I hope nothing severe enough ever happens to me to the point where I end up in the 11 o’clock news – simply because I am not a very photogenic person. As a matter of fact, all the pictures I have taken are rather shameful, disturbing and rather offsetting. I would like to say that it is not my fault, but we both know otherwise.
Do you remember that movie “Forrest Gump,” where every picture he took featured him with his eyes closed? I am afflicted by the same infection, except in my case I am usually drunk to the point of no redemption. There are too many pictures out there and my fear is that when I save the president from an assassin’s bullet, there will not be an adequate picture of me to run on the television.
The problem is not a recent one either. When I was a kid, my cousins and I had a tendency of ruining every birthday photo. Some people place finger horns on other people as a joke. Not us. We took it to a whole different level with props and annoying poses. There are some pictures that are not meant for reprint. Then you have to factor in the notion that my ears stuck out like a car door rolling downhill with both front doors open – and the fact I was always missing teeth. It was instant comedy.
All I can say is that my mother had powerful restraint when it came to being in public. Come to think of it, maybe I just had less shame – drunk with the knowledge that she would not reach for her trusty shoe while in public. If you were to look through my family albums, my sister is crying in all of her birthdays from about age 5 to 13. If you flip them with the right wrist action, you could almost make my sister dance like a surreal cartoon.
My senior year yearbook picture looks like a DMV picture. The photographer snapped the picture using an early count, so I look really confused in the picture. The worst part is that he did not even give me a second opportunity to take it. It has taken me a lifetime to live that picture down. Just to add insult to injury, every DMV picture I have ever taken looks exactly like my senior year yearbook picture.
A friend of mine encouraged me to take more pictures, claiming that the mathematical probability of all of them being bad is astronomical. The furrowing of her brow told me that she was making that statement with more hope than faith. She claimed that I have “very displayable features that create an array of physical essentials as a backdrop.” I do not know if she was trying to be politely insulting or insultingly polite. Looking back at that statement, I think it means I have a pair of eyes, ears and lips. I cannot take much credit for that. I think luck played a role in that one.
One day, I will be able to look into the camera and produce a quality picture. That will be the day, when I walk into Sears will all the confidence in the world. My future wife will be my side and my future children will be around me, firmly posted around my knees, and we will all be wearing matching sweaters. However, until that day, I will continue to keep my eyes closed. That will be the picture I will use when it comes time to rescue the children inside the burning school bus from the terrorists. That will be the day when the array of physical essentials my face carries will finally come in handy.