Because the internet is weird and unpredictable, that image took off, and a lot of other people have subsequently used it on other platforms and linked back to me or credited me. As a result, I get periodic reminders that yes, that is an image I made and posted. For a few years, it also showed up when you google my name, though I’d like to point out that that is not me. That is the actor Whit Hertford, who would later become the kid that Sam Neill both impresses and terrifies with a raptor claw in Jurassic Park. But as Duckface, as an image that I featured on my blog years ago, he’s just become a persistent part of my internet presence.
Last night, I posted something on Facebook. And it got a reply.
I’m not posting this to brag about a glancing interaction with *the* original Duckface himself, although that totally wasn’t something I had expected would happen yesterday. I’m sharing this little nothing of an anecdote because I want to convey to you how strange it is to be a human being in Los Angeles when you’ve grown up on a steady diet of pop culture, when you primarily interact with the world via the internet and when you realize that you’ve ended up in the same geographic area as most of the bit players from your childhood. It’s strange to encounter an image of a person again and again and maybe disconnect that image from the living, breathing person who appears in it to the point that you forget that he went on to play other roles and also does things independent from an acting career. (You know, like use Facebook in the exact way everyone else does.) And it’s strange to see that person—say, in line at the grocery store or just online on Facebook or maybe Minkus from Boy Meets World gets the last ticket to a show you’re trying to get into, because that is also a thing that happened once—and to have the internal reaction of “Oh! I know you!” only to have that immediately followed by “No, wait. I don’t at all. I’ve just seen you. In fact, I’ve seen you but you haven’t seen me,” and that’s a normal thing because that’s how TV and movies work.
It’s just all weird, when you think about it.