The Unrivalled Joy of Microsoft Paint

I wanted to do something different with cards this Christmas, partly because I'm a bit like that and partly because standard Christmas cards are rather quite boring.  Don't get me wrong: I love the sentiment, I even love the politics of who gets one and who hasn't done enough during the year to impress, and - perhaps above all - I love the monotony of writing card after card after card. 

But I was bored with buying them.  The same designs every year! I didn't want my individuality to be restricted to a dozen or so options in Clinton Cards.  So around mid-November, I set out to design my own.  I thought about drawing them by hand, but concluded that they would be funnier and easier to duplicate if I drew them digitally. 

Step forward Microsoft Paint.  Oh, how I've missed you.  Your mighty cans of infinite spray paint, your blotchy masterpiece impossibilities, the way you make us curse at our awful mice!  You truly do bring out the worst in people.

For those young enough (or in, some cases, old enough!) to remember, Microsoft Paint was always an application you used as as bit of a joke.  It could never, ever used with a straight face because the thing was made to draw a teacher you didn't like, or anatomically-innacurate illustrations of undersized (your friend's) or oversized (your own) genitalia, complete with arrowed annotation.  Or was that just me?  Push come to the shove, you could always scare your friend with what they would look like on the pavement after you pushed them off a very tall building.  It has a thousand and one uses.  For a teenager, it had more crudeness than an oil well. 

Let's be honest: being bad at drawing is a disability, one that most of us suffer from, but allowances are made when you start drawing something on Microsoft Paint.  Quite frankly, you're setting yourself up for a major embarrassment as soon as you click on the icon, so as long as you're in that frame of mind, you can't go wrong.  Ever since Windows 95, it's been a given.  Do not use Microsoft Paint unless you're willing to risk every last ounce of credibility.

This lesson has taught me that it's impossible to draw a good picture in Microsoft Paint.  I did improve, but it's arguable as to whether I drew a single decent picture. 

Christmas cards 2011


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