One Victoria man is facing some stiff opposition from governing bodies over the choice of his signature. 33-year-old Jared Hyams has been campaigning to keep his current signature, a caricature of a cock.
The signature initially started as a joke, when Hyam scribbled the doodle in the signature box when filling out his change of address form for the Australian Electoral Commission. “I thought it would be a laugh; they would approve it and next year I would sign something different” Hyam said. “But when I did this signature all of a sudden the shit hit the fan. I was receiving letters and phone calls telling me I couldn’t have it. I thought, that’s interesting, why not?”
Since then Hyam has been battling for five years to keep his wily willy in between the lines. In fact, his battle has even inspired him to take on a law degree. The AEC referred to Hyam’s case as “rather novel”, and rejected his change of address form. VicRoads rejected the signature as it was “offensive“, while The Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs didn’t process his application for a passport as the phallic signature “could constitute sexual harassment“.
Despite these setbacks, Hyam has continues to soldier on with his campaign. “What a signature is comes down to the function, not the actual form,” he says. “Generally, it’s a person putting a mark on a piece of paper by their own hand. As soon as you start defining what a signature is you run into problems – if it’s meant to be someone’s name how do we define that because most signatures are just illegible scribble“.
He’s not wrong there.
The signature has managed to make it past The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation and eventually VicRoads as well, with his little general appearing on his current driver’s license.
This story was first seen on The Age.