Have you ever walked into a crowded bar only wanting to blend in? You know, slide in quietly without attracting too much attention from the inebriated clientele. It can be a tricky proposition under the best of circumstances, but when you got an oversized fancy-cam on your shoulder, low-key just ain’t an option. My advice when undertaking such a task: Go BIG!
Which is why I adopted a certain attitude as I entered McCool’s Public House around lunchtime today. The mission at hand? Obtain enough Saint Patrick’s Day images to liberally sprinkle among the early evening newscasts. No problem. As I slipped inside the packed pub, I scanned the target-rich-environment. All around me, patrons of every nationality weren’t letting the fact that it was barely three minutes past noon stop them from getting their Irish on.
Moving quickly through the throng of revelers, I took on the air of a game show host, grinning widely and nodding enthusiastically at sentences I didn’t quite understand. Bleary-eyed young men in ball caps high five’d me, a busty barmaid slipped green and white beads around my neck, and more than a few middle aged imbibers immediately offered to buy me a pint. I graciously declined, choosing instead to pop off as many shots as possible of the raucous crowd while making sure to keep moving. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a few customers cowering behind their glasses of ale, trying desperately to hide from the cameraman in the bright red fleece. Not wanting to be a buzz kill, I made sure to keep my lens pointed away from them. That’s bad karma I don’t need.
Besides, why hassle the clandestine consumer when there were so many willing victims in the house? Like this guy, who despite being over six feet tall, looks like the poster child for the Wayward Leprechaun Society. Along with a few buddies, he was sucking down enough Guinness and cigarettes to choke a third world nation. When I told him to smile for the camera, he loomed over me and said in a brogue that had more to do with alcohol than The Emerald Isle, “Shu mean I get to - HIC! - be on tele-bishun?” ‘Aye, Chauncey‘, I thought as I seared his visage to my camera’s internal disc, ’it be your lucky day. . .’
In the end, I spent no more than twenty minutes inside McCool’s. But in that time, I made numerous new friends, met countless future drinking partners and rendezvoused with a co-conspirator or two. But I know it’s not my hairy mug they’ll remember from this drizzly Saint Patty‘s Day encounter. No, they’ll more likely recall my camera’s familiar logo, it’s never blinking lens. . .and the fact they almost threw up on a member of the local media. What better way to honor the man who drove the snakes from Ireland?