Only in America: It seems some bloke in the 'States has gone and had his thumbs surgically altered so he can use his iPhone properly. Have you ever heard of anything more ludicrous?

In a triumph of materialism over evolution, the North Denver News is reporting that 28-year old Thomas Martel has had his thumbs reduced in size so he can use his iPhone accurately.

This is tantamountly insane, but it's the US and the news report claims it to be true. In a paen to Victor Meldrew, of course, I just "don't believe it".

Apparently this bloke popped along to his local surgeon to have his thumbs put through a spot of advanced surgery, called (allegedly) "whittling'.

"From my old Treo, to my Blackberry, to this new iPhone, I had a hard time hitting the right buttons, and I always lost those little styluses," Martel (if he exists) is alleged to have said.

"Sure, the procedure was expensive, but when I think of all the time I save by being able to use modern handhelds so much faster, I really think the surgery will pay for itself in ten to fifteen years. And what it's saving me in frustration - that's priceless."

The procedure has left the man with a pair of teeny-weeny effete thumbs, and while he has no problem using his iPhone, he's now having difficulty opening spaghetti sauce jars.

No doubt he'll have some kitchen labour-saving contraption cunningly crafted to extend at will out of his stomach.

While the story underlines concerns at the usability of electronic devices, the notion that an apparently sane human being would have his thumbs chopped about with just to make a phone call fills me with existential anxiety at the sheer futility of it all.