Friday, October 2, 2009

Try not to think of the plight of the people. And smile goddammit.

Curious as to why my Uncle George was the doodle of the day on Google's home page, I clicked to learn it is in fact, Gandhi's 140th birthday and nothing whatsoever to do with my Uncle George. I confess to being a tad disappointed, but it's Friday and maybe there will be cake, or enlightenment loot bags before the day is over.

To celebrate Gandhi's big day, some playground pal of Mahatma's is launching a massive four-volume (and I am accused of being verbose) tell-all biography on the life of a public figure the article described as "the little brown man".

Little brown man?

Now, despite walking around in Depends all day, "little brown man" seems to be a rather underwhelming description of the birthday boy. I personally would prefer to be remembered for all the great things I have done, or as the woman who shot George W. Bush, instead of the "big beige woman". Maybe these things kinds of things just rolled off Gandhi's malnourished, little brown back.

While no Bishop of Nova Scotia's Roman Catholic church, in stature, pomp and 'a real rapport with kids' – Gandhi did a fair bit for non-violence, and is hailed in some circles as the "spokesman of conscience of all mankind", whatever that means. And, not one to toot his own horn, few people know Gandhi actually started the whole organic cotton movement. If he were alive and not spouting his usual, "best wishes only" routine, I'd run down to Thornbloom and pick him up a few organic cotton towels that, in a pinch, could double as a pair of slacks for the little brown man.

Furthermore, while I am sure Gandhi's biography will be a real page turner, it's not likely to be on my bedside table covered with crusty, dried rings of E & J Gallo Red. A whopping, four-volumes high, I'd be reaching up in the air for my nightly glass of vino, so I'll just carry on admiring Gandhi for his striking resemblance to my Uncle George and his apparent high level of self-esteem. How else could a lawyer of all people, walk around in a diaper, posing humbly for photographers, despite not being overly photogenic if it weren't for self esteem, or really, really good, recent tantric sex.

I say this as I prepare to have my photo taken today for the first time since my license expired. I can honestly say I'd rather have a colonoscopy than strike a pose in front an instrument that does not lie. Having a garden hose shoved up my ass would be less painful than facing the grim reality that I have indeed seen better days, and even in better days I was about as photogenic as Gandhi's diaper. In fact, when a request came from Marketing magazine to send in a "head shot" this week, I asked if it had to be my head.

Since there's apparently no way of avoiding it, I called on a real professional: James Ingram at Jive Photographic. I figure, anyone who can make ex-Liberal leader Danny Graham look movie-star voteable is clearly the man for the job. I have less than an hour to drop one double chin, and 40-odd years of hard livin'. James has makeup artist, Amanda O'Leary lined up and I hope to hell she's packing a Gandhi-sized miracle because I've made the cut in Marketing magazine's Great Canadian Creative Faceoff. Standing amongst industry giants who "do lunch" and wear cool glasses and have professional haircuts and get out of the house more than once a year – I do not want to look like, well, myself. Even my old self.

I want to look like Mahatma Gandhi must have felt. Flat stomach, tanned, and totally at peace with who he was in this world. Failing that, could I please, please, at least not look like a cross between Burl Ives and Shelly Winters.

Happy Birthday, Uncle George. You don't look a day over 139.

Jive Photographic is at or by calling 423.9284