My eye-teeth for a degree

June 20, 2003

Sean Gerrie hopes to pay off his student debts by offering shares in his body. His website offers visitors the chance to "rent" his body parts for as little as £1 a go.

After one week, his site, www.seanyg.com, had had 18,000 hits and numerous cash pledges. Mr Gerrie, 19, who is studying internet computing at Northumbria University, said: "It's been a frenzy. I've been contacted by people as far away as Australia, Norway, Israel, Sweden and Canada."

Mr Gerrie was inspired by the Save Karyn website, which allowed its shopaholic creator to pay her $25,000 debts through the kindness of strangers. "I decided to inject some bizarre humour into my website," Mr Gerrie said. "I think of it like a creative street performance that makes people laugh rather than something that merely plays on their sympathy."

What can you get for your money? £1 gets you a strand of Mr Gerrie's hair or one arm - although both are now on loan; for a fiver you can get an ear, nose or one blue eye - the other is already taken; £10 will secure you a hand for six months. In return you get a certificate of ownership, pictures and regular updates from Mr Gerrie about what "the part" has been up to.

Mr Gerrie stresses that "owners" do not have permission to track down body items or to try to take them away. "The winner may get in touch once a week and find out how his/her body part(s) are. You may not demand sexual pleasure with any of my body parts - my girlfriend said so."

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