My pal and boss, Andrew, has had the same Facebook profile photo for as long as we’ve been Facebook friends, which is at least a few years.
Even more unusual is the fact that it’s not a good photo. Oh, he looks fine, but it’s out of focus, it’s not cropped, he’s standing beside a fridge, and he’s not even smiling. Check it out:
Why would you choose such a photo as your profile pic? Why, moreover, would you leave it that way for YEARS? It’s a mystery, and it’s just part of the reason we think Andrew is great.
That’s why, for his birthday this year, Samuel Benoit and I orchestrated a jolly prank:
Dear friends that I have in common with Andrew,
Andrew’s birthday is coming up and Samuel and I had the most fantastic idea for a birthday prank. We invite you to take part in it.
As you may know, Andrew’s profile photo has been the same for years. It’s a shot of him wearing a blue t-shirt, standing next to a fridge that has photos on it, and he has kind of an odd (bemused? melancholy? indifferent? suspicious?) look on his face.
For his birthday this year, we’ll each try to recreate this photo in our own homes, with ourselves in it, as a parody of his strange choice of profile photo. Then we’ll each make this our profile photo on his birthday and tag Andrew in it. Got it?
Feel free to spread the word to other friends of Andrew, but BE SNEAKY; this is top secret until the day of!
And then, this pep message, the night before the big day:
The moment Andrew has been waiting for without even knowing it is almost upon us.
Digital camera? Check!
Facebook profile? Check!
Tonight is the night we take the pictures. Tomorrow we upload them and tag Andrew in them. It’s time for this social networking thing to prove its worth.
And now, reproduced here for your viewing pleasure, are a few of the photos.
Happy Birthday Andrew!
Let’s hope I still have a job tomorrow….
Andrew’s reactionary status update: “Oh my dear lord.” Funny, that’s just what we were going for.
Later, he expounded:
First of all, thank you guys for the birthday wishes. Second of all, holy crap. I don’t know how I can accept any other gift now that I’ve gotten these.
I could go into an analysis of all three pictures, but they are like a great Shakespearean drama, needing to marinate in the mind, linger there, and only reveal its intricacies in the fullness of time.
At this point I accused him of having written a Master’s thesis about Chaucer, which he did. Then he wrote:
I’m glad I did, too. Otherwise, how would I be able to absorb all of the careful details in these works?
Sure, you’ve all captured the facial expression, the slight tilt of the body. The fire extinguisher is, of course, a masterful touch. And I don’t have the powers of insight to discuss the pictures on the fridge.
And yet you’ve all captured …something more. An aura. An essence. They are more my profile pic than my profile pic itself.
Little did he know, it wasn’t about to stop at three. Others rolled in as the day went on:
Friends mirthfully commented on all the photos and, in the thrilling final chapter of this episode, Andrew himself participated:
Amazing! He got the location just right. And he really looks like Andrew.
Solid work, team!