Perhaps no rite of American life is dreaded quite like having to pose for a new ID photograph.
Even the most photogenic people--the Christie Brinkley-type babes, the Fabio-type dudes--seem to cringe at the thought of having to get their pictures taken for a driver's license or some such.
Why would this simple procedure cause such angst? Gee, I don't know . . . the photos always are taken in lousy light, with a boxy looking camera that appears to have been in service for about 50 years, by an operator who probably doesn't know an aperture from an amputation. And the snap usually comes after you've been waiting in line for 45 minutes, so you are sure to be in a great, smiley mood.
Our boy cat, Baxter, might be the only living being I know who doesn't want to cough up a hair ball at the thought of having an ID photo taken. Of course, he's so handsome it's impossible for a camera to catch him at an off moment.
It certainly isn't hard for a camera to catch me at an off moment. I've never been particularly camera shy--although some might argue that I should be--but I've come to avert my eyes when being presented with the results of an ID-photo session.
One complicating factor is that I'm 6-4, and tall people apparently present problems for ID-photo takers. When I went to get my driver's license renewed recently, the woman behind the camera asked me to scrunch down. "Otherwise, we're going to get a nice shot of your Adam's apple," she said.
That instruction helped produce a positively "charming" image, one that gave me a nice "Hunchback of Notre Dame" quality. I can only imagine how much fun NBA players must have getting their ID photos taken.
Anyway, I suspect many Americans can identify with poor "Whiskers" below. Life is hard enough without having to turn your photo ID over to total strangers.
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