You may look at the photo above and wonder if Jamie has a supermodel doppelgänger. Hardly.
As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve recently been cleaning out our storage shed. We had somehow accumulated dozens of cardboard boxes and plastic crates full of photos and memorabilia and complete crap, which I am now in the process of editing and digitizing. I’ve run across a lot of really interesting stuff that I had completely forgotten. One of those photos takes us back to San Luis Obispo.
We’d been living in the little Central Coast paradise for a couple years when Jamie came home from a luncheon one afternoon to tell me she’d met a photographer. This so-called taker of photos was a friend of a friend and approached her to ask if she’d ever done any modeling. She was all excited because he said he might want to use her in a local ad campaign.
I, of course, being the cynical ad guy that I am, told her it was complete bullshit, that this guy was undoubtedly some fast talking loser and that she had fallen for the oldest line in the world. She was horrified and told me he was a very nice man.
Well, it turns out that she was right and I was wrong. Barry really was a professional photographer and called her a few days later to schedule a photo shoot. Next thing I knew, Jamie’s face, blown up to about ten feet tall, was plastered all over the new Court Street shopping complex. Barry was completely legit, a terrific photographer, and a damn nice guy, to boot.
A few days later, I was driving into town listening to Pete and Joe, the very funny morning team on the local classic rock station, when they went off on a riff about the beautiful woman with the giant head whose photo now graced Court Street. It was a Who’s-On-First kind of exchange with one explaining to the other that it was actually the photo that was huge, not the woman’s head. But nevertheless, they went on and on talking about my wife and I was laughing out loud as I drove down Broad Street.
That afternoon I was getting a persistent knot massaged out of my back and got into a conversation with the new massage therapist. She told me her boyfriend was a local DJ.
“Anyone I would know,” I asked.
“Do you ever listen to KZOZ? He’s Joe of Pete and Joe.”
“I love Pete and Joe,” I responded. “Did you hear their bit this morning about the woman with the giant head down at Court Street?”
“Yes, I did,” she said. “It was hilarious.”
“Well, that giant-headed woman is my wife.”
She told me that Pete and Joe were scheduled to do a remote broadcast from right there at Court Street the following Thursday evening. She suggested that we should walk up and introduce ourselves to see if they recognized Jamie.
KZOZ’s portable studio was set up on Higuera Street about half a block from Jamie’s giant head. We walked up to the booth and said, “Hi. Sarah told us to stop in and introduce ourselves.” Pete and Joe glanced very briefly at me, then immediately zeroed in on Jamie. (Something I have become very used to over the years.) They did a double take. They stared at her, then swiveled their heads to look down the block at her photo. They did a couple more double takes before Pete finally sputtered, “Are you the woman with the…with the…with the giant head?”
We all laughed and introduced ourselves. Pete and Joe were just as much fun off the air as they were on.
Now you might think this brings an end to the story of Jamie’s giant head.
But no. This is merely where it takes a decidedly more perverted turn.
Jamie and I were dozing off at about 11:00 one night when her cell phone rang. It was our friend Andy. He told us he was calling from downtown because he had spotted four homeless guys gathered near Jamie’s photo. “Swear to God, Jamie, they were all jerking off on your photo.”
She was disgusted and hung up on him.
The next night Andy called again at about the same time to apologize for what he’d said the night before. “I’m down here by your photo again and there are no homeless guys tonight.”
“Well, that’s a relief,” Jamie said.
“Yeah,” he added. “So tonight I’m jerking off on it.”
We really need to upgrade our roster of friends.
UPDATE: I met with Barry, the photographer, one day and told him I wanted that photo of Jamie’s giant head when the campaign finally ran its course. He nabbed it for me and it has now followed us to three different residences. The colors have faded over the years and her skin now has a distinct green tinge, but I love it. Every time we move, Jamie begs me to put it in the trash, but I refuse. How many guys have ten foot tall portraits of their wives?