Monday, October 29, 2012

Really, Really Ridiculously Good Looking

My planeteer costume from last year and Lindsay

As an adult, Halloween has never really been my thing.  I don’t mind dressing up, but I’m not a big fan of the effort and/or money involved in creating a costume.  Last year I was a planeteer because the costume was super-simple and referenced my childhood.  I thought about being a planeteer again this year, but then I had a better idea.

I’ve been told for years that I look like Peewee Herman, and I concur (I’ve also been told that I sound like Ben Stein and have eyes like Kermit’s).  At one of my middle school’s last year we had an era dress up day – the 8th graders dressed up like the 80’s, the 7th graders like the 70’s, the 6th graders like the 60’s, and the teachers like the 50’s.  I didn’t have anything that looked very 50’s so I decided to wear a red bowtie with a dress shirt, my suit jacket and I parted my hair.  I could have passed for a mid-century professor, but I also could have passed for Peewee Herman.  I decided then and there that I would be Peewee Herman for Halloween.

Fast forward about six months and I’m living in Tucson.  Kevin, my roommate, told me that the next day was 80’s day at his work and he didn’t know how to dress up for that.  After recommending neon clothes and sweat bands I said, “Just dress up like a nerd.  Tuck your shirt into your jeans and wear a bowtie.”  He liked the idea, but didn’t have a bowtie so I lent him mine.  He got home from work and excitedly told me that people had said that he looked like Peewee Herman and that he was going to be Peewee for Halloween.  He asked me if he could borrow my red bowtie for his costume.  At first I wasn’t sure what to say because he had just accidently stolen my idea, but he seemed really excited about the idea so I agreed.

Kevin doesn’t read my blog (or so he says) and he doesn’t know this story.  So if any of you know Kevin for reals, let's keep this story between you and me.  I don’t want him to feel bad for unknowingly stealing my costume.

I now had a costume dilemma.  We had a Halloween dance at church on Friday night and I didn’t know who to be.  I didn’t bring my planeteer vest to Arizona so I would have to buy another one and didn’t feel like spending $5.  I briefly considered skipping the dance, but that seemed lame.  I also considered going to the dance and not dressing up, but that seemed even lamer.  I did what I usually do when I don’t quite know what to do – I checked Facebook.  One of my friends had posted: “I've narrowed down my Halloween costume ideas to two: Marty McFly, or ridiculously photogenic guy.”  I had completely forgotten about the ridiculously photogenic guy of Facebook fame and immediately decided that I would be him for Halloween.  And I didn’t feel bad stealing my friend’s idea since he lives in Washington.

Here's the guy in case you've never heard of him
I told Kevin, and Manny, and Maurie, and Christina that I was going to be the ridiculously photogenic guy, but none of them had heard of him.  This made me think I’d made a bad costume decision.  I explained to them that some photographer had taken a picture of some random people running in a marathon and the guy in the picture was unusually photogenic for someone running in a race.  The photographer posted the picture of Flickr with a caption that said, “Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy,” and for some reason the image went viral and was the source of numerous memes.

I decided to be the ridiculously photogenic guy anyway mostly because it was super-easy (I wore my running clothes and taped a homemade marathon bib to my shirt).  A lot of people at the dance didn’t know who I was and I explained it a few times, but I formed a special bond with the people who did recognize me.  A few strangers said, “Hey, you’re that meme!” and “You’re that guy from Facebook” and my heart warmed when someone said, “You’re the ridiculously photogenic guy!”  So instead of portraying a man that was arrested for indecent exposure, I portrayed a man a girl once described as “handsome.”  I think I made the right choice.
Okay, so maybe I'm not ridiculously photogenic,
but at least I'm somewhat photogenic
Kevin doing the Peewee dance


Unknown said...

I've never seen that picture before, or heard of the Ridiculously Photogenic guy, but he looks so familiar to me. Like, really. Do I know him?

Way to go on not raining on your roommate's parade. You're a good man, Ben.

Heidi said...

love it! You make a good ridiculously photogenic guy. I hope everyone in your ward knows how to spell ridiculously now too:)

Allison said...

Great idea! I think you made the right choice. I like it much more than Peewee.