Last week saw a birthday for two of the most interesting women on the planet: March 7th was the twentieth birthday of the Hensel twins, two relatively normal-looking Minnesota college students — aside from the fact that they are so conjoined as to effectively share one (fairly normal) body from the neck down, with two heads and two distinctive personalities.
I cannot be the only male thinking that group sex is technically an inevitable part of their future (if it has not already occurred). Are related film offers already pouring in? I would imagine they could command a fair amount in that department. (Female readers are now thinking “What? Who would want to see that?” while males are thinking things like “Yeah, a friend of a friend of mine is a guy who decided he’s mainly attracted to amputees.”)
On a more mature and philosophical note: the Wikipedia entry about them notes what things they do in common, coordination-wise (given that one basically controls the right half of their body and the other the left), and what things they do separately, which is fascinating — particularly (at least to me as a writer/editor) the fact that they not only type together (each controlling one hand and requiring little verbal communication to coordinate efforts) but alternate between using “I” (not “we”) when they agree and their individual names when they disagree, which is not exactly what I for one would have intuitively predicted. (I’m impressed they can even type at a normal speed, but apparently they do — and my naive predictions on that front clearly reflect pre-Hensel limb notions.)
All this warrants discussion in philosophy class, I’d say — I’d give them A’s just for being willing to discuss it in a class on identity theory. Talk about a hivemind. Even the Borg say “we,” which seemed collectivist at the time but is less odd than all of them saying “I” simultaneously.
I’m very pleased that the Hensels seem to be leading relatively ordinary lives and are able to keep out of the media spotlight most of the time, but as one of my favorite bartenders (a Tim Burton fan, a punk, a former Columbia biology student, and a self-professed Nietzschean nihilist who is friends with various sideshow performers) notes, fewer biologically-odd people participating in sideshows explains the big upsurge I’d noted in the past couple decades in sideshow performers who are simply punks, anarchists, or extremists of some kind willing to do bizarre stunts — not that I’m knocking that.
Indeed, if you’re willing to spend $100 per head — or per person, if you will — I see that Gersh Kuntzman is co-hosting a benefit Thursday next week for the Coney Island sideshow. He promises booze and sideshow performers, not to mention the terrifying Kuntzman.