The tattooed men in Rhys’ life: June


June: Hayley Cain, musician, New Times food and drink columnist, freelance writer, wife, rockstar

From the very beginning we wanted to do a shoot depicting a model cooking in the bathroom. Why? The answer to that question is another Rhys story.

Rhys lives in a small apartment and insists that he doesn’t have much counter space in the kitchen. So, like any creative and determined young man, he decided to start cooking in his bathroom. This has prompted an endless stream of speculation, jokes, and requests for him to let us film him for a Youtube cooking show called “A la commode.” But he won’t crack. He continues to insist that it’s the most reasonable course of action and, given that I haven’t seen his apartment, maybe it is.

So we decided to honor Rhys’ bizarre cooking habits in his birthday calendar. And the choice of model was only too obvious: Hayley Cain (pen name Hayley Thomas) who writes the newspaper’s food and drink column.

It didn’t hurt that Hayley is pretty much a walking, talking pin-up model in everyday life. She’s got the retro, feminine dresses; bright hair, always elegantly coiffed; and photo shoot-ready makeup. No assembly required. Well, there’s probably some assembly on her part each morning, but that wouldn’t require any work on our parts to get her ready for the shoot.

Hayley volunteered her own house for the shoot since the rest of us mostly lived in crappy apartments where the bathroom is far too small for two people, let alone camera equipment. Hayley had two viable bathrooms and we actually wound up shooting in both. The larger option where we were hoping to shoot was occupied so we crowded into the smaller bathroom with Colin squished into the shower with his camera. It was actually a little pervy, if you think about it, but the shots were working so we kept going on. I didn’t fit inside the bathroom so I waited outside with one of Hayley’s dogs who whimpered with concern every time she closed the bathroom door.

I’d brought the mixing bowl I inherited from my grandma, along with a mixing spoon and some frosting, and Hayley pretended she was mixing batter.

We finished only to discover that the larger bathroom was now available so we decided to do the shoot all over again in the larger bathroom. This time there was room for me as well, though it was a little tight, and Colin was once again stationed in the shower.

The photos were perfect. We’d even managed to find a fake mustache that seemed to match Hayley’s hair and complexion. And the bathroom was so pristine and beautiful that there’s actually nothing grotesque about the fact that she’s baking in the bathroom. I mean, when I write that it sounds grotesque but the photo leaves you feeling light and happy.


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