Only drink with Russian men if you’re willing to lose a body part.
Police in the southern Kemerovo region of Siberia, about 1,800 miles east of Moscow, said Friday that a hospital in the remote Gurev district alerted officials to two men who voluntarily cut off their own left ears, Vincent Van Gogh-style, after betting on who’d win an arm-wrestling competition. AFP reports they had been drinking to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas, which fell on Jan. 7, and were in agreement that the victor’s ear would be spared.
One of the men swept the first round, but his opponent won the second after insisting on a do-over. They argued about the result and, rather than settling the match with a tiebreaker round as perhaps billions of people might have done, they agreed to a draw. Respecting their rules, that meant both men had to sever off an ear.
Police issued a statement on Friday, following interviews with both men, that detailed the injuries: “One completely, and the other half off.” Officers are looking more into the matter before deciding whether to open a criminal case.