by Ross Sharp

Forty years ago, Brisbane resident Ross Sharp suffered a devastating accident from a rogue Whipper-Snipper that robbed him of 90 percent of his body mass. Due to significant advances in medical science and life support technology over the last several decades, Mr. Sharp’s life was saved and he has been able to continue a productive and fulfilling existence, albeit as a head in a jar.

Three weeks ago, Mr. Sharp, aged 91, announced his ambition to become the first head in a jar to scale Mount Everest.

We caught up with Mr. Sharp at Everest Base Camp …

“Mr. Sharp, can you tell us what you hope to achieve by being the first head in a jar to conquer Mount Everest?”

“I’m determined not to regard my current situation as a disability, but to set an example to all the other heads in jars out there, to tell them, “Just because you’re a head in a jar doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams”. Just get out there and do your best with what you’ve got. Or what you’ve got left.”

“Was this something you had always dreamt of achieving in life?”

“When I had a body, I wouldn’t have thought to climb four flights of stairs if there was an elevator about. But being a head in a jar does tend to focus a man’s mind, if you know what I mean, and I figured, why put limits on myself? Just because my head’s in a jar, doesn’t mean my imagination and my ambition should be stuck in a jar as well.”

“Mr. Sharp, considering you have no limbs, how exactly are you proposing to scale the Mount?”

“Baby steps, my friend, baby steps. One at a time.”

“And what would you say to all the other heads in jars out there watching tonight?”

“I’d say, “Your jar’s not a jail. It’s just a jar, goddammit. With a head in it.”

“With all due respect, Mr. Sharp, you set out three weeks ago and yet … er … you haven’t actually moved from the spot yet …”

“It’s been a tough slog, but if there’s a head in a jar on this earth that can do it, that head in a jar is me. I’ve been making a lot of progress and I’m very, very confident I’ll make it to the top.”

“But you haven’t moved.”

“I have moved.”

“No, you haven’t”

“I bloody well have! Last week, I was back there …”




“Back there, you dense bastard! I’m a fucking head in a jar, it’s not like I can point!”

“ ……. “

“ ……. “

“ ……. “

“ ……. “

“ Do us a favour, will you?”

“Yes, Mr. Sharp?”

“How about a shove?”

Everest Jarhead

“Everest Jarhead” Illustration courtesy of cNm from The colourNOmovement Declarations. © 2009 cNm. Reproduced by kind permission.