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hed tailtail
Worcester Daily Spy, February 14, 1897. 1) Is it just me, or has the artist given his subject an oddly provocative, come-hither-and-deal-with-it expression? Granted, he does boast an 18-inch appendange, but what’s anybody going to with that? 2) The hooded figure in the background: is that meant to be his weeping mother? merged

So, he loves his mom and is a bit of an introvert. How bizarre and atavistic is that?? tail3

Poor dude: born in the South and haplessly plunged into the Darwinian debate. I wonder what his own position was.



  1. We’re Here, We’re Weird, Deal With It! Starring Joaquin Phoenix coming soon to a cineplex near you.

    • Yeah: Joaquin kinda funny.

  2. Interesting note that it’s pretty much taken for granted that the tail “could have been removed without any trouble, and with no harm to the child” shortly after birth. When the other doctor states that tails are usually “amputated immediately after the child is born”, he very likely means that the attendant just cuts the thing off.

    Well into the 20th century, people believed that infants could not feel pain, so even major surgery was often performed on babies with only a paralyzing agent and no anesthetic. Even these days, a lot of people believe anesthetic isn’t necessary for things like newborn circumcision because the baby won’t remember it.

    Also, I don’t think it was very common for doctors to attend births in 1897, especially births in poor southern families. Most likely the birth was attended by a midwife, if by anyone (considering that the mother had already had several children).

    • I’ve heard of this argument: that a neonate’s nervous system is too primitive for it to feel pain, or it’s consciousness too disorganized, or something. And didn’t Descartes have some similar line of crap about animals?

  3. Once again with the high intelligence!

    • I know! It’s a total freak!

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