Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wanna Be On Top?

People who know me in real life know that I stand funny. Unlike all other non-wheelchair-bound, non-conjoined-twin persons, I do not stand with my feet shoulder-width apart, in line with my torso and head. This despite the fact that this basic “stand” is not only evolutionarily optimal but also, from a practical standpoint, useful for performing tasks such as catching a football, appearing to be more than 18 years old, and passing for heterosexual. Whenever I stand anywhere, my feet are either far too close and folded in on each other in a way that would make a prehistoric version of myself a very, very easy target for jungle predators, or otherwise asymmetrically splayed out in front of me, hips canted provocatively over my left leg, right hand resting on my waist, in a pose I like to call Michelangelo’s “David with Sass”.

I was talking to a student after class one day (see? My commitment to educational excellence extends so far that I’m willing to speak to a student after class, even when it means that I have to wait a little while longer before going home, sitting at the computer, and spending four hours refreshing my facebook newsfeed!) and I pulled out my cell phone to send a text. I always send text messages from posture number 2, above (Sassy David), so I stuck my leg out, shifted my weight, and used the hips that god gave me.

“Jon,” she said. “You stand like a model!”


You may know that I’m on vacation this week, which has meant that showering, getting dressed, and wearing clean clothes are a series of challenges of increasing difficulty which I rarely manage to completely accomplish. Yesterday I didn’t shower until 1:30, when I decided that I should stop watching old episodes of Growing Pains and get on with my life. Today, though, a little voice inside me had something to say: “Jon, how about today you take a shower? And how about, after that shower, you put on a shirt? You won’t regret it!”

Ah, how right that little voice was. At 10:15, our telephone rang. I picked it up.

“Hi, is Andy there?” the voice on the other end of the line asked.

“No,” I said. “I’m afraid he’s out of town until the 12th. Can I help you?”

“Oh, what a shame,” she said. “I’m his tutee, Krindy. I really needed to talk to him.” (Name’s not Krindy, but I’m running out of pseudonyms over here.)

“Did you want him for tutoring this week?”

“No,” she said. “I’m doing a photography shoot, and I said I would find models.”

She sighed.

“Well,” she continued, “would you mind being a model for us?”

“Sure, I guess,” I replied. “When do you need me?”

“Now,” she said. “Right now.”

So, what do you do when you need a model for your photo shoot? You call up your handsome tutor. And what do you do when your handsome tutor is out of town? You settle for his roommate.

And then you take him to an abandoned train yard, and take pictures for five hours.

Me at the train

There’s really not much to report, other than the brute fact that I spent five hours posing for Chinese schoolgirls. Not only is that a lot of time, but also usually it’s me taking secret pictures of schoolgirls, not the other way around!


Me at a door,

Strangely enough, completely by coincidence, we ended our afternoon the exact same way all episodes of America’s Next Top Model end: we went to a local “coffee shop” which served instant coffee and food (but, naturally for a coffee shop, only pasta) and we took a picture where one girl posed as a rabbit.