In 1986, the Canadian professional gambler had silicone implants to win a bet. What's stranger is that he's turned down $10,000 to have them removed.
What would you do for $100,000? Would you go to work naked? Possibly. Let a stranger have sex with your partner? Maybe. How about have a pair of soft, womanly 38C-sized silicone breasts implanted in your otherwise manly chest? Almost definitely not. That, my friend, is what separates me, you and the rest of the world’s male population from Brian Zembic. In 1986, the Canadian professional gambler got a boob job just so he could win a wager with a friend. What makes this story even more bizarre is that today, a decade later, Zembic is still stacked. He’s even just turned down $10,000 to have them taken out.
When I catch up with Brian in Las Vegas he’s pretty chipper and with good reason. He’s just taken $17,000 off Doyle Brunson who bet he couldn’t beat an ex-world champion at ping-pong. The game’s result is all the more impressive, insists Zembic, when you consider his handicap. “The breasts get in the way of the swing,” he says. Known as The Wiz to his pals because of his penchant for magic, Zembic is the undisputed king of proposition bets. He has gained a global reputation for doing almost anything, no matter how dangerous or downright silly, just as long as he’s offered the right amount of moolah.
In pursuit of the green stuff, Zembic has undertaken some ridiculous tasks. For $7000 he spent a week living in a bathroom – a feat made all the more testing by his mate Fat Joe who popped round regularly just to take a dump. Another bet saw him sleep the night in muggers mecca, Central Park, with $20,000 of his own money strapped to his ankles. Then there was the time he lived for a week in a cardboard box opposite his local backgammon club where all his friends would watch and laugh at him through the windown. “Occasionally, they’d come and kick the box to see if they could get me out,” says Zembic who, having since collected his $25,000, can see the funny side.
Despite 10 years of trying to surpass himself, Brian claims the ‘breast bet’ remains best; the most stupid he has ever accepted. Yet he still refuses to have them removed. “A friend offered me a new bet recently,” says the busty 46-year-old from Winnipeg. “I get $50,000 if I make them one cup size bigger or $10,000 if I take them out completely.” If he keeps them in, however, the rules state he will have to pay his pal $20,000.” Brian has until the end of the year before he has to make the decision but odds on he’ll keep his mammaries. “I’ve grown too attached to them,” he says fondly.
Since accepting that insane wager 10 years go, Brian has managed to build an entire career thanks to his impressive front porch. Bizarrely, everybody wants a piece of that man breast action and Zembic’s zeppelins have starred in countless documentaries, been photographed by Helmut Newton and had a book written about them called The Man with the $100,000 Breasts. There’s even a Hollywood film in the pipeline. “The guy who was Shaggy in Scooby Doo is set to play me.” he says showing an understandable lack of enthusiasm. Now he’s set to host his own TV show in which he’ll challenge the US public to ridiculous bets such as drinking a Frisbee full of beer in under 10 minutes. You might think he’s mad but Zembic reckons to date his breasts have helped him bank over half a million dollars. “I guess it’s a living, huh?” he says.
“The other day someone bet me that I wouldn’t cut off my own penis but I’ve since decided I’m not going to do it,” says Zembic, “I’ve learnt that money isn’t everything.”
This melon-based madness began on a sultry summer evening in 1996 in a midtown Manhattan gaming club. Zembic and his high-rolling, gin-playing, buddy Michael Sall were playing backgammon when an innocent little debate about implants escalated wildly out of control. Brian had been defending the decision of their friend, Maggie, who had just got hers done when Sall laid down his now historic challenge. The deal was simple: Brian would receive 100,000 big ones if he got two big ones of his own. Jokingly they hammered out the details of the deal: the breasts had to be C-cups (the same size as Maggie’s), Brian would have to foot the surgery and he’d have to keep them in for a year. Sall though his money was safe. After all, nobody’s that crazy, right? Two months later the bet was on.
There was one key factor Sall failed to take into consideration: Brian Zembic will do anything to avoid an honest day’s work. The Wiz vowed long ago never to get a proper job and has stayed true to that promise ever since. In fact, the last time he was a wage slave was back when he left high school and even then he didn’t dodged all the hard graft. “A friend and I were employed to clean the Winnipeg Convention Centre,” reminisces Brian fondly. “We were supposed to work the night shift but instead hired people to do the job for us. We paid them half our wages and slept like babies all through the night.” Since then, Zembic had been happily making his dough by playing backgammon, poker and ping-pong for high stakes. It was only when hard times suddenly struck two months after they first discussed the wager that the implants became a reality.
“The mistake I made was listening to these poker playing friends of mine,” says Zembic about the dodgy stock tip that ended up costing him a fortune. “I lost half a million on these stupid fucking stocks,” he says, still spitting with rage. “So I’d have done anything to get my money back.” Strapped for cash, his hand was forced on the breast issue. There was nothing else for it, Brian was going to have to get a pair of beautiful, bouncing butterballs.
Of course, instead of forking out the $4,500 medical fees, The Wiz did what he does best and challenged his local plastic surgeon to a game of backgammon. Two hours later the bill was paid and Brian was ready to go under the knife. Clear plastic pouches were inserted through his nipples and filled with 14 ounces of saline and then, when he woke from the anaesthetic, Brian had a rack that would rival Jordan’s. Like any man in his position, initially he was excited about the perks of being home alone with his very own funbags. The reality, however, wasn’t quite as exciting as he had imagined. “I always thought I might have got turned on by my own breasts,” he says, “but the truth is they don’t do anything for me.”
Fortunately his new assets seemed to go down far better with the fairer sex. “I was getting chi-chi three weeks after the surgery,” he says. “I guess the boobs really intrigue them. Some women want to suck on them and play with the. All the stuff guys like to do.” Which is why he started shaving his chest. “Girls like them better smooth,” he explains. Having his own hooters has even given Brian an insight into what it’s like to be a women. “You start to see what pigs we men are, the way we talk about breasts – like they’re jewellery, or a hat or something.”
The ladies aren’t the only fans of Brian’s baps though – his family have been surprisingly appreciative too. His brothers think they’re hilarious and his dad claims he’d do the same thing if someone offered him the cash and even mum is pleased. “She says I’m like the daughter she never had,” says Brian laughing. In fact, there’s only one person who has reacted badly to his man boobs. “A friend and I went to a dodgy massage parlour recently and when I dropped my towel this big, fat hooker took one look at my breasts and ran out screaming,” says Zembic, baffled. “I thought they were supposed to service any guy that comes in.”
There is one person, however, who could make Brian ditch the tits: his six-year-old daughter, Mika. At the moment she doesn’t mind her dad’s dumplings. “She says to me, “I know why you have boobs: Uncle Mike paid you money to put them in.” But, he admits he’d take them out in a minute if she started to get bullied at school. “I’ve changed a lot since I had my kid,” says Brian. “The other day someone bet me that I wouldn’t cut off my own penis but I’ve since decided I’m not going to do it,” says Zembic, “I’ve learnt that money isn’t everything.”
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