Tyler  McNamara
Writing. World Building. Game Design.

Reality Fan Fiction

You Won’t Believe This Weird Old Trick to Stay Looking Forever Young

1. Commission a realist painter to paint your portrait.

Any painter will do, but the closer the likeness to you the more you will undoubtedly get away with. No need to do silly superstitious things like mixing your bodily fluids into the paint. This will only ensure that the old fortuneteller’s reading will follow your painting through history ala The Red Violin (nice, super current pop culture reference!).

2. Sell your soul to the Devil.

This is very important: do not skimp on any ol’ devil or demon. Not just any old Ba’al or Azazel will do, and I know Diablo had gotten a lot of play recently with the video game, and sure that big rack of horns is impressive and all, but don’t be fooled by those lesser evils; Ask for the big S himself and don’t be surprised when he looks like Pacino. (Part of Pacino’s pact with the prime evil was that he would become as handsome as Satan himself.)

Also, for Christ’s sake, don’t go to Death. He can’t do magic, he can just barter for your soul and that ma’fucker is good at chess. Like, playing-against-the-computer-on-hard-mode good.

3. Put the painting somewhere safe.

This is very serious, and in many ways the hardest step. Remember you've switched fates with the painting: As it gets old you remain immortalized in the time when it was painted. Don’t get smart and hired the painter to paint a younger version of you, it won't work. If the painting doesn't look exactly like you, your idiot soul won’t be fooled when the Devil does the switcheroo.

Take some time now and try to think where it would be safe. NO! Don’t mount it above your mantle, there’s a fire right beneath it! Seriously you have to think these things through. No, not in the attic. Just imagine what might happen as bugs and/or mice started to eat the delicious crusty old oil. Ooh, one of those climate controlled storage facilities. You’re on the right track, but still no. Say you get this thing painted in 2014 and in a hundred years from now the great-great-great grandchildren of the storage facility look at their records and see that you’ve been a faithful customer for the last 100 years. You can’t leave a paper trail of proof.

I’ll give you a hint. Where could you put it that is climate controlled, has some of the best security available, and will pay YOU to store it there? If you answered an art museum you’re correct. Also, you have to make sure the painting has some innocuous name that doesn’t mention you, or the age of the person. No "Tyler smoking a pipe," or "Handsome young man," or "Prince Charming," these kinds of names will only arouse investigation as it ages.

The only catch is that you have to live well. If over the course of a year the painting starts to look all bloated and fat cause you decided to start living off bacon donuts, and nacho cheese fries, or worse all skeletal with sunken eyes and black veins, the staff is going to suspect that the original was stolen.

If at any time you get tired of living forever don’t come complaining to me, just sneak into the museum and stab it with a knife. The painting will be fine and no one will ever know who that old guy is or who or why someone decided to stab him at The Met.

Special thanks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for acquiring and keeping this painting safe all these years.


The Picture of Dorian Gray

, by Oscar Wilde

“Self Portrait”, by Gustave Courbet