Pedants on parade

Some mothers do 'ave 'em

The road of humour can be a hard and lonely one. No-one knows that better than our very own misunderstood Kieren McCarthy.

When the poor lad wrote the recent Woman gets mobile phone stuck up back orifice, little did he know that within eight hours he'd be reduced to a jibbering wreck. The reason? Read on...

The first mistake he made when confronted with this chuckle-inducing tale of colonic catastrophe was to ask the art department for a quick picture.

This was duly supplied, cobbled together from a real x-ray and a snap of the offending Nokia 8550. Despite the frivolous tone of the article, the fact that the photo was obviously faked and that the alternative text read "Artist's impression of what doctors might have seen", it was only minutes before Simon Marshall spotted something awry:

Uh-uh, that picture looks pretty fake to me. Or would you expect an x-ray picture of a mobile phone to look suspiciously identical to a visible-light picture of one? Including the image on the lcd display?

An easy mistake to make. It's not as if the Reg makes a habit of running humour-based stories. And if that's true, then we ourselves must be the victims of a hoax. Time to start reading the job ads, according to Richard Fane:

It might have been easier to believe if you didn't include that x-ray. While the human skeleton is certainly an x-ray, the image of the phone is obviously a photograph. It has shadows and everything. If the phone were x-rayed then you'd expect to see the outline of the circuit board, the transducers and the batteries and not much of the plastic.

If it's a joke that's fine. But if you were taken in by that doctored image then you should reconsider your choice of careers.

By this time we were reconsidering - really. When we reached pedantic email number 236, we decided that decisive action was required.

Kieren then posted an addendum to the article under the heading 'Please read this if you are simple'. This contained a full explanation of the provenance of the said picture, an explanation as to its humourous purpose, and an animated 'JOKE ALERT' gif for good measure. End of story? Wrong.

It must be said that if Tom Kirk did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him:

At the bottom you state: "Incidentally, our technical correctness is indisputable. That is an X-ray of the relevant area. The phone actually is the Nokia 8550 and that is sort of the position that the phone would have been in, although probably not in such a beautifully posed way."

Technically, it is the correct area and phone. However, if you are claiming technical correctness, shouldn't it be an x-rayed phone too?

The last time we saw Kieren, he was sitting in a darkened room sobbing quietly into his hands. We hope you're all satisfied.

Sponsored: How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers