Steering the ElephantI was looking for something to store my headphones in or on and was not successful in my search for quite some time. I either did not like the look or did not want to spend as much on a stand as I had on the headphones. I am also difficult to buy presents for, especially at Christmas. In general, the things I like are either expensive, or I do not wait for some special occasion so that they can be given to me. Considerate but impatient.

So every Christmas, my wife and children ask me what I want. I stammer around trying to think of something, am not successful, then tell them that I don’t need anything and a card would be wonderful. I understand that if I were the one asking for suggestions from them, that answer would be totally unacceptable. As I have matured, I try to give general suggestions for presents rather than a specific request.

A few years ago when the question came in December, I asked my children to try and find me something for my headphones. They were successful, very successful. On Christmas Day they presented me with what I considered to be an exceptional gift. Since then it has turned out to be better than I had imagined.

Here is Headphone Man.


Headphone Man, ©2013, RAR

His job was to live at the end of my desk and keep track of my various headphones. Since his arrival that Christmas, I have learned he does more than that.

I take a lot of pictures, and he helps with some of my ideas. One year he dressed for all of the national holidays, and I captured each one, some in color, others in black and white. He is quite versatile. He celebrates special occasions, like graduations and weddings. All are photographed. Occasionally I send his picture to those who I think might enjoy seeing what he is up to.

Now, I am somewhat dyslexic and I tend to think graphically, so my first impulse is to show someone a picture and wait for his or her reaction. This works for some of the people I know. It does not work for everyone. Some people need a little narrative about what they are seeing. In regards to pictures of Headphone Man, the question is usually one of perplexity – what’s with the Headphone Man pictures? In every case when the question is asked, I answer:

“Whimsy… a moment of mirth… no brain… no ears… no arms or hands… no genitalia… but, something is going on in there, look at the expression on his face, it never changes!”

I have not had anyone not smile at the picture once they hear this answer, and subsequently become a fan of Headphone Man.

As I said, Headphone Man sits at the end of my desk. He has been there for almost three years. No matter what is going on in my life, how rushed or focused I am, when I look his way, I smile and momentarily slow down. That is good for me.

He does more than watch out for my headphones, he watches out for the head the phones go on, as well.

He has been stylin’ lately. Lookin’ good, too!


Headphone Man, ©2013, RAR