Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gunning for Rubbish

Rainy Day Stakeout 5When's the last time YOU chased a garbage truck? It had been many months for me, which meant I was falling behind on my QPR's. That's Quarterly Photog Requirements for the uninitiated - a strict regimen of unsavory assignments I must complete if I'm to retain the title of Cameramanthropologist, let alone find business cards long enough to accommodate that imaginary appellation. Why, it's right here in the handbook:
QPR Sec.4/Para.3/Line 1 - Each and every licensed lenslinger must within ninety days of last such assignment follow but not accost a mobile-based lower level public works employee for the purpose of education, enlightenment and any all possible promo material. Said pursuance should serve to realistically portray working conditions and never interrupt the subject's flow.
Ah, but there's the rub, for any schlub can stop a road crew in its tracks as he fumbles with his fish-eye in the middle of the road. That's inherently uncool and a waste of taxpayer cabbage to boot. More importantly, it's an inefficient time-suck that left to rest could very well delay the most important part of the news-gatherer's day: Lunch. Besides, gumming up the public works sucks whatever sliver of soul a story like this could hope to have. Let's face it: this ain't exactly Watergate. Rather, it's a scintillating glimpse of planetary conditions and their effect on sanitation engineering, or to put it in TV news parlance, it's a buck-fifteen of fluff that should keep a few commercials from bangin' together.

Of course, where and why my half-mangled masterpiece will hang in the newscast is the least of my concerns. I only know that my day won't end until I've tagged and bagged enough refuse to pile up neatly between Weather and Sports. But I'm not just making slot. I'm making friends! Namely, one Darryl Poole, who dropped none of what he was doing long enough to cart me around the 'burbs. Sure, I could have driven myself, but when the guy who knows where ALL the trash trucks are at any particular moment offers you a ride, you wipe your feet as you crawl into his cab. Which is exactly how I rounded up every bit of footage I needed without once leaving any tell-tale news unit tire tracks on Shadow Ridge Meadow Bluffs or wherever the hell the scent of rotting food and dirty diapers took us.

But enough about MY trademark scent, let's meet the players! Er, trouble is I'm not really sure who's who. The one homeowner who made it through Final Cut wouldn't give his name. Even more tragically, I never even identified the star of the show! That's him, about thirty seconds in. Yeah, the guy who sounds like James Brown choking on a pair of nylons. Though I only caught every third syllable, I enjoyed every word he said - even the ones consisting of only two letters! In fact, some of the fellow's best stuff came as simple punctuation. Here a 'Heh!', there a Hmph!' Yes, I dug this working man's verve long before I managed to lay a lens on him. When I did I made sure to feature him one last time toward the end, lest I not find a better example of the bold and noble proletariat.

And you thought I was just chasin' flies...

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

it's a buck-fifteen of fluff that should keep a few commercials from bangin' together.

Where do you get shit like this? where ever it is, mine it for all it's worth.

And I do remember my last encounter with a maggot wagon. I actually rode it.