Monday, November 08, 2004

Granny Crack Pipe and Cousin Spit

Her Nephew Seemed to be Missing a Few Fairly Important Chromosomes...

YOU might get excited when the TV cameras show up, but trust me - not everyone's so gracious. I know one photog who's come face-to-barrell with the business end of a angry homeowner's shotgun. Nothing that dramatic here thankfully, but one memorable reaction DOES comes to mind...

I was in an outlying county doing the obligatory drug round-up report when the deputies led the scariest hillbilly family I've ever seen right by me. Freakiest of all was the family matriarch - a beady-eyed little grandmother in a faded yellow housecoat who was facing crack-trafficking charges, of all things. While the rest of her kin turned their faces from the cameras, she glared defiantly into my lens as she filed past in shackles.

Hoping she hadn't already vexed me with some kind of backwoods outhouse voodoo, I positioned myself to get a beter shot of her clan on the inevitable return trip acros the police department parking lot. When Granny Crack-Pipe saw me lying in wait, she nudged her oversized nephew, a lumbering giant who seemed to be missing a few fairly important chromosomes.

Still, he had enough of his D.N.A. strand intact to dig deep and come up with the biggest, nastiest redneck loogie ever captured on videotape. When he passed back by me he let it fly - the lethal concoction of snot, Mountain Dew and tobacco juice warbling in slow-motion right for me.

Lucky for me, the inbred saliva projectile fell just short of full contact splashdown and only a little spittle struck the center of my lens. Instinctively, I racked focus to highlight the hillbilly spit running down my camera's eye.

It made for a great piece of tease video and my esteemed colleagues played it back in the edit suite about a million times before eventually losing interest. But not before a half dozen photogs offered their finest analysis of the snot-rocket's aural qualities, phlegm-consistency and intended flight path.

Come to think of it, we broke down that seven seconds of tape like it was the Zapruder Film. "Back, and to the left...back, and to the left..."

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