There’s this thing I kind of, sort of, really love to do when I’m with family and friends. I’ve done it ever since the famous Ellen selfie because that picture just made me… happy. You know the one:


And so, almost any time I’m with a big group, and everyone else is otherwise occupied, I make sure there is ample empty space behind me, I quickly raise my phone with front-camera ready, and I start yelling, “GET IN THIS, GET IN THIS!”

Without fail, and it’s probably the biggest reason I love doing it, everyone immediately drops their conversations, they jam their phones into their pockets, they launch from wherever their tushes or feet were planted, and a giant rush of exuberant energy takes place as people rush to be part of the picture.

Some of my favorite photographs have come from interrupting the current lull.


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Anyway, a few weeks ago, our group went to our favorite dive-karaoke-bar. The place… Is gross. The people are sometimes gross. The food is definitely gross. I take abnormal amounts of vitamin-C anytime I go. But… It’s our bar. And we love it.

Of course, I had to take my “GET IN THIS!” selfies (two this time, since we were scattered) with my usual group of friends.


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I had 1.72 steins of beer in me at that point (not a drop more). I stood laughing about God knows what with my good friend Ashley, when I glanced over and took tipsy notice of a table full of people who were just being chill, and mellow, and not paying attention to the American Idol-worthy performance going on at the front of the bar. To be quite frank, the 1.72-beers-version of Dan decided they were not excited enough to be sharing the same elbow room at such a fine low-light establishment.

1.72 beers-version of Dan thought about what he was about to do exactly… zip.

1.72 beers-version of Dan abruptly ditched Ashley mid-conversation.

1.72 beers-version of Dan leapt with phone camera in position, suddenly looming above these lukewarm unexpecting people.

1.72 beers-version of Dan started yelling, “get in this! Get in this!”

1.72 beers-version of Dan was so curious if it would work with strangers as well as it worked with friends.

You tell me.


Smiles. Laughter. Straight snuggling almost (I may have detected an extra hand somewhere in there).

I laughed as Ashley squeezed her own way into the picture from below.

And when it was over, I half-hugged and fully-high-fived the people at the table.

From there, I looked around the dive-bar.

There were poor people. There were well-enough-to-do people. There were bikers. There was tambourine-guy who I’ve never not seen there. There were other regulars. There were new people. There were pretty people and there were even more pretty people (strangely not a single ugly person I could see, though). There were really happy people. There were temporarily happy people. There were quiet people. There were sad people. There were loud people. There were people playing pool. People playing video poker. People rocking the stage. People sulking in corners. Bar tenders and servers. Drunks. Sober Mormons. The DJ. My friends, who really added to the dive-bar weirdo factor. And many more. The place was busy.

“I wonder if we could get everyone in this entire bar to take a selfie,” I wondered aloud to Ashley.

I wasn’t really wondering at all. She could see that I was already dedicated to the experiment, and it took her only half as long to dedicate herself right alongside me.

And just like that… We set off to get a selfie with every single person at the dive-bar, never yelling anything except the words, “GET IN THIS! GET IN THIS!” just to see if people would do it.

I halfway expected to get punched. I fully expected to get plenty of moans and groans and grumpiness.

What I didn’t expect was…

To actually get a selfie with EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. IN THAT DIVE-BAR.

The bikers. The bar tender and the server. The people on stage. Every person at every table. The DJ. The sulkers. The dudes at the bar attempting to get some. The chicks at the bar pretending like they weren’t trying to get some. The happy people. The sad people. The grumps. The boisterous. The shy. The awkward. And even tambourine-guy…


Which you can see on page 2, hahaha. Hey, I gotta make a living.

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