Saturday, 13 April 2013

Eye witness testimony is not always reliable.

Micky Birnbaum is one of my favourite neighbours.  She and I often encounter each other as we walk our dogs.

Micky and I have seen each other on at least 1,500 occasions since I moved here in 2006.

We saw each other again this morning, alongside our mutual neighbour Betty.

Micky complimented me on my beard, saying that it suited me well, and that she was glad that I had decided to grow it.

I told Micky that I’d had a beard since 1975.  She did not believe me.

I told her a second time that my beard dated to 1975.  She replied “no”.

After my third assertion of my 38 year old beard, our mutual neighbour Betty intervened. She said “if Michael says that he has had a beard since 1975 he must be right, after all it’s on his face”.


Thanks Betty! 


But it’s so odd that Micky (who I have known since 2006) had never before noticed my beard, even though she had seen it for at least 1,500 times.


Thereby is an illustration of the un-trustworthiness of “eye witness” testimony.


(In truth I grew my beard in 1975.  I shaved it off in 1983 and hated what I saw, so I immediately grew it again, as a result of which I was beardless for less than a month.)

I am so happy to be bearded. I cannot imagine my chin sans hair.


Me darlin’ brother Martyn and I are proud to be semi- hirsute Poveys.

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