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, July 23, 2010

Frosty the Moron



"Well, you ain't dressed for the deep freeze..."


I chuckled and followed the plant manager out of the lobby, certain we'd pass a rack of surplus parkas along the way. We did not. Instead, my most gracious host led me through a series of heavy metal doors and around a corner, where suddenly every whisker I owned straightened like a pin, what little nose luggage I had on me turned to tiny stalactites and my very skeleton tried to dance out its skin. I'm telling ya, it was cold. Twenty Below, to be exact, which explained why the guys suddenly hustling around me were all dressed like nervous Eskimos. As they brushed past me, I thought I heard a few muffled chuckles under those ski masks. I tried to think of a snappy retort, but by then my brain pan had almost frozen over and I found myself focusing on a wall of ice cream sandwiches, my knobby knees knocking as I wondered what flavor they'd find me slumped over, a doofus cameraman who'd wandered into some sub-zero deprivation chamber while dressed like a third grader on a field trip. Aiming for a box of Neapolitan, I wondered what network feeds I'd make as the cameraman in cargo shorts who died of hypothermia in July. As I began to gray out, I remembered thinking how ironic it was that I'd actually pitched this frigid collision...

Okay, so perhaps that's overselling it, but the fact of the matter is I damn near froze my back-focus off in the name of a counter programming. How was I supposed to know the same folks who'd offered me a thick growncoat ten years hence was suddenly understocked in the outerwear department? Certainly such knowledge would have stopped me from piping up in the morning meeting about what had to be the Coldest Job in the Piedmont. Or at the very least scrounged up some logowear before I'd left the station. As it was, I didn't think about it until I was in the car, at which point I remembered tossing my cold weather gear in the garage just a few weeks back. After all, who needed gloves, scarf and parka in the middle of what may turn out to be the hottest Summer in a decade? Mike Rowe?

Perhaps, but that beefy wiseguy was nowhere to be seen as the color drained from my face and my pancreas congealed. Still, I knew the show must go on, or more accurately, the newscast producers would insist I find another way to fill two minutes of time. Frozen testicles or not, I wasn't about to restart my Friday this close to lunchtime, so I centered myself, hunkered down and tried to man up a little as I did what any self-respecting photog would do: I sprayed the place, swinging my axe from Popsicle box to bundled-up lumberjack, all while basking in the relative warmth of a red RECORD light. Several minutes later I was all but done, proving that, if nothing else, I had indeed visited the coldest workplace in the Piedmont. As a result, my freeze-dried piece of television ended up looking like ass and while that far from pleases me, I'm quite happy to have escaped that icy hell with all my appendages still relatively squishy. It is, after all, the 'small victories' that propel a photojournalist through his or her day and if briefly lowering standards in the name of self-preservation is today's definition of success, well then, I'm your flash-frozen huckleberry.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to soak in a warm bath. I seem to have lost feeling in a few key corpuscles...

3 comments:

turdpolisher said...

hope big jim and the twins were okay by the time the missus got home. it's the weekend, and i'm sure they've got work to do.

30frames said...

Having worked in temps down to the minus 20 range I have to say you pulled it off. It's never fun finding out which goes first, camera battery or your fingers.

FlutePrayer said...

I love this post. I keep coming back to it, giggling and shaking my head at the same time. You ROCK the English language, sir.