My friend griped to me about a recent picture his girlfriend took of him while driving to Boston. To me, he appeared to be the same guy I always knew, though he did look slightly paler than I had remembered.

  
            “I think I look dangerously similar to my dad in it,” he typed to me through text. “It’s weird.”
           His choice of adverb struck me as odd, and in my mind, required further inquiry. “Dangerously? As if coming any closer to his resemblance might cause you to spontaneously grow machetes for arms and go on a killing spree?” I replied, slightly amused by the imagery that invaded my brain.
         “I don’t know. I just don’t like that I look like him—he’s ugly,” he shot back.
[ Back in the day my friend’s father had been a member of the Israeli army, and a picture of him holding an AK-47 was the product of downtime in the field—although the rather playful and nonchalant nature of the weapon’s toting, along with his lack of pants, made it look he might be drunk at a backyard BBQ. Either way, it looked like a kick-ass time. ] 

I assured him that he indeed wasn’t ugly and that, upon meeting his father, the man didn’t strike me as particularly repulsive either. For this I backed up my argument, knowing my good friend to be someone who doesn’t take comments so much at face value, but values their explanation ten fold. “In fact, the first thing I thought when I met him was, ‘this guy could have his own T.V. show’. But, they won’t give it to him because there’s a picture of him out there holding an AK-47 with no pants on; that’s not how they do things in America,” I replied.