CLOSE RELATIVES? 'Colander Girl' Asia Lemmon/Steinhauser/Carrera insisted in wearing a pasta-strainer for her driving licence image. The Tin Man is only related in a fashion sense. Image: AP / Utah State
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - An Utah woman said she encountered only brief resistance when she insisted that a photograph for her driving licence be taken with a colander balanced on her head.
Perhaps she's a fan of the Tin Man in the film 'The Wizard of Oz' who wore an oil funnel on his head to match his full metal jacket, though he never made a religion out of it.
Asia Lemmon (whose name on her licence says Jessica Steinhauser but is also known, according to local newspapers, as a porn star photographed in that position as Asia Carrera) said the pasta-strainer represented her belief in the Satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
It, too, has an alias - Pastafarianism - a "church" started in 2005 to protest against the teaching in Kansas state schools (the state, of course, from which the Tin Man's best friend hailed) of "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution.
When Lemmon/Steinhauser/Carrera went for the photo on September 29 2014 she wasn't sure if motor vehicles' staff in the town of Hurricane would let her to wear the colander but it turned out "surprisingly really, really easy".
Nannette Rolfe, in charge of Utah state's driving licences, said about a dozen Pastafarians had in recent years posed for their licence ID image with a similarly skull-balanced cooking implement.
Basically, Rolfe explained, she couldn't care less what licence applicants wore as long as their face was clear.
Headgear is, however, illegal unless it is a religious garment. Rolfe added: "After the first few Pastafarians came in about two years ago the state determined the church was a recognised religion, Members don't require any special paperwork."
Lemmon/Steinhauser/Carrera said she wanted to make a statement with the photo. "I'm a really proud, outspoken atheist," she said. "I am proud of Utah for allowing freedom of all religions in what is considered by many to be a one-religion state."
About 60% of the state's residents are Mormons and Utah is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.