The Single Worst Non-Photoshopped Picture I’ve Ever Taken

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No, it’s not the one up there. That one is a reference photo, one I took about 20 minutes ago, so you’ll know what I actually look like when I’m making no particular effort to look either good or bad. Got it? Okay, good. Now, what follows is a picture of me this morning, fiddling around with the Web cam on my laptop. Prepare yourself.


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Yeah, I know. Told you.

There are several things going on here. First, my head is being propped up on a pillow, which shoves it forward, giving me some hellacious double chin action. Second, my shirt has apparently ridden up behind my neck, giving me an especially fleshy appearance. Third, the Web cam’s wan color performance has made me look like I’m both anemic and consumptive. Fourth, I’m crossing one of my eyes and sneering for some unfathomable reason. Fifth, I’m looking not-so-fresh because I haven’t had a shower yet. Sixth, apparently the camera adds, oh, a hundred pounds or so.

Add it all up, and it’s the single worst photo I think I have ever taken in my life. Honestly, it’s so bad I find it fascinating, which is of course why I’m sharing it with you. It’s like I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone where I’m a hard-on-my luck musician, and I make some sort of Faustian bargain to switch lives with a successful songwriter, only to find out who I’ve swapped with is Brian Wilson, in his “you give us a song, we give you a cheeseburger” days.

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If nothing else, this picture reminds me I really need to get off my ass and do some exercise. I’ve spent a good portion of the day sitting in front of the computer, eating Red Vines and drinking Coke Zero; I should probably go for a walk. It also reminds me that I do have an especially fleshy neck, one that in pictures often makes me look chunkier than I actually am (my bio picture is an example of this). At some point in the not too far future I’ll probably have to deal with jowls and a wattle-y neck, even if I don’t become particularly heavy. I’m not at all in love with the idea.

In the meantime I’ll chalk up this picture as a cautionary tale and start hitting the Dance Dance Revolution a little bit harder. It’s a bad picture, but it’s an anomaly. I should probably put in some effort to make sure it doesn’t become the norm.

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