A mechanical rice picker was a farm implement used on Earth for harvesting rice, or so James T. Kirk claimed to an early 20th century police officer in an attempt to explain Spock's oddly shaped ears.

In Kirk's improvisation, he told the police officer who caught him and Spock stealing clothes that the "obviously Chinese" Spock got his head stuck in such a device as a child. An American missionary had to use his plastic surgery skills to save Spock's life, with the unfortunate side effect of adding points to the patient's ears. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

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