A … curious new trend on the Internet has been brought to my attention by Len Ornstein, and has been the source of some bemusement for a few Mary Washington College alumnae. Evidently, people are scanning and uploading yearbooks to the net? As I understand it, this is being done not by graduates or those depicted, but … just by random people who enjoy uploading yearbooks?
This strikes me as a totally random and bizarrely specific technology-related hobby. Then I remember arguing in the imdb.com chatrooms with 15-year-olds in Britain about the cultural implications of Wesley Snipes’ “Blade.” (The implications are more divisive than you might expect. That Brit Kid called me a “bellend.” Then everyone laughed at me on Facebook when I posted to ask what the term meant.)
At any rate, allow this to fuel your paranoia, as it has mine. Photos of you that were taken 20 years ago are now available via keyword search. Len, a schoolteacher in Arizona, had his mug brought to his attention by his students.
And if you suffer from the same apparent mutation that I do, pay attention to your mysteriously expanding head.
Exhibit A: Look at the first picture below, which is a page from the 1994 (?) Mary Washington College yearbook. Look at me in the top left corner. (Yes, I majored in psychology, and, no, the irony is not lost on me.) My head is small — and I mean TINY. I don’t think that this was a trick photography gag employed by the yearbook club, because Photoshop kind of wasn’t a thing yet. (My passing resemblance to Danger Mouse here is also a separate matter entirely.)
Exhibit B: Look at the second picture below, which was taken quite recently. My forehead is HUGE. I don’t have a receding hairline. I DON’T. But yet I cannot explain why my forehead appears to be growing at a geometric rate. Seriously, look at it. I should rent out space on that thing. It would go a long way toward supporting my poetry. This might be why Pete Buccellato (also the Class of 1994) has opined repeatedly that I look like “Guy Smiley” from Sesame Street.
I know that one of Green Lantern’s nemeses (Herman something …?) has a giant mutated cranium, but that developed with super-intelligence and telepathic abilities, neither of which I’ve seen evidence of in my life just yet. I keep telling myself that Morrisey also has a large forehead, and I’m pretty sure he gets all the girls, even if he blew it that time with Tori Amos.
Whatever. You can take your mind off your troubles by noting the affable face of a one Mr. Mike Merritt at the bottom right, with whom I am thankfully still friends. That smile informs us once again that he was a sublimely well adjusted kid. It was great knowing Mike back at school. I still remember encountering him on Campus Walk around The Fountain after partying in New Hall. If I was a bit deep in my cups, I would accost him with my endlessly repeated pun for his name: “Merritt Baaaaaaaaaadge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The law of diminishing returns apparently worked backward in my 20-year-old mind, because the joke just got funnier every time I hollered it.
In fact, if you are an alum in Virginia and you have occasion to see Mike, would you please yell it at him for me? That’d be just great.