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Sears' photo demise a negative development

Features Column

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

If you need any further proof that our society is crumbling at its core, I now read that Sears has decided to discontinue family portraits.

How, pray tell, can America continue, knowing now there is nowhere to turn if one wishes to drag the entire family to a forced sitting of a photograph that will embarrass the entire family for the next 50 years, all for only $19.95, but which shall grace the fireplace mantel because grandmother says it is the only one that has everyone in it and also doesn’t have ... well fill in the blank here — ex-husband Roy or Johnny in his prison suit, etc.?

Where else could you have a portrait of all the children, parents and grandparents all the while showing Junior scratching where Junior should not be scratching, but where everyone knows Junior is always scratching, so just in case it might be forgotten we’ve now memorialized this cherished memory from here to eternity? Sort of like making sure we never forget that Daddy wore mutton chop sideburns and, yes, Aunt Thelma has always weighed 350 pounds, even when she was only 22.

Sears proved that women could pile their hair three feet tall and that leisure suits were actually worn by actual human beings, that is if you consider Uncle Jake an actual human being.

Most amazing of all, Sears proved people will buy portraits of their families no matter what they look like.

The average family would buy the prints from a photo shoot at Sears like they thought if they did not Sears would offer them for sell on an info commercial and the public would snap them all up, forever destroying the family legacy. “Give me four 4-by-6s, six 8-by-10s and as many wallet sizes as I have third cousins or closer and, yes, I’ll take the half-price coupon for the next sitting since this one turned out so well.”

The average family would buy the portrait if Hitler were accidently superimposed in the portrait.” Well, I’m not sure who that is with the funny mustache. It could be Uncle Johnny. Anyway, we’ll take the whole deluxe package. Thank you kindly.”

Actually, I think the family bought the portraits no matter what because after the ordeal of gathering everyone up for the shoot, by God we are going to have something to show for it, even if the top part of Susie’s head is cut off and it is obvious sister Ginny forgot her panties.

It is especially meaningful if mama could convince the family to wear festive holiday attire for the shooting. Which reminds me: I know why they call it a shooting. You wish someone would shoot you after you see the picture of yourself in the reindeer ears. You know, those ears that everyone said were simply adorable, but actually made you look like you just escaped from Milledgeville.

Or how about the dreaded holiday matching-sweater portrait? Words of advice here: If anyone, anywhere ever tries to get you to match sweaters with anyone, I don’t care if it is with Jesus himself, just say no, and if they want to take a picture after you failed to say no, then strip naked and let them take that, as it is better to have a nude photo circulating the Internet than matching sweaters in a Sears holiday portrait.

Matching sweater holiday portraits are like cigarette butts; they do not bio degrade and can survive a nuclear attack.

Oh, well, all good things must come to an end. We still have the Department of Motor Vehicles for picture taking. May the Sears Family portrait rest in peace.

Contact T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.