Cool! Ouch.

March 9, 2011


So, from the “Sure, that’s pretty much how it goes” file…

About a year ago I did this modeling job for Hewlitt-Packard (I know.  I’m just so glamorous).  They were working on a digital image library, and needed a broad range of shots for ads, catalogues, print tests, whatever.  Just to have it all available.

It’s an old Sicilian message. It means ‘Luca Brasi prints with the lasers.’

So, lots of photos: me as handsome restaurant owner, me as handsome hiker, me gorging myself at the catering table while everyone else picks like reluctant birds from the low-carb/tofu end of the table.  So fine, well and good.  They just let us know that with the nature of this there’s no way to know if, when, or how the images might be used.  Maybe, they said, one day you’re walking along and there’s your photo on a printer box, which I think sounds like a weird, cryptic mafia threat.

Time passes.

A few days ago someone I know approaches me saying, “Um, I just bought a webcam, and was looking at the back… is… is that you?”

Okay, it’s not art, it’s not elegant, but it’s kind of fun at this point, right?  Hey, lookit me.  Neat.

In fact, why don’t we all just stop reading right now, while things are so fun, and ol’ Byronic Man has his dignity in tact.  Sure, let’s do that.

You’re still reading, aren’t you.  Damn.

So, on the packaging is a series of ‘What you can do with your webcam’ images and descriptions.  You can create clear shots of motion (person playing a guitar – not me); someone holding a baby, also not me.  Finally, here’s me.  But no hiker (“Ah, this fresh air does wonders for my entrancing handsomeness”), no restaurant owner (“Could I interest monsieur in a low-carb, tofu wrap?”).  You see, with this webcam you can also create a fake image around your face, effectively putting your face on another body.  So there’s me, in a cropped head shot, and I have apparently elected to put my face on a wizard’s body.

Byronic man, shown here explaining to Bilbo why he’s special.

A wizard’s body.

Conical, moon & stars hat.  Long beard. Purple robe.

A God damn wizard’s body.

Because of course it is.

Staring at it, it was like eating ice while staring at a pot of boiling water.  It’s my brain trying to simultaneously process, “Hey this is kind of neat” and “This is monumentally embarrassing” AND “this is hilarious” AND “gosh, this sure would be more hilarious if it was someone else”.

The first thing people always do is laugh, a lot.  The second thing they do is ask, “Did you know that’s what they were going to do with your photo?” Why of course. It was a condition of my taking the job.  Me as old-timey wizard.  It’s every grown man’s dream.

And I would have included the image, but darn it, I can’t seem to track down a copy.  Wouldn’t you know it? (*Hey it’s Byronic Man – heeeere in the fuuuuutuuuure! I’ve got a copy of the image now… I will share it because I love you.  And because I have no dignity.*)

Ahh, the glamour. The integrity…


About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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20 Comments on “Cool! Ouch.”

  1. broadsideblog Says:

    I had to pose in a bathing suit….beyond scary…for a series of blog posts I wrote last year for a pharmaceutical company about staying fit through exercise even when you have arthritis. Even with the 50% of my body I am most embarrassed about below the water, that was terrifying.

    Then some men I know asked for the link. Um, I think not.


  2. Maggie O'C Says:

    OH oh oh I didn’t know you are a model and I’m laughing really hard at work right now. The kind of laughing trying not to laugh so bent over my desk shaking laughing. Wizard face…hahaha

    I love a good looking model person that is a good writer and can laugh at themselves.


  3. Anastasia Says:

    A wizard… This could be an episode of Seinfeld, or Joey from Friends. So funny.


  4. Go Jules Go Says:

    Okay. Why (WHY!!) did I not click over to this post when I first had the chance?

    Holy Dumbledore.

    This is my favorite thing ever. I’m sorry, Gary. I’m sorry, Patient Bear. This is it. I’m downloading that picture now for next year’s birthday card.

    P.S. – See? I KNEW you were a wizard.


  5. rachelocal Says:

    Jules sent me over here to view the awesomeness of this post. She never steers me wrong. You make a dashing wizard, so I have to ask, which wizard would you be if you Hewlitt-Packard hadn’t chosen for you? Gandalf the Grey, The Wizard of Oz, Merlin, The White Wizard?


  6. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Oh, man. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, B-man. This truly made my day. My week even.

    If I were you, I would blow up a giant image of the wizard-me and stick it on my front lawn. Or, at the very least, print it out on my blog business cards.


  7. mistyslaws Says:

    Blame Jules. She’s putting the word out. I think she’s trying to make you famous. Like Gandolf famous.

    I like how they have the regular pic of you, and then the bright beam of superimposing laser transferring you face into a wizard. This webcam is magical!! I need to go buy one today!

    And when I do, will you sign my box?


  8. pegoleg Says:

    Could you blow that picture up a little? I can’t see it very well, but it looks like you have the faintest expression of distaste on your face.

    Could I have 100 copies for my Christmas card?


  9. travellingmo Says:

    That is one of the funniest things I have read in a while! I only just now stopped laughing. . . oh wait, I just pictured your head on a wizard’s body again and can’t seem to stop.


  10. The World Is My Cuttlefish Says:

    Hysterical! This will sustain me through the drive I have ahead of me today. Just when I feel like nodding off I shall flash your text and images up on my mental screen.


  11. Dana Says:

    Hahahahaha!! LOVE it!



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