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I’ve found a Vancouver talent agency that’s interested in Babby, although they warn me that business for babies is a little slow year-round. I’m not looking to turn him into a star or anything, but a substantial amount of my college fund was paid for by appearing in tv commercials and such, so I know it can be helpful. Even if we got Babby into one commercial, that would still likely be $2000 his RESP didn’t have in it before.

The agency wants a professional portrait for their files. I guess they have had too many experiences with parents going “Oh, actually, I dabble in photography myself, so here’s a photo that I took” while handing them a photo with dirty diapers in the background and a booger in the foreground.

The problem is, we have no money.

Zip. Dead broke.

Not only did we recently buy plane tickets home for the late spring/early summer, but our car has suddenly decided that it needs a new air compressor, new shocks, and a new battery, and it took $350 bucks just to find that out. We haven’t dared ask for an estimate for the actual repairs yet, but we need to do it soon.

The upshot of all this was that PH and I did something that we never, ever, in a million years, dreamed we would do.

We went to Walmart.

It is a testament to PH’s love for me and willingness to support me in my whims that he even set foot there. You see, we are intellectual snobs and Walmart stands for pretty much everything that we hate. Yes, there are a lot of other companies out there that are just as big and corporate and evil, but there’s just something about Walmart that feels especially trashtacular.

Walmart is attracts people who are willing to line up like cattle for the slaughter all for the sake of saving a dollar here, fifty cents there. In general, this does not tend to be your highest class of person, and now we had joined their ranks.

The (soul-destroying) reason that we went there anyway is that we got 30 prints, including an “enhanced” 10X13, for nine bucks.

All we had to do was:

  • Show up on time for our appointment.
  • Wait with an increasingly bored and tired baby for over an hour, while being repeatedly told “it’ll just be five more minutes… why don’t you have a stroll around the store?”
  • Listen to people who showed up for an appointment booked later than ours, who then argued to the girl at the desk that they should get to go before us, because they booked an appointment for now, and their baby was younger.
  • Listen to exchanges like “what are you snacking for? Now you’ve got shit all in your teeth,” between a mother and her young daughter.
  • Accept that the picture was going to be unflattering and possibly even scary to look at.

By the time we got in to the studio, Babby was sleepy, red eyed and nose-rubbing, and it took a long time to get a good smile from him. When we did, the red and watery eyes were noticeable in the portrait, and there was a black hair stuck to a booger under his nose, which may or may not show up in the enlargements. I’m not sure the picture will really show him off to his best advantage, but the agency wanted a studio portrait, and by gum, they’ll get one.

Except we have to wait two weeks for the portraits to be developed. Even though there is an 24 hour photo processing centre in the exact same room.

But hey, it cost less than ten bucks.