBS' Steve Hartman told us the macabre tale of the Alabama high school art teacher and painter who had both feet and both hands amputated when she had an adverse reaction to a common blood medicine. Becky Guinn would not give up painting, however: now she holds her brushes with hooks not fingers.

The digits on Oscar Villalon's hands are not only still attached, they are the finest in San Francisco. Villalon, a San Francisco Chronicle journalist, is the city's thumb wrestling champion and has just written a how-to book The Art of the Thumb. Villalon ostensibly qualified for NBC's Making a Difference feature because he wrote the book to raise funds for 826 Valencia, a children's creative writing workshop.

The true reason appeared to be the opportunity Villalon afforded to Josh Mankiewicz to bombard us with all things thumbery: thumb wrestling is "a mano-a-mano contest"…his book is "complete with notches so that you can thumb through it"…Villalon "always wins, hands down"…he is a "bare knuckle brawler who is singlehandedly Making a Difference in a digital age."


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