Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And you thought you had it bad

Shocking tales of birth deformities!

If you thought you had a bad day, consider this man:

'Peter' (not his real name) has been deformed from birth. He has been born with a generic black bar across his face, obscuring important facial features, and making him effectively indistinguishable from shady con men who appear on tabloid television shows.

"It's been hard," confesses 'Peter' in an exclusive interview with WTFF. "Very hard. Every time I went for a job interview, employers would immediately single me out as 'that guy with the black bar across his face. Very probably a criminal.' I began to wish that they could look beyond the black bar, and see that I had a very impressive resume to back up my application!"

Although eventually securing long-lasting employment for the Department of Workplace and Training, 'Peter' admits that his facial deformities have affected every part of his life.

"Even as a kid, I was singled out in the playground as the one most likely with criminal connections. Nobody would want to play Chasie with me. And they kept on accusing me of cheating in hide and seek!"

'Peter' has also had substantial difficulties in forming long-lasting relationships, and apparently family get-togethers remain 'difficult' and 'fraught'.

"I mean, sure. Mum doesn't think I'm a criminal," admits 'Peter'. "But every now and then, I catch her looking at me in a very suspicious manner. She knows I can't help looking the way I can... but she's only human I guess. But that doesn't make it any easier."

'Black bar face', or, as it is called in formal medical jargon, 'black bar face syndrome', is notoriously difficult for doctors to operate on. "Children are born with the black bar attached to the front of their cerebellum," says Doctor Lieu, of Sydney Children's Hospital. "So we can't just remove the bar. There's no easy way to fix them of this deformity, like cosmetic surgery. It can't be done."

When asked, 'Peter' informs us of several conversations he has had with his doctor. "At one stage, the doctor said he might be able to lessen the severity of my condition. He could operate on my face so that, instead of having a black bar over it, it could be pixellated instead. That would downgrade me from tabloid con man to member of a witness protection program."

Unfortunately, the trouble with looking like someone from a witness protection program, 'Peter' was told, was that he could actually be mistaken as someone from a witness protection program. "Which could be quite dangerous".
"So for now, I'm just going to have to stay like this." continues 'Peter'.

'Peter' finishes his coffee in the cafe we have been talking, and walks to the front door. As he reaches the door, two young boys who are about to come in look up, see his face, and shrink back in fear. 'Peter' puts his hands in his pocket and trudges away. It's just another day for him. Just another day.


Ampersand Duck said...

He should move to Canberra. We're breeding them here.

Maria said...

I have always wondered about the black bar, are the eyes the most identifiable part of the body?

If I put a black scarf around my eyes, would I be unidentifiable?

Why don't spies use the trick?

Except, of course they might be picked out as "That guy who walked around the supermarket knocking all the cans of soup over and tripping over the biscuit packets, for some reason he had a black bandage on his face. He would not be able to see very well."

TimT said...

& Duck - AIYEEEEEEEEE! Maybe it's just me, but the black bar faces and the preponderance of politicians in the ACT is just a little scary...

Maria, I guess the spies would be more interested in the fedora-over-the-eyes-with-saxophone-playing-in-the-background look. Hard to cultivate, but very impressive once you've got it.

Caz said...

If he hung colorful tassels and pretty sounding little bells at the sides, and perhaps placed a small planter of herbs along the top, people would respond more warmly.

It's all a question of injecting his personality into his black bar.

A black bar doesn't have to be unadorned.

TimT said...

Yes, I wondered if he'd ever thought about adorning his black bar. It's possible that he turned his back one day, and some street kids left graffiti on it. He didn't own up to it.

Maria said...

Maybe some witty T-shirt slogans on his black bar, even an "I [heart] NY" slogan would liven it up?

TimT said...

He could get some sponsors and put advertising up there, I suppose!

Caz said...

A bar sponsorship would be the go!

(Sorry, small joke, very very small. *Hangs head in shame*.)

Maria said...

Yes, terrible. A bar sponsorship on the bar of the bar-faced-man who looks like he ought to be behind bars!

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