Sorry, Story Of Man Stuck Abroad After His Kid Doodles On Passport Is Probably A Hoax

Too ridiculous to be true? Yeah, probably.

Too ridiculous to be true? Yeah, probably.

I know, we all just love it when we can get our hands on a juicy story, hot off the Internet presses, that seems to be the perfect storm of situational comedy in real life. For example, Dad gets stuck in South Korea on a family trip after his kid doodles all over his passport, rendering it unusable. Kids these days! Smack on the forehead! Except it’s probably not true.

Sorry to burst your crazy-story-on-the-web-everyone-is-talking-about bubble, folks, but as the observant folks at Kotaku point out, a lot of things about the story going around over the weekend in U.S. media don’t look right.

As the story goes, a four-year-old child drew all over his dad’s passport, preventing him from boarding a plane back to China from South Korea. Here’s the full pic:

fullpassportdoodle

But the question is — do those doodles actually look like the work of a four-year-old? Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft points to a teeny tiny flower doodled toward the bottom right-hand side of the passport, questioning whether someone so young would have the motor skills to achieve such a wee drawing.

And what kid is so neat when scrawling? Surely there would be smear marks and hand smudges all over the thing, especially if it was done in ink on the glossy surface of a passport covered in holograms and protective coating.

It’s also somewhat suspect that he or she just so happened to scribble right over the personally identifying details on the passport. Very convenient.

Could this child be gifted at drawing flowers, extraordinarily neat and cognizant of the most important aspects of the passport? Maybe. But others on the Internet are crying foul as well, saying it looks to be more likely the work of an MS Paint job, says one poster on NeoGaf.

He points to the fact that the pen marking goes off the passport on the right side of the image and just “floats in the air.”

“Fake,” he proclaims.

The story first started floating around on Chinese social media site Weibo last month and spread to Western media from there, because who doesn’t get a chuckle out of childish shenanigans with real consequences in the adult world?

If you want to believe this is the real deal, maybe pin your newsbuzzy hopes on the fact that this apparently did happen, sort of, back in January in China. There was a story then about a five-year-old who scribbled on a parent’s passport that was somehow related to traveling to South Korea, but that kid did so in crayon. And it looked a heck of a lot more like child’s play.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide either way, a decision that will probably change the tune of your cocktail party story a little bit one direction or the other. Meanwhile, the Earth is still spinning and it’s another Monday to get through.

That Chinese Passport Story Sure Looks Like a Hoax [Kotaku]