Dr. Thorpe: It must be hard to find an albino Rasta model to pose for your Halloween costume catalogue, but I would hope that there would at least be enough choices that you wouldn't have to pick the guy with the gross little claw-hand.

Zack: Hey, models with deformities need work as much as anyone. I remember this brave lingerie model with her skin turned inside out. I mean, I don't know if she was actually brave, but she had so few positive traits that I am calling her brave for being alive.

Dr. Thorpe: Deformed people who milk their deformities to get work aren't brave, they are cowards. A brave deformed person would sit in a dark closet where he or she would not disturb the functional people. Accepting your station is the bravest thing of all.

Zack: Yeah, I really resent Stephen Hawking. I mean sure, glad you're a genius or whatever dude, but could you go do your science in a dank basement somewhere? You're totally harshing the vibe in the lab here. Whenever I want to do my robot voice I feel totally self-conscious and it's just not fun anymore.

Dr. Thorpe: Yeah, and when you go "I AM ZACK BOT" all the other scientists shoot you dirty looks and go "that's not appropriate in the lab, Zack," and you go "where the hell is a robot voice more appropriate than in the lab?"

Zack: The thing about this guy is that this is probably his normal daily wear. People with deformities generally don't draw any attention to them. Like you never see people in wheelchairs riding around in giant gold plated wheelchairs with flashing lights and a boom box. You never see people with cleft lips putting a bunch of lipstick on or people with that disease that turns your skin gray out tanning.

Dr. Thorpe: He just likes having that little safety net. When people look at him and go "yeesh, what a freak," he has the option of assuming that they're not talking about his claw.

Zack: Yeah, like the "eccentric people" who "act all crazy" but are really just socially awkward and try to focus on their eccentricity to give themselves a character other than being a loser. "Oh no, I'm not a teenage girl with clinical depression, I am a totally out-there weirdo. I like dolls with their heads cut off and striped knee-socks and mascara."

Dr. Thorpe: But still, he looks sort of confrontational about his claw hand. He could have stood the other way, so it's less in the picture, but he's putting it right out there for everyone to see. I think he just wants everyone to get over his claw hand, and he thinks that if he just puts it right out there, people will get used to it. Maybe at parties he gets it out and wiggles it around and goes "who wants baaack scraaaatchesssss?" And everyone kind of pretends to laugh and draws their bodies in like rape victims.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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