I'm quite fond of people who don't take themselves too seriously. That can make it hard to work in television, where junior producers swagger with pride whenever the overnight tea leaves tell 'em they're number one. Or how about that consumer reporter from a few years back? The one who called himself 'Spike', claiming the numbers always jumped when he wandered on set. I really think he believed it - just like he believed that over-the-top on-air bellow rang true out there with 'the little people'. That dude was an utter buffoon - albeit one who out-earns me three times over. No bother. I'd much rather hang with my own beleaguered breed: The Photogs.
It's not that we're all the same. There's the scanner hound, the one whose list of police frequencies heavily outweighs his collection of female phone numbers. There's the film school drop-out; you know, the one setting up six C-Stands at the YMCA ribbon-cutting. Don't forget the sports goob, he's back in the lounge dispensing atomic wedgies to that guy who can't to name any Superbowl champs (OUCH!). And we cannot overlook the gadget geek, though it's easy since he's out in the live truck didmantling the latest in pre-heated GPS. There's even that one dude who thinks he's some kind of on-line Mark Twain. Go ahead, ask him about his very first assignment - but pack a lunch! He'll never shut-up.
Yeah, we're a pretty motley lot. Most fashion is beyond our grasp, we're not up on all the social graces and learning the phone system was never our thang. But doggone it, we Get Shit Done. We have to; when it's quarter to six and the mayor has just been caught with his tongue down some trollop's throat, there's simply no time for armchair analysis. No Sir, you gotta load up in a live truck, take every shortcut you know and get to City Hall before three of your crosstown doppelgangers do. Only then, can you scratch your chin-cabbage and ponder the wonder of it all - while your hair-do of the day cranks out hyperbole and froth with the right building over her shoulder.
Still, it ain't the skillset that has me so enamored. It's the attitude. Most TV News photogs possess a well-earned world-weariness that I find far more attractive than that briefcase full of glossy self-portraits. Yeah, the hot chick on yer TV can indeed tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye', but the guy or gal who got her there in the first place can tell you what it smelled like - and how that odor compared with the last six collisions he or she visited - without the hair tossing and cliche strings. So trust me, if you were looking to re-populate the Earth with hand-picked castaways or simply liven up your next backyard kegger, you'd do no better than ring up a bunch of photogs. Just make sure your gas grill ain't overly back-lit. We hate that.