Attending a child's school play can be hard on the photojournalist. Take tonite for instance. While at my daughter's latest acting venture, I literally had to sit on my hands while a sea of Soccer Moms and Nascar Dads mistreated an awful lot of consumer camera equipment. I only hunkered down in my folding chair though, flashing the random thumbs-up to my second grader and suppressing the urge to stand up and scream...
"You there, Ma'am - with the flip out screen and itchy zoom finger! Are you trying to give your whole family epilepsy? Get closer, widen out that shot and stop all the zooming and panning or I swear I'll break both your thumbs!"
"And you sir! That's a tripod, not a coat rack! Stick your camera on it and use your glass! You'll be way ahead of the rest of these clowns! Otherwise little Johnny's gonna burst into tears when he finds out he's one of fifteen blurry specks on your tape! He'll never go to college, move into the basement and mooch off you forever - all because you didn't use the very tools you spent his college money on!"
"Now listen up Grandma! Your batteries aren't dead and your camera's not broken. Listen to me very carefully 'cause I ain't gonna say this twice... YOU GOT THE LENS CAP ON! That little black circle covering up the shiny round thing! It's attached by string for a reason...so it can dangle! LET IT DANGLE! So help me I'll come over there and get us all arrested if you don't remove the bloody lens cap!
Ahem. With my lovely bride sitting beside me and digging her fingernails into my wrist, I knew better than to unleash my inner Speilberg. No, I just sat there - grinning like a buffoon at my beautiful daughter, chewing the inside of my cheek and wondering what tax accountants daydream about at times like these.