[I posted the first photograph you see here on Facebook this past Thursday, as part of the "Throwback Thursday" thing that so many do there. It garnered remarks such as "Adorable!" and "You were darling!" and "Too damn cute!" I figure that gives me a right to once again publish this entire piece in which the photo originally appeared. You will soon see that I am neither adorable nor darling nor cute. What I am, is goofy. Have a few laughs at my expense and you're welcome.]
I have a few shoeboxes at home full of old photographs. I often go through them, looking for something that will spur a memory for a story, and while I was searching for some Christmas photographs, I...
Well, I think I have to face the truth (and, with a face like mine, the truth had better look out.) I am some kind of goofy bastard. At least, if these 15 photographs were the only evidence presented to a jury, I certainly wouldn't be acquitted of the charge. Taken as a whole (and they should probably be buried in one) these pictures belie any claims I might previously have made concerning studliness, athleticism, intelligence, good looks, the ability to dress myself, and just general good taste. They are the 15 photographs that will not be showing up in the glossy centerfold when my biography gets published.
Since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, I suppose I should just shut up now and let you see them. If I had any brains, of course, I'd burn them. But, as the photos themselves will show, I don't. Here goes!
As you can see, in the photo that graces the very top of this post, I had some misgivings right from the start about allowing myself to be photographed. That showed promise, insofar as my future IQ scores were concerned. This photo shows that I still had a bit of well-founded reticence. However, it also shows... heck, I don't have any idea what else it shows. You can't see the back of the photo, of course, but My Mom wrote on it "Mickey Mouse (Jimmy) Halloween". I guess she included the parenthetical just in case anyone might have thought it was the real Mickey Mouse.
Continuing with the Halloween theme, we see me dressed up as a... uh... traffic cone from a bad Walt Disney acid trip? Actually, if this were a beer bottle costume, I think I could pass for one of the Seven Little Duffs, possibly Sleazy. In any case, I am now allowing my face to be seen in public. This is not good news for the public.
Here we see me desperately trying to force a smile while I hold two of my baby cousins. "Hold" is just the closest relative term, of course, as you can see me stretching out my hands to actually avoid such a thing. I am not a baby person; never have been. I prefer not to know children until they are at least somewhat ambulatory, and I really prefer waiting until they can talk. And I always fear that something horrific will happen if I have to hold a baby. As evidenced by this photo, I have no idea how to hold one. Why somebody thought this would be a good thing to take a photo of, I have no idea. I especially like the precariously positioned iron over the head of my cousin to the left.
Here I am pretending to be diving into a swimming pool. Except, not yet knowing how to swim, I am about seven feet from the end of the diving board because I was afraid of falling off of it into the deep end of the pool. I expect the illusion would have been helped if I had taken off the snazzy sunglasses. Nice bathing suit, though. When MY WIFE first saw this photo, she wasn't sure if I was naked. I prefer to believe that her vision is really bad rather than contemplate what that means concerning my genitals.
If this were just a photo of My Dad, no problem. If this were just a photo of me, no problem (other than my continuing obsession with really fey sunglasses.) But, both of us, in matching father/son shirts? Yikes!
Politically incorrect photo of the day (or possibly the century.) Yes, it used to be considered funny to poke your head through a cut-out in a billboard and laugh at the fact that you were white while the other person, your "twin", was black. After this was taken, I went to a Chinese restaurant, pulled my eyes slanty and ordered Sum Yung Guy.
Get your eyes off of my legs and check out that basketball. Is it possible for a basketball to be more warped than that? No wonder I never made the NBA. I must have been shooting curveballs.
My Mom, Dad, and I went to this castle where they re-enacted medieval traditions. You got served big platters of greasy beef, with nothing but a knife and your hands to eat with, while various local actors pretended to be the king, queen, jester, guards, prisoners, and other assorted riff-raff. I remember little of it. The reason for that is because they gave each table huge leather casks of cheap red wine to drink from, all you wanted. And I wanted as much as they were willing to bring.
I was absolutely legless; about twenty six sheets to the wind. By the time my folks realized that I was pouring mug after mug of the stuff down my throat, I had already had about a quart. I have never been more shitfaced in my life (and, believe me, I've tried.) In addition, I woke up the next morning with the absolute mother of all hangovers. I've never had a worse one since (and, again, believe me, I've tried.)
Some folks would have been put off of booze forever by such an experience. Me? I figured I had had the worst of it already, so I might as well enjoy it from then on.
And here, in what may well be the absolutely worst photograph ever taken of me, we see some of the results of that enjoyment. There may be a bottle in a paper sack in my hand; I'm not sure. Notice the groovy facial hair, though. What in HELL was I thinking?
I think it was Buck who once commented that I do "deer in the headlights" better than anybody. Hard to argue with that.
Finally, we have the most recent shot of the bunch. Truth of the matter is that I was just about to post this piece [in 2009] under the title "14 Goofy Photos", and my friend in the office I formerly worked at took this shot. I immediately knew it had to be included.
Soon, with more better stuff.