“I’ve Been Artificially Rated as a Facial 3 out of 10: My Body is Your Burn Barrel,” by Casey “Rocket” Rohlen

Mar 6th, 2019 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

I’m doing just the shit fine after an artificial intelligence beauty-rating website dismissed me as a less than 1/3rd of an ascetically acceptable human skeleton face. 


The days of facial ignorance are behind me, I’m slowly morphing into a hobgoblin of the highest order in my 23-years and I’m done shaking my gargoyle fist at the stars about it. I am a man surely soon to be damned to a life in the shadows of some long-forgotten David Cronenberg cathedral. With a missing canine tooth, the hair of a disgruntled Locks For Love terrorist, and one functioning pair of ink-stained Levi’s, I look more like the type of guy who writes erotic Neil Young fan fiction than a dude who you’d want to help give directions to the nearest ugly haven.

About twice a week I’ll catch a decent glimpse of myself in the mirror looking more humanoid than usual. Hell, I’ll even have a day here and there where my cheeks aren’t pterodactyl screeching with eczema or my burgeoning Josh Peck pecks aren’t so pronounced, and I’ll get a newfound zest for life from that. But there is still a measure of desperation in these truths, I don’t want to be stared back upon from this abyss. I want someone to tell me it isn’t so, even if that somebody is an online beauty-rating robot, or at the very least a basement-confined incel patriot whose intentions lie in some sort of information gathering dweeb-roasting espionage. 

I’ve learned to cope, but when I ready myself for bed in the witching hours and look up in that mirror, it’s all I can do but wonder whether or not I’ve contracted a fatal case of Harland Williams disease. Your mind runs wild with the fear of becoming a man wholly built from the structure of Artie Lange’s nose. I needed answers.

My aforementioned ugly head was reared earlier this week when I desperately needed a break. I was low. This was at a point where even the Tinder sex bots had stopped biting. This was at an impasse where I’d stick a finger or two in the Travelocity gnome if he’d just tell me I had good posture (it’s not so much his looks as it is his commitment to price management. I mean we could be in Cancun tonight from $299 and up, just throwing bows inside each other’s barren cavities.) Gnome necking aside, I decided upon asking the internet to offer me a definitive answer on how bad the damage really was.

At a minimum, I could finally receive the hangman’s push into giving me the courage to finally perform a Face/Off with the first passerby I was able to wrangle in my apartment complex. Spirits were high.

The stage was being set. After a cursory search, I clicked the second link that came up on Google after fearfully exiting from a Sub-Reddit as a user rated some buster on a “1 to Steve Buscemi” scale, which I’m pretty sure is how they judge whether or not apricots are ripe enough to go to market. The page was rough, structurally. The site looked like it had been repurposed from a 5th grade graphic designer’s landing page after they’d just clawed their eyes out aboard the Event Horizon. I uploaded a picture and 10 seconds later a text box unceremoniously flesh-lighted me with the news. 

I was no more than a 3 out of 10. The hobgoblin cometh, having finally seen his true reflection in a puddle of shattered, pterodactyl-eczema discovery.  

At first, almost certainly in a requiem of dog-faced delusion, I thought the result was a 3 out of 3. Which, hey, would be a pretty fucking nice turnout. I was all gnared-up about it. I’d even had some mild success in the comedy world recently, the one arena where looking bastardized can launch you as a fun novelty, so I was thinking that this salty-nipped trapeze freak had finally grown into his skin. “Kid’s cleaning up,” thought the pastrami-faced boy. 

I pulled the wool out from over my eyes and realized, nope, you’ve just been living, laughing, and loving through this life with a PISS POOR performance face-wise. Just an ole dog squirt. Just an ole dweeboid puppy dog squirt. Ya know, FACE-WISE. ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT FACE ON THE BODY.

I closed out of the website and blocked my grandparent’s phone numbers, lest they have to survive any longer knowing of the Cthulhu-adjacent horrors they have spawned through sin and sacrilegious Golem molding. I hit the lights and slept it off, not my Charizard face of course, but some of the distain. 

But alas, now days later, which is months in monster years, I’ve come to terms with it. Don’t hate the A.I. just hate your stupid fucking bone structure. Somebody shake Michael Jackson out of his Fentanyl grave because THIS IS IT, PAL. Worse yet, there have been upwards of five heartlessly misinformed women who have smooched a computer-rated 3 out of 10. This facial squid has tentacles that know no ethical bounds! Five caring souls spoiled by the stink puppy squirt of Babylon. Think about the moral implications, do I need to tell them or just let it fall to the wayside? I know I wouldn’t want to know if I had accidentally lip-touched the facial embodiment of the Armenian genocide. 

There is, however, a silver lining. I’ve decided upon taking my organic skeleton to the nearest 3 out of 10, marrying her, Face/Off’ing with her, and living in seclusion as switch-faced misshapen moonlight Lycans. At least we’ll have each other, now adorned with each other’s equally ghoulish faces. Forever diagnosed with Harland Williams disorder. It’s a living.


Casey “Rocket” Rohlen is a heavily-disputed burgeoning standup comedian in the Boise and Atlanta areas, but his grandma calls him Tittie Boi. When he’s not toying with hyphens on Microsoft Word, he divides his time between reading about the macabre and dealing with his recent diagnosis of Josh Peck Pecks Syndrome (JPPS). 

You can follow him on Instagram @caseyrocket or Twitter @MCdooglebear and find his shoddily made podcast “The Grimace Half-Hour Power Hour” on iTunes.

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