Friday, September 3, 2010

Flashback Friday: Fiona Apple, My Friend's Father, and Child Pornography

In an effort to give this blog a little direction I have decided that some Fridays will be devoted to celebrating humorous events from my past.  Now that you are aware, the flashback can begin . . . 

In junior high I had three best friends. Let's call them Kristy, Claudia, and Stacey.  Traditionally we would all spend the night at one of our homes on Friday nights.  We looked forward to doing something really cool all week long, but we usually ended up doing something fairly lame like going out to eat with our parents, followed by wandering around a video store, prank calling kids from school or various hated members of our small community, and then watching a movie which we thought was sophisticated and meaningful, but didn't really understand. Like Reality Bites.   

One particular Friday night three things came together to create one of the most embarrassing situations I've ever been involved in.  One, Stacey had recently purchased a new camera.  Two, we were bored.  Three, Fiona Apple's "Criminal" video was all over MTV.  

Now lemme call timeout real quick and say that I love Fiona Apple.  This blog post is not a condemnation of her, her music, or the "Criminal" video.  I am merely providing you with some background information. And a side note to this side note- check out the lyrics to "Criminal" sometime and reflect on the fact that Fiona wrote that song when she was a teenager. Genius. 

Do you remember how when you're a child you know that certain things are sexy but you don't know why?  Like, you know that licking a lollipop is sexy, but you have yet to realize what that lollipop represents.  I think (I hope) this is where we were mentally when we decided that it would be fun to take some 'sexy' photos.  Taking 'sexy' photos involved stripping down to our underwear, smearing on an ungodly amount of eyeliner, utilizing a giant stuffed bear, and scrounging up a Blow-Pop.  Claudia was modest enough (and smart enough) to volunteer to be the photographer.  Well, let me tell you- our photo shoot put the Annie Leibowitz/Miley Cyrus photo shoot to shame.  We vamped it up!!! And then like most pre-teens we grew bored with the activity and quickly moved to the next.

Stacey's dad is such a sweet man.  Mr. McGill is one of those really nice dads that will drive you places, and grill hamburgers or let you order pizza, but also pretty much leaves you alone.  Well the next day (after we had all gone to our respective homes and Stacey had gone to the mall) Mr. McGill was putting something in her room and noticed her camera.  He saw that the film had been used and was ready to be developed.  Mr. McGill was on his way to run some errands so he thought he would have the film developed in the meantime and have Stacey's first set of pictures ready for her viewing when she came back from the mall.  

Later that night I get a telephone call from Stacey:

Stacey (whispering):  Oh my gosh we are in so much trouble.

Me:  Why?

Stacey (still whispering):  My dad got our pictures developed and he's really mad at us.  

Me (mortified, but trying to play it cool, but also genuinely confused):  Why? They're just stupid pictures of us in our underwear.  I mean, that's kind of embarrassing, but why is he mad?

Stacey: I don't know, but he made me burn them.  And he said that he can never go to Miller's Drug Store again.  

Me:  Geez Mr. McGill, it's not that big of a deal.

Stacey: I knoooow! Riiiiight?! I don't know why he's so mad.  He said that the photo guy treated him like he had a disease. 

Me:  What does that mean?

Stacey: I don't know.  He was yelling and soaking the photos in lighter fluid so I didn't want to ask.  

Fast forward ten years.  The four of us are home from college having drinks.  We start reminiscing about old times, and 'the sexy photo shoot' comes up.  It was the first time we had ever brought it up and we roared with laughter as we recalled what our underdeveloped, brace-faced selves must have looked like.  "I don't even think I had what you could call breast buds!" exclaimed Kristy.  "Remember how mad your dad was!" I said.  "Yeah, he was being so weird about it . . .he made me burn the pictures . . ." Stacey slowly recalled.  Suddenly, we all got really quiet.  We looked around at each other and realized (ten years too late) what poor Mr. McGill had to go through that day at Miller's drugstore.  And then we burst into a fit of laughter.

From time to time I will see Mr. McGill. Whether at a graduation, wedding, or funeral I feel the urge to apologize for making him look like a child pornographer. But I always lose my nerve.  And so Mr. McGill, here I am, officially apologizing for making you look like a pervert at a family owned drugstore in a small town that absorbs gossip like a triple ply Bounty paper towel on my blog (that no one reads) where you have a pseudonym.