Words and Pictures? Pass

My days of journalism and deadlines and word counts and waiting for invoices to be paid are done. “Rock is dead. Long live rock and roll!” And all that malarkey. The editor for the last online magazine I wrote for, “Fast Lane Biker Delmarva,” regularly asked for “pictures to go with the text.” I tried, honest I did. My editors with Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly wanted the same thing, for almost 20 years. I managed to comply consistently enough with product and motorcycle reviews, but with my column I pretty much failed them regularly.


I hate taking pictures and I really hate taking pictures of me. I don’t even like looking at pictures of me. 95% of the reason I have a beard is that shaving requires looking in a mirror and mirrors explode into vaporized silicon dioxide when exposed to my face for any period of time. Seriously, I’m not visual and my patience with being asked to mess with images of any sort was never great but is now vanishing. When I was doing the journalism thing, criticism of my pictures usually evoked a “you do it, then” response. Threatening to dock my pay if pictures weren’t included didn’t have much leverage. I’d pay not to have to take a picture, so losing an article assignment because I couldn’t guarantee useful pictures was not much of a price to pay.

My wife is a “visual artist,” but one who is chronically lazy when it comes to learning anything new. In her mind, the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten pretty much wrapped up her education philosophy. (Except for those idiotic alien invasion Netflix “documentaries she seems infatuated with. Do you know there are morons who call themselves “alienologists?” Seriously. They all look like the Simpson’s Comic Book Guy and the same droning idiot narrates every one of those programs. It is the soundtrack of our basement office.) For more than 50 years, 99.9999% of our family pictures have been taken by me (resentfully) and even the ones that included me were usually taken with that damned self-timer camera function. (I should have never admitted that I know how to do that.) I have taken exactly one picture in my life that I sort of liked and that picture got my camera work more criticism than all of the other crap combined.

Today, while we were walking the dog along Spring Creek, my wife decided she wanted a picture of the creek for our 2021 Xmas card. We haven’t done cards in more than 20 years, but suddenly not only are we doing one but I’m supposed to take pictures and design a card. And for the first time in our 55 years together I said, “Nope. Not doin’ it. You want it, you do it.” I’m laying odds that will be the end of the Xmas card, but if it isn’t I will definitely write something as my contribution.

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