I’m going to have to renew my passport soon. The big problem with this exercise is finding a suitable self-portrait, one that conforms to the strict regulations on pose, size, background colour, number of heads and so on, but which won’t get immigration officials twitchy, calling security and reaching over for their list of terrorist suspects. Here’s a rather fetching one from my collection,
though I have a feeling that the passports agency might not find it acceptable. I think they might like the inadvertent antlers, though.
But I digress.
I’ve always had trouble with my passport photo, owing to my swarthy levantine complexion and my rather doom-laden resting expression. There I’d be, prinking along quite happily, thinking of bright spring mornings and fluffy chicks, and I’d say something quite innocuous to colleagues such as ‘Good morning,’ and they’d run sobbing to the lavatory. On a time I walked across the commuter-clogged morning concourse at King’s Cross Station, clad in my then-customary attire of designer suit (Yves Saint Laurent, if you must know), Aloha shirt, cowboy boots and dark shades, and the crowds would melt away in my path with the unspoken exhibition of the Red Sea parting for Moses. When I got to the orifice office, a colleague said no wonder, I looked like an Enforcer for the Yakuza.
My current passport photo certainly does me no favours. It makes me look like Abu Nidal‘s deranged younger brother. My mother once told me that when she sees mugshots of suspected Islamist militants on TV, she always remarks on how much they look like me. Now, when your own mother tells you that you look like an Islamic terrorist, you’ve got to worry. A former girlfriend remarked that I looked either like the actor, Alfred Molina (I had more hair in those days) or the celebrated freedom fighter terrorist handsome devil Carlos The Jackal, at least in his younger days.
But the following takes the biscuit. It comes from my colleague Mr. K. Z. of Finchley, as a poster for a forthcoming concert of his ecclesiastically cross-dressing beat combo Frankadelic at which Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman will feature as a special guest. I think it’s meant to resemble Ali G crossed with a moose. I learn that the band rejected the sketch, not because it was too dark and sinister, but because it looks like me.
I wonder how the passports people would see it? It’s certainly a decent likeness, even down to the antlers.