Friday, August 25, 2006

Against my better judgment …

I’m gonna show you some pretty disturbing stuff. Before you move your eyes any farther down your screen, be aware that I’m not responsible for any waves of revulsion, pity or derisive laughter that may wash over you.

You’ve been warned.

And now you’re about to see what I looked like in junior-high school:

The Muppets called. They want their hair back. And their crooked-head smile. And their oversize nose and little stick arms. I’m pretty sure this shirt was 1) a hand-me-down from a cousin or neighbor and 2) a tiny little size that still hung on my bony shoulders the same way it hung on the hanger. The picture was taken in our IMC, which was eightiespeak for “library,” and it appeared in a yearbook collage that could arguably be called my first centerfold.

This picture was taken—if I remember correctly through the haze of cocaine and abortions that blurred my stint in junior high—at a holiday concert our orchestra performed at Westdale Mall. As the violins were sawing away at “Away in a Manger” or some related masterpiece, I was parked at the piano, emoting my way through the music with my eyes closed and my floofy hair swinging around and accenting every beat with the same raw, sweaty sexuality exuded by the hair bands I was too uncool to name when I saw them on television. Notice the coats piled in the corner between the wood paneling and the fake picket fence behind me—we were nothing if not showmen. And notice the Iowa Hawkeyes pin completely obliterating my left “pec.” I’d bet the Hawks were rehearsing (or whatever it is that football teams do) for the Rose Bowl at the time of our concert, and I was struggling under the weight of that button in an attempt to seem culturally aware.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this picture before, but it’s so hot it bears re-posting. And before you get all scandalized, I assure you it’s not a real Playgirl cover. You can tell because the freckles haven’t been airbrushed out. It is instead one of those fake covers (You hear that, DCFS? It’s fake!) you can have made at one of those clever theme-park kiosks. They take your picture, you pick among an endless selection of clever magazine cover art and presto! Something to carry around the rest of the day! The tacky shirt was from the wardrobe department, and the plastic leis—and let’s not think about where they’d been before they landed seductively in my mouth—came out of a well-pawed box of props. I supplied the poochy tummy and the clueless smoldering expression.

WHEW! That’s enough of that for one day, don’t you think? I’d better stop before you all come crashing through your screens in an attempt to mob me the way you all mob poor Lisa Whelchel at the Hasbro outlet.

No comments: