Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Friday, November 05, 2004

Chasing Strangers

The Jug-Eared Driver Zigged When I Was Sure He'd Zag...

I was pursuing a freshly-convicted NASCAR rookie down a darkened Courthouse stairwell the other day and it just wasn't going well. For starters, the jug-eared driver zigged when I thought sure he'd zag - ducking into a side stairwell exit the moment he left the courtroom. Of course I dashed after him, but only to give him a chance to talk about his brand new DUI - and maybe give him one of our nifty station fridge magnets.

But it seems the freshly-scrubbed race car driver didn't want to talk shop (or anything else) and he fled down the stairs with great haste. Before I could get to the doorway, his posse of litigators and hangers-on drafted in behind him and blocked my path. As we jostled in unison down the winding stairs, the driver's entourage spread out into an impenetrable flank. The young racer pulled away and the only thing I caught on tape was a jarring series of well-tailored elbows.

Quickly we descended, four steps and to the left, four steps and to the left. Which each step my frustration mounted. By the time we'd made it past the second floor landing, I'd given up on any interior shots and was trying to recall the layout of the parking lot I would soon be bounding across. Below me, the race car driver within inches of the outside exit...

That's when I heard the sweet sound of a heavy metal door NOT giving way, followed by muffled cursing of a southern variety. Trouble in Turn Two, I thought as I rounded the final four stairs.

On the ground floor, the lanky NASCAR driver in his Sunday best stood rather meekly, surrounded by his lawyers, trophy girl, and gas man. They all looked up at me sourly as I paused on the landing. Slowly reaching up and turning on my camera‘s top light, I could barely suppress a smug grin. I rolled tape, slow-motion back-pedaled up the stairwell and bathed the reluctant racer and his crew in bright spotlight. Two flights up, I let them brush past. After all, rubbin's racin'...

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