Foot and Mouth Disease

There is a man waiting outside of the building I am supposed to be going into.  He wears a very nice suit and a carries a very nice briefcase and I am subsequently introduced to him when he yells “Fuck!” and continues to shuffle through his nice briefcase to find nothing in particular.  It is also possible he is attempting to get some aggression out on a portable Rolodex or something.  I scoot closer to the wall and pray he isn’t a total lunatic, just a regular person having a rough day.  I press down on the button for the third floor and wait for someone to let me inside.

“You’re going to the third floor, too?” he asks.

“Uh, huh.”

There is no ring on the other end of the intercom and I am forced to stand there staring at my own reflection while this man I think could be a well dressed nutbag gets more and more irritated.

Finally someone buzzes us both in and we are in even closer proximity to one another.  He offers an explanation.

“I was supposed to meet someone down here twenty minutes ago.  Ergh.”

I make some comment about how that’s awfully rude or that’s not very courteous.  I don’t mention that I think it is strange he didn’t just go upstairs and fetch this person sooner.  It seems to me this man might have an anger problem and you don’t tell people with anger problems what to do unless you want a fist in your face.  My job does not afford me the luxury of allowing fists in my face on a regular or even a casual basis.  One day when I leave this industry I’ll be able to get into fights left and right in addition to painting my fingers and toenails any shade of the rainbow I desire, while avoiding “pretty pinks” or “clean beige.”  Fuck neutrals.

“Are you here for a go-see?” he asks.

“Yeah.  It’s always go go go go,” I respond back lamely.  I can’t come up with anything better than that.  I am an idiot.

He asks me what campaign it is for.  Here’s where the self-deprecation starts.  I correct him for thinking me to be a bigger model than I am and tell him that I’m just here for showroom modeling.  “At this point,” I say, “I’m just in it for the money.”  He understands and does not seem that disappointed in me so we move into the elevator, both comfortable with having misjudged each other – him for thinking me to be being a “campaign girl” and me for thinking him a ‘roid raging beast.  I quite like this man; he is just frustrated.

As the doors close I notice that he is holding two Esquire magazines.  Now that we’ve started polite conversation, it would be rude to stop.

“Is that Tina Fey?” I ask, almost incredulously.  From a side angle it almost looks like Kiera Knightley but I am unaware of any upcoming projects of hers that would require such promotion right now.  All I see is smoky brown makeup and chestnut hair; her whole body tucked neatly into a tight dress.

“Yes, it is!  She’s never looked better,” he says, admiring the cover like an old man who can’t see well.

I lean in closer to inspect what is the sexiest picture of Tina Fey I’ve ever seen.  She does look good.  Damn good.  But instead of leaving it at that, I analyze the picture further, inappropriately offering my opinion to this stranger.

“It’s so strange…how they retouched her hair…she just looks so…cut out…or something…hmm…”

He responds to this using the “Royal ‘We’” when he says something like, “Oh, well WE always cut the person out and put the typeface behind them” which means that he works for the magazine and I am an asshole.


“Oh!  You work for Esquire?!  I didn’t mean anything bad, I just…well, I used to date a photographer and I’m hypercritical of Photoshop and lighting and I’m just as hard on myself as anyone else.”

I’m backtracking but I don’t think he cares that much.  After all, I’m just a showroom model in an elevator with opinions that don’t necessarily matter.  My pride would go unscathed if I were him, too.  Still, I continue on my reparative tirade.  By the time the door opens I am telling him that Tina Fey is my god and I can’t believe how good she looks.  This is not a lie, especially the part about her being my god.  Tina Fey is one awesome babe.

Esquire Man asks for the person he’s supposed to meet and the receptionist who I am pretty sure is an idiot tells him that the person is downstairs already.  This is impossible because there is only one elevator and he was manning the lobby for the last twenty minutes.  Still, he believes her and heads back into the elevator, more irritated than ever.

“It’s just one of those days,” I say.

“Yeah,” he says trying to laugh to himself, adding a “Good luck with this.”

“You, too.”

I sit down and he disappears and I hope this guy doesn’t remember my face because if I ever look for a job at Esquire I am going to be his favorite word of choice with an –ED at the end.



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