Monday, March 2, 2009

Film Strip

Fruit BasketImage by Shutter Ferret via Flickr

There are some people who should just stay the hell away from all things photographic. I am the Grand Puba of that bunch. I make my very-Martha-Stewart-mother-in-law throw her French manicured hands in the air when she sees me reach for the camera. She knows it won’t end well.

All that will be evidenced on film will be random body parts. An ear. The scalp. An elbow. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but it’s clearly very wrong. It’s either an aiming problem or the fact that my children never stop moving.

What child, in this day and age, does not have an entire video and photo library dedicated to them? Oh, that would be my kids.

In my endless quest to document my children’s life, I ordered a gently used, but highly touted video camera from some guy on Ebay. A week later, camcorder in hand, I read the manual diligently.

Ally, only seven at the time, was leaning on my shoulder as I tested out the buttons. I hit something and suddenly up came a series of photos.

At first, they looked like cropped pictures of a naked baby. The belly was swollen and shiny. There was no head in the frame. Then I saw something very tiny dangling. Ah, it must be a baby boy.

Then we arrived at the close-up. It was definitely a male. Definitely over 40.

Ally: What IS that, Mom? It looks like a fruit basket.

Me: Yes, it does.

Ally: Why are there pictures on the camera?

Me: Oh, I think the man who sold it to me wanted to say, “Thank you for buying my camera.”

I felt compelled to write him and express my appreciation.

Dear Naked Torso Man,

I received the camera today. Such speedy delivery. Oh, and I found the photos you sent me. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m more accustomed to receiving a note asking for Ebay feedback. My seven-year-old daughter got an eyeful as I scrolled through the photos. Thank you for giving me a reason to prematurely discuss crazy naked people with her. No offense, but you should reconsider your modeling career. There are some things that should never be captured on film.

Sickened In San Diego

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