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A poli (pl. polis) is a sapient being. Polis are much like humans except that polis have no external hind legs. Their leg and foot bones are contained entirely inside the butt area. They walk on their hands and bottom, wearing thick padded gloves on their hands that serve as shoes for them. (Compare this video.) They have a large pad of thickened skin called an ischial callosity on the bottom for cushioning, not unlike that of a baboon or certain macaques.[1]

  • Height: 80-90 cm
  • Defining characteristic: determination

Poli culture tends toward a can-do attitude. Don't call them cripples; they do what anyone else does, just in their own way. This extends to their unique style of hand-to-hand combat that takes advantage of their low center of gravity.

Medical problems

Walking on hands with an alternating gait leads to so-called tennis elbow. Treatment involves elbow braces and anti-inflammatory medication.[2][3] More commonly, however, they use a "tripedal" swing-through gait to bear half the weight on each hand.

With other races

When one scoots on his hands and bottom, more of his body comes in contact with the dirt on the ground.[4] For this reason, they may be considered "dirty" by others.

In areas without a lot of these people, padded gloves made for fist-walking aren't available. It takes a lot of duct tape to keep inferior (for purpose) gloves holding together.[5]

Some of them who mingle with taller races compensate for their lack of height by wearing a tall pointed or stovepipe hat.[6]

When learning to speak standard common language, they may confuse the words for "arm" and "leg", leading to a situation not entirely unlike that depicted in the strip "No legs" by Kris Wilson of Cyanide and Happiness. Compare English wrist, which resembles Swedish vrist meaning ankle.


As polis are shorter than other people, their houses tend to be smaller. The doors also open up rather than out, with a knob at the bottom. Some communities of polis have founded very long linear towns along roads and rivers.[7]

False polis

Soldiers who lose legs in combat and civilian victims of certain weapons or injuries may choose to go live with the polis.

Further information: Mark 9:45; Wikipedia:Social model of disability


See also


  1. E. Reid Ross. "6 Animals That Prove Nature Has a Childish Sense of Humor." Cracked, 2013-03-31. Accessed 2013-03-31.
  2. Spencer West. "Detected: One Elephant". Redefine Possible, 2012-05-15. Accessed 2013-10-13.
  3. Jorden Weir. "5 People Whose Major Disabilities Only Made Them Stronger". Cracked, 2013-10-13. Accessed 2013-10-13.
  4. Nick Short. "Born Without Legs: The Standard-Examiner talks to Brooke McArthur about her life." Standard-Examiner, 2011-05-18. Accessed 2013-06-15.
  5. Spencer West. "Gearing Up". Redefine Possible, 2012-06-10. Accessed 2013-10-13.
  6. Compare this image macro by nr-uk: "Only short people need tall hats"
  7. Such linear cities aren't unknown in the real world. See "The 6 Most Insane Cities Ever Planned" by Dwayne Hoover and "History of the Weird Utopia Roadtown" by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace.