Doing a photoshoot for a jack-in-the-box.
It was destined for an advertising postcard to be handed out at conferences etc with the message "avoid unwanted pop-ups". Do you see what we did there? But as neither of our regular image repositories (Getty and Shutterstock) have a decent jack-in-the-box image - the ones we found were cartoons - we had to arrange it ourselves.
Where it got surreal was the details. As supplied (literally, I suppose, in his out of the box configuration), Jack just stands straight upright. First we thought we might have him leaning back, staring up at the camera, which meant using combinations of unseen safety pins and bulldog clips to pull him back.
But it looked too like him wanting to give us a hug, so he had to be made to lean forward - again with posture altering devices like a rubber (UK meaning) and a highlighter shoved down his back, with who knows what implications for chiropractors later in his career. None of this was run past his agent - a two-year-old named Harry - in advance, so I won't tell if you don't.
When we found ourselves saying things like "Come on, darling, exude, exude, make love to the camera, that's it" then we knew it was getting silly. When Jack threw a tantrum and went to sulk in his dressing room (he assures us the white powder is just talc) we definitely knew it was time to call it a day. But we got our picture.
Professionalism, sweetie, professionalism.