Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 27 June 2013
A bad shot of a bad shot
I normally don't like putting up self-portraits, but since in this one I am almost unrecognisable to anyone who has never met me, I think it is probably ok.
The trouble began when I had to supply four identical photos of myself for a rather important official document, and I only had two available. The subsequent scanning, editing and printing on a non-professional machine produced this composite of a cinematic Wild West villain by Andy Warhol, and Marge Simpson. The blurring was caused by snapping the results on my phone camera. I promise you that I have not had a blue-rinse since you last heard from me, neither have I grown a dark moustache.
Why go to all this trouble when I could just duck into the same booth at which I took the original pictures? Because one of the two that exist has been signed on the back by a solicitor friend to guarantee that it really is me.
Why not go back to the solicitor friend for him to sign one of the new set? Because he is a very busy man who can only be met at weekends and I am running out of time before the authorities begin the process of prosecuting me for the illegal possession of firearms.
Every five years, I realise how few upstanding members of society I actually know - precisely one, as it turns out. Everyone else - in the eyes of the police - are on the fringes of the criminal underworld, and not fit to verify my existence. Actually, thinking about it, they have a point.
My solicitor friend does not drink, does not smoke, does not take any drugs at all and is gay. He is - without doubt - the most immaculate person I have ever met in my life, and by that I mean sartorially immaculate. What he does in private is his concern, but since he talks faster and longer than anyone else I have ever met in my life (my god he can talk) it becomes mine as well - every five years.
He is just under 50 years old and looks about 30. His black hair is never out of place, there isn't a line on his face and he looks as though he shaves twice a day. His clothes are always spotlessly clean and not a speck of dirt is ever to be seen under his fingernails. In short, he is the antithesis of me, even in the un-doctored and recognisable photo.
Getting his signature on the back of a photo involves meeting him for a prolonged weekend breakfast, then catching up on the news for the last five years in minute detail. Towards the end of this chat I am familiar with all sorts of legal niceties involving specific cases, even though my knowledge of legal matters is about as comprehensive as Bart Simpson's. I am not saying that I don't enjoy our meetings - I really do - but they are bloody time-consuming because he does not live too close to town and does not frequent pubs, we only have the chance to catch up every five years.
I am going to give this photo-editing thing one last shot (no frightening pun intended) then probably give him another call after I have gone to another photo-booth. When we last parted, he said we should meet up more often, but I don't think he knew how soon.