Guido the artist is in the holographic studio, about to start on my portrait. As all Starfleet Captains have this done to line the halls at HQ, it is now my turn.
I put my chest out, trying to look distinguished and impotant. I realise my dress shirt uniform needs adjusting and perfor 'The Picard Manouvre'.
"Do not keep moving Captain!" shouts an exasperated Guido, "How can I be expected to create my piece de resistance if you can't keep still?"
"Sorry." I answer, "Guido, how long will it take to paint me?"
"Well, Captain." he answers, "If Starfleet had paid me a lot, it would be an intense study conducted over many sittings that would have revealed the image behind the man, and would have taken many days. As Starfleet haven't paid much, I probably can real this off in about half an hour."
I sigh. Riker enters.
"Captain!" he exclaims, "We are under attack from the Vorash. You're needed on the Bridge."
"I'd better go and..." I say, then see Guido scream.
"Err...Number One." I say, "See if you can handle it. The event will be good training for you."
Riker goes off, shaking his head.
Half an hour later, Riker returns to say that the Vorash attack has been quashed.
"Well done, Number One." I tell him.
"It is finished!" exclaims Guido, "Truly, this is a masterpiece, one of true greatness."
"Let's have a look!" I say, as Riker and I rush to see the result.
"Is it not truly a vision of wonder?" Guido says with pride, "People will look in awe at this."
"They'll do that all right!" replies Riker with a laugh, "Alexander does better ones in the school art class!"
"What's this?" I ask angrily, "Is this what will be representing me in Starfleet Headquarters?"
"You are both amateurs!" Guido says with disgust, "Naturally, you have no concept of art. You probably thought that Emin Tracey's Walayan Wart Hog in a Vat of Acid was not brilliant either."
"That's right." we both answer.
Guido picks up his easel in disgust and asks to leave this ship of artistic neanderthals as soon as possible.
After he's gone, we all look at the picture.
"Maybe we're not seeing the picture in the right way?" Bev comments.
"You may be right." I reply, and turn the picture so that we are looking at the back of the canvas, all blank.
"MUCH better!" we exclaim.
I'm indebted to Amanda for presenting me with this wonderful Award.