Victorian butcher Phillip Hill wants you to know a secret: he didn’t actually sell one of his kidneys in Thailand so he could buy a brand new LandCruiser.
Too bad he’s gone viral after pretending to do exactly that.
Hill, who runs Alpine Mobile Butcher in Myrtleford, has amassed international attention for what may be one of the most greatest gee-ups of our time. Taking to Facebook last night, Hill uploaded photos of a disembodied kidney, alongside images of him recovering in hospital – and shots of him standing next to a brand new 4WD.
“When you need lots of money for a new cruiser, just sell a kidney,” he wrote. “They give you $60,000 in Thailand. I’ve got one left so all good.”
Sure, there were telltale signs of a fake. Consider that hospital sign, suspiciously written in English, and the sheer unbelievability of his wild claim.
That hasn’t stopped Facebook users flocking to the gory post. At time of writing, the photos have racked up over 11,000 shares on the platform, with thousands more flooding the comment section.
Fuelled by heavy skepticism and some macabre fascination, I gave Hill a buzz this afternoon. He started chuckling before I could finish introducing myself.
Hill said the idea came to him last night after butchering a lamb for a client. He put its kidney in a blue surgical bowl, sourced from a friend who works in a Melbourne hospital, and paired the image with shots taken during his recent gastroscopy.
Fresh photos of him next to his new Toyota LandCruiser gave him the perfect punchline.
“I thought it might get a few laughs, but it’s been going ballistic,” Hill said. “My phone has been going ‘bing, bing, bing’, all day. I had to turn my data off.”
So, question answered. The post is a joke, one of many stitch-ups peppering his personal and professional profiles. Whether that fact stops people messaging him about hawking an organ overseas is yet to be seen: Hill says more than 100 people have earnestly messaged him seeking advice on how he ‘did’ it, including strangers from America who would actually swap their kidney for sixty grand.
“People are asking how I did it, where I did it. I have had people message me saying ‘I am fully, 100% serious.’ I had to say ‘It’s fake! It’s fake news!'”
Hill joked about stumbling across a new income stream, but confirmed he’ll “work the hard way” to pay it off – no organ sales needed.
“No way,” he said. “You only get one body.”
That might come as good news to his family, who were in on the joke from the start. Hill said he intends to issue a follow-up post for everyone else tonight. Until then, there are more lambs to butcher, and even more people to prank.