Enrique has been taking photos of absolutely everything this week. He got wind of the fact that every year Jersey Telecom run a competition to find a picture for the front of the phone book. Enrique is shit at taking photos. He knows I used to work in a camera shop and that has made me his go-to guy. It’s really annoying and also a little bit heartbreaking as he is actually trying. It’s mostly really annoying.
He goes to town to get the films from his disposable camera developed. He won’t buy a digital. The first camera he finished I took from him and started breaking open in front of his face. He actually screamed like a woman with his hands over his eyes. When I produced the film canister all safe from inside the disposable camera instead of a tangle of film he nearly shit. He wouldn’t have been more impressed had I produced a real chicken from a Kinder Surprise. That just re-enforced the idea to him that I am an expert photographer. Actually I am pretty good.
His first film was just photos of things. Like buildings and a fence. A man posing with a dog. A bus. The man’s an idiot. So I explained best I could that the photos shouldn’t be so obvious. He should look for usual angles. The unexpected. Again he did try. He took photos of rubbish bins, mushrooms and smoke. Also a frankly horrific series starring Paula. Jesus. Grim.
Anyway, today he reckons he’d cracked it. He was super happy. He came up to me holding the photo to his chest. “Piano Man, I did it,” he goes. I’m thinking it’s a bauble on a Christmas tree because every clown takes close-up photos of baubles on Christmas trees. He turns it over onto the counter like a child playing Snap.
It’s a bauble on a Christmas tree, close-up so you can just about see the moron taking the photo’s stupid white fucking hat.
“Good? S’stupendous!” He replies. I don’t know what film he watched last night to pick that word up from.
“Yeah, no it is good.” I lied. “Hey, don’t call me Piano Man any more. It’s annoying.” Enrique smiled and began nodding.
“Tank chu, Piano Man, chu teach me a lot.”
“What did I just say?”
“Oh, sorry. Tank chu.”
You don’t get thanks from Enrique that often so that was nice to hear. I let him send it off. He won’t win, why the fuck would they put a Christmas picture on the phone book? But it’s best he learns these things the hard way.