Show and Tell with False Information
My seven-year-old son Owen needed something for show and tell this week and he needed it fast. We’d exhausted everything interesting in our house—NBA star Wally Szerbiak’s shoe (purchased at another school auction), a collector’s edition of baseball cards (a baby gift from my husband’s partner) and our own canine oddity—a slightly psychotic, rodent-like Chihuahua Tiki.
I saw this as the perfect opportunity to indulge my latest obsession—Siamese twin animals; or as they are properly called, conjoined twin animals.
Don’t ask—I have a morbid curiosity about Siamese twins (human or otherwise)—so wouldn’t my boy, lover of things gooey and gross, and his little 1st grade classmates, be equally intrigued?
A quick Google search revealed much more than I expected—from the grotesque twin fetuses in formaldehyde (ewww) to a more tame two headed turtle.
Sucked into this circus side show world, I clicked and clicked until I hit the motherlode Freaking News which revealed five full pages of two headed animals—dogs, flamingos, rhinos and even monkeys. I was giddy and quickly printed my freakish findings and zipped them up in Owens’s backpack.
Show and Tell was a huge —his teacher even emailed me later in the day, thanking me for bringing such a fascinating oddity to her attention. She was even considering working this topic into the class curriculum.
Days later, when I found myself on the website displaying the weird and wonderful animals, I read the fine print below the site’s name—Photoshop contests. OMG … in my rush to satisfy my prurient curiosities, I had sent my son to school with a collection of cleverly edited images for a Photoshop contest, rather than genuine evidence of “polycephalic” animals.
I am currently debating whether or not to break the news of my findings to my son. There are so few fanciful things left in his life. He already forced me to debunk Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter bunny. He also knows that pigs can’t fly … but for a few more days, I’m going to let him believe that some of them have two heads.
What would you do?