Freak Show and Tell: Adult Babies, Gypsy Weddings and Bizarre ERs
Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, with so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That’s where I come in! Here’s an unflinching look back at TV’s Week in Freak Shows.
My Crazy Obsession (TLC)
Who Is This Now? Stanley.
Why Are We Watching Him? Because he’s a 31-year-old man who has spent eight hours a day, for the past 18 years, pretending to be a two-year-old baby.
How Did He Get Here? According to Stanley, his interest in dressing, eating, and defecating like a baby is “not sexual at all”; rather, it stems from a need to feel safe, which he didn’t when he was actually a child.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? It’s probably a tie between the moment he shows how he layers a baby-sized diaper inside an adult diaper for maximum coverage, and the moment he goes to a tailor to try on the adult onesie she’s custom-made for him. (It’s held together with five snaps in the crotch, guys.)
What Have We Learned? A guy acting like a baby — complete with a “mommy” he hires to look after him for a few hours — for non-sexual reasons is somehow even more unseemly than a guy acting like a baby for sexual reasons.
My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (TLC)
Who Is This Now? Nan-Girl, Margaret, and Bridget.
Why Are We Watching Them? Because each of them is about to take her First Communion, dressed in the most comically inappropriate dresses and accessories you have ever seen on a trio of pre-teen girls.
How Did They Get Here? They’re Irish Travelers; donning outlandishly provocative formalwear for special occasions is part of their cultural tradition.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? At the First Communion after-party, the girls celebrate their special day by trying out some booty-popping moves on the dance floor. Including Nan-Girl, who is nine.
What Have We Learned? Somewhere, there are false eyelashes for sale that have enormous diamante crystals stuck to them; and somewhere, there’s a woman who bought them and made her nine-year-old daughter wear them despite her sobs of protest.
Bizarre ER (Discovery Fit & Health)
Who Is This Now? David Pymer
Why Are We Watching Him? Oh, no big deal — he’s just in the ER at England’s Northampton General Hospital because his ankle bone is sticking out of his skin at a ninety-degree angle.
How Did He Get Here? He was getting a box of Christmas decorations out of his attic, slipped, and fell off the ladder.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? The grossest thing we see is HIS ANKLE BONE STICKING OUT OF HIS SKIN AT A NINETY-DEGREE ANGLE, GUYS. (Another segment of the episode features a motorcyclist whose pelvic injury had “ripped his sphincter muscles to shreds,” and we get to see an illustration of how doctors rebuilt it, including a clearly labeled “Anal Canal,” so trust me when I tell you that this ankle had some competition in the gross department.)
What Have We Learned? If you break your ankle so badly that your bone ends up sticking out of your skin, doctors may have to hammer a 12-inch nail into it that will remain there until you die, so try not to fall off any ladders — particularly if you don’t happen to live in a country with socialized medicine.