No tea, no shade and all that jazz, but I look like an exhausted, pouting pervert suffering from a recently ruptured spleen. One eye appears bigger than the other, as though I'm wearing an invisible monocle designed for a blind cyclops; a cyclops that is perhaps in the midst of a minor cerebral bleed. It’s a tragedy, as photos go. An absolute disgrace.
I think I may have found the only post office that doesn’t have one of those hideous booths with their steering wheel-esque seats that I hate having to touch on account of all the farty, shitty arses that have been there. I can’t help but imagine rotten people with poor wiping techniques, worms and a complete disregard for hand washing. There was none of that. None of that having to try and fit my oddly spherical head into a coconut shaped oval on the screen. None of that getting stressed out because you decided that looking like Sloth out of The Goonies on the first attempt wasn’t okay so you decided to retake it and now, with one chance left, you look like his even uglier brother. I tell you what: those photo booths are impatient fuckers. What happened to the customer always being right? Actually, that’s factually inaccurate: I’m old enough to know that the customer is usually a bit of an entitled twat.
Or are they? In lieu of said photo booth, I had to make do with June, a Post Office worker, apparently charged with taking terrible photos with a bizarre hand held camera. A few observations about June before we go any further:
- She was probably about 97 years old.
- She had a slight tremor in her dominant hand and other mobility issues.
- Her beard was thicker than mine.
- She told lies.
- She was possibly blind.
- She smelled of hand cream and piss and there was animal hair on her cardigan.
‘Beautiful!’ she lied. I smiled weakly. ‘Would you like to see it?’ she asked, her tone a tad too optimistic for my liking.
‘Not really,’ I trilled, much to her chagrin. I wasn’t being rude - the heating had clearly been turned to Sub-Tropical and as a result, I had a sweaty back and bitch-tits combo. Gorgeous, no? I just wanted to pay my money and get out of there. Plus, her beard was starting to worry me.
In retrospect, scurrying out of there like a rodent escaping from a weather-worn drainpipe was a mistake that will haunt my travels for the next ten years. I have buyer’s remorse. I have a passport photo that looks like the perfect blend of a cheaply printed charity envelope and a wanted poster. Why the passport office don’t allow Instagram filters or a liberal dash of Photoshop is a mystery to me in this day and age. I feel like my statutory rights have been violated.