Having to prove what others can’t see

Picture this: if you can point out to an art curator that you can find Wally (or Waldo if you’re American) in this picture, you’ll get paid £50 a week for the rest of your life.

I can do that. I know these books inside out, I’ve grown up with them. I’d consider myself an expert. He’s there. *points to Wally*

Museum Curator: I don’t see him.

*tries to point again.*

MC: nope, I don’t see it. You must be wrong.

He’s right there by a striped wind breaker.

MC: well there are lots of wind breakers without Wally, you must be lying

No. He’s not that far from the sea, near a windbreaker, with a man standing on one leg directly behind him in the sea and 2 donkeys on the beach.

MC: I haven’t got time to listen to you tell me something which I doubt is there. Fill in this questionnaire with the info on and I’ll look at it when I do have time.

It’s just the same questions you already asked me. I’d just be repeating myself.

MC: Yes, but you’re probably just saying what I want to hear anyway because you heard I was giving away prize money for people who could prove it.

But why say you’ll give me money if I can tell you where Wally is when I can see him, but then move the goal posts?

MC: if you continue to make points like that, I won’t give you the prize money.

*fills in questionnaire*

MC: yeah, you’ve provided a lot of info, but I still can’t see Wally. I tell you what, if you manage to find a few people who agree with you, then I’ll consider giving you the prize

*stands in museum collecting people’s opinions for the day*

MC: you’ve found a few people who can also see Wally, but we’ll have to check out if they’re credible or reliable. We can’t just take your word for it.

MC: on second thoughts, I’ve done my own research and decided that those people you found who back you up are wrong too.

how can they be wrong? If we all see the same thing and agree, how can you say Wally’s not there just because you can’t see him? Maybe you’re the problem, not us?

MC: I’m a museum curator. I’m in charge, therefore I’m right. I tell you what, come into the museum with a presentation and we’ll reassess the questionnaire you filled in.

*shows a presentation*

MC: last time, you said ‘striped windbreaker’. This time you said ‘blue and white windbreaker’. Why have you changed your answer?

I didn’t change it, it’s both blue and white and striped.

MC: well that’s not the same thing at all

It is as far as I’m concerned. Just different words.

MC: well I find that highly improbable. You must be lying. And you’ve added extra details in, like you’ve said one of the two donkeys is eating a child’s ice cream. Why are you making extra things up?

I’m not making things up. I’m trying to give you extra details so you can see Wally. It’s glaringly obvious to me, but you can’t see it. So I’m trying to give you as much information as possible to help you.

MC: Nope. That’s not relevant to me. Wally isn’t there, that’s a fact. You’re making this extra stuff up to try to con me.

I’m really not. I had people agree with me and back me up remember?

MC: ok. Fine. I tell you what, I’ll get a panel together- I’ll ask the museum owner to come down and pass judgement too, and there’s one of our volunteers who knows a lot about Where’s Wally books. He can sit in too.

*has same discussion as before with the owner and the volunteer*

Owner: I don’t know enough about this so I’m going to defer to the expert, the museum curator.

But he’s wrong, I’ve got 10 people who agree with me.

Owner: yes but I trust his opinion because he says he’s an expert.

But I grew up with these books. I’m an expert too.

Owner: yes but you’re not a museum curator, are you?

Volunteer: maybe you’re not using the right words to explain it to the curator. If you had, I’m sure he’d understand.

But I filled in a form, did a presentation and talked to him. I don’t know how else I can explain it.

Volunteer: well if he still can’t see Wally, it must be your fault.

MC: see, Willy isn’t there. I told you.

It’s not Willy it’s Wally.

MC: same difference.

No it’s not. Shouldn’t attention to detail be super important in your line of work?

MC: it doesn’t matter anyway. He’s not there. I can’t see him. That’s all you need to know. So you’re not getting the £50 a week. Now, if you manage to find some other way to prove that he exists then, by all means, come back. But for now, go away.


Just because you can’t see it or understand the information given which would help you find it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. People with chronic illnesses shouldn’t be judged or told they’re lying about their symptoms just because they’re either invisible or the person is working hard underneath to hide how they really feel from other people.

Photo taken from a Where’s Wally book


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