This awkward Kentucky fan photo arrived Sunday morning via my sister, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and informed me that this photo is presently hanging on display in the Lexington mall.
It really is.
Where do we begin with a photo this magnificent?
For a moment just pause and take it all in.
Glorious, isn't it?
How much do I love this photo?
Let me count the ways:
1. Who commissions a portrait like this?
This isn't a drunk gameday snapshot. Or a stupid wedding photo that we all end up looking ridiculous while posing for.
These are people who thought: "We want to spend hundreds of dollars on a portrait of ourselves wearing Kentucky gear and holding our poodle wearing a Kentucky sweater."
Also, what about the dog groomer who was told to make sure the poodle looked great because the couple was getting its picture taken with her?
2. This couple is clearly rich.
Note the massive rock on the wife's hand plus the rich white man haircut -- I think it's called the "I pretend to care about social issues to stay rich" special. (Note: the rich white man haircut is frequently a toupee).
Which makes the decision making even more outstanding. Sometimes awkward fan photos arise because the fans in the pictures don't have the money to be discriminating in their taste. Here? Well, that's not an issue at all. This couple is proud of this photo.
3. I can hear rich white man hair now: "Buffy, where'd you put my Kentucky coaches' sweater? It's time to get our picture taken with your cocker spaniel." (Note, this may actually be a poodle. So I've split the options).
Blue sweater is exuding the charm you've come to expect from vice-presidents of regional silverware companies everywhere.
He's probably sent an email to a pushy subordinate before that has a line like this: "Don't think you can bully me, I own Dillard's regional Kentucky cutlery department, bitch."
4. Did the couple debate how big the photo should be?
Right now, it's huge.
As if it wasn't a bad enough decision to pose for this photo, did they have to make it lifesize?
And how would you keep a straight face if someone showed you this photo in their house?
"And here's Buffy and Padgett."
I would lose it.
5. Think about how long it took to get the damn cocker spaniel to look at the camera.
Didn't this give the husband enough time to realize how ridiculous this idea was?
After the poodle looked away for the twentieth consecutive shot, wouldn't you preserve whatever semblance of masculinity you had left and walk away from the photo shoot?
6. Someone saw this portrait upon creation and thought that it was so amazing it would actually lead to more business.
Think about this for a minute.
Again, my sister says this is currently displayed at the main Lexington, Kentucky mall.
Meaning lots of people theoretically see this and want one too.
The only thing worse than posing for the original photo?
Seeing this and wanting your own version.
7. The dog has a white bow on its head.
Somehow this is even more ridiculous than the fact that the dog is wearing a Kentucky sweater.
8. The wife's legs are not visible.
Where have they gone?
My working hypothesis -- she is sinking in quicksand.
9. There is a blue mist surrounding the picture.
Which makes me believe that this is what Kentucky fans believe heaven is like.
You get to wear Kentucky sweaters all day long.
And even the dogs are fans.
Without the blue mist I would have been totally confused as to which team these fans were rooting for.
10. Would there ever be a time when this pose could actually occur in real life?
One of the staples of the awkward fan photo oeuvre is the fact that the fans in these photos would never actually adopt these poses for any other reason.
(If you learn nothing else from the awkward fan photo gallery, it should be this -- if you wouldn't do it in real life, refuse to do it in a picture).
Think about this pose: has there ever been a time when you were squatting on one knee and your wife was laying on her chest -- keep your mind out of the gutter -- and you were both facing forward?
I spent thirty minutes trying to think of how this photo could occur in real life and I finally came up with one:
It's a rec league softball game and your wife has just slid head first across home plate to score the winning run and you, the third base coach who just waved her home, are being photographed kneeling beside her in the celebratory moment.
11. Hello, blue butterfly collar!
Somewhere a fired member of the Liz Claiborne "Post-Menopausal 1994" collection is drinking red wine straight from the bottle and slurring, "We marketed these all wrong."
12. The hoop earrings on the woman.
It says sexy, but not the kind of sexy that leaves you lying on the ground in an Italian restaurant after hours while Rick Pitino runs a fast break on your wife.
13. There are no children.
But if this couple has children, they've already realized how ridiculous their mom and dad's photo with the dog is and they're probably en route to the mall now.
Where additional hundreds of dollars will be spent to keep this photo from ever being displayed in public again.
I'm sure I've missed some details. Have at it in the comments.