December 3, 2018

imma fuck up a photographer

Last night, I drove home from the Messiah performance thinking that everything went well.  Better than well, actually.  There was an unprecedented moment when, during the dramatic pause before the final word in the "Hallelujah" chorus, not a single person anywhere in the spacious auditorium suddenly and violently coughed, no one dropped something loudly onto the floor, no one's baby or toddler emitted a cry of distress, no one so much as sniffed.  No one messed it up.  We knocked that one out of Wrigley.

I would have gone on today blissfully assuming all was well, had a fellow alto not e-mailed me:  "We're in the newspaper!"  Just that.

So I went to the paper's web site and found the story.

And the pictures.

Including the one of me.

That was big.


Of me.






There is a rule, in the way that gravity is a rule and inertia is a rule, and that rule is this:  You do not take pictures of me.

I once was an administrative assistant for a nice lady who was the head of our department and was kind to everyone and was the sort who thought people enjoyed little ice-breaker activities at the beginnings of staff meetings.  Let's call her Mary, or Our Lady of Impenetrable Cheerfulness.

Mary tried to take my picture with a little pocket-sized camera one morning, but I caught her in time and held my hand up.  She laughed.  I explained patiently, "I do not let others take pictures of me.  Please.  Do not."  She desisted.  But she tried again and again, at other meetings or any time a camera was out for some reason, only to be consistently thwarted by my sixth-sense camera radar and subsequent evasive maneuvers.  The looks I gave her were increasingly dirty but did nothing to deter her efforts.

Then one day, she asked me to stand still and pose for "a departmental directory" shot.  I said, "No."  There was almost a crackle of tension in the air, because this was outright insubordination; the directory was her pet project of the week and she was into it.  We stared at each other, a contest I normally lose in three-tenths of a second, but this time, I won.  I like to think she saw great flames billow up in my pupils.

And since I ran the web site where the directory was posted, I got to use a Yahoo-style blank head for my picture.  It's the little things.

My brother-in-law sneaks photo shots in on me, and I let him live in spite of this because I love him, and he'd better be damned glad about that, because otherwise his skeletal remains would be chained to a stray log on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

I saw the photographer yesterday lurking around the stage door early in the concert, but at the time I assumed he was getting the yearly snapshot for our group's Geocities-looking web page.  I didn't realize that I was missing an opportunity for a preemptive strike.

And he applied some sort of horrible brightening technique to the photo so that my hair looks golden instead of dark brown.

The worst bit?  It was a side profile shot.  The part of me I most hate.  My mouth is wide open and my face is round and I hate it hate it hate it.

So now I have to find him, and do things that will include something with his camera grotesquely reminiscent of stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey, and then I have to make sure I have friends who will help me get rid of the body.  I have it on good authority that boric acid and a stainless steel vat can do wonders for the eradication of evidence.


  1. Trying to get rid of the resulting sludge is quite difficult. Perhaps you know someone who has a decent sized furnace?

  2. Take his body to a pig farm. No evidence least that's what I've heard.

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