Apparently, I’ve been misinformed. Instagram and Snapchat are yesterday’s electronic joy. In our oldest daughter’s words, “last year’s jam, Richard”. Today’s fun is only spread with Snapjam on a piece of crusty Instachat. The new, new thing is something called face swap. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel alarmed. It was entirely new to me until a couple of days ago when I started seeing pictures of people I know who looked nothing like the people I know. To be honest, the images were horrific. No, I hear what you’re thinking. I’m not talking about Face Off. Drunken Nic Cage and John Travolta were nowhere to be found. My daughters have their own, phone based apps for swapping faces with boys, girls, me, their mom, and even the dogs.
Here’s how it works: using fancy pants technology way over my liberal arts pay grade, the application take a picture of your face (and anyone else’s face in the screen). From what I can tell, it works best with two human faces. The camera has trouble has some trouble with multiple faces and the distinctive faces of black Labradors. The black lab in question has the sweetest face of any creature I know. If I could swap faces with anyone, it would probably be her. Though she’s often confused and asleep (as I am) she likes her head rubbed and to be fed regularly. Wait, have we switched already?
So I got ambushed! Two of our girls and one of the visiting teenage boys they call “friend”. (“Why do y’all have to put labels on everything?” I am asked.) Three teenagers, in the post-dinner frenzy then scream, “Can we face swap with Richard?” I always seem to be in the third person. Remnants of the spaghetti dinner still surrounded my mouth. As I’ve been saying since high school, “I don’t want to swap dirty face.” The other adult authority figure in the home seldom appreciates my attempts at humor. I am labeled as “not funny”.
With the wipe of a paper towel and a quick adjust of the glasses, I think I’m ready to be swapped. I admit, when the app takes your picture, it resembles something from a spy movie. White dots encircle your head as calculations appear on the screen. For all of the middle school frivolity, I wonder if they have any idea how much “science” they’re using. Homework is never this much fun. In a flash, a new picture appeared and we looked like a group of alien businessmen on a night out in Meptor 9’s largest city, Chilzak. Chilzak has great Italian food. That’s what we heard from the alien civic tourist bureau. The kids didn’t get that joke either. None of the Earthlings I live with appreciate extra terrestrial observations.
Our faces were beyond distorted. The swap wasn’t exactly even. Yes, we came out as alien versions of ourselves. Albeit aliens with fashionable eye wear. It was the funniest thing the kids had seen in 10 seconds. One tip, never face swap with friends into an alien image on a full bladder. It does wonders for the second picture.