Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Show Your Work

photoLearn to operate a TV camera and you too can work with a bunch of fruits. Take last Friday, when a particularly plump pumpkin took up most of my morning and about ninety seconds of that afternoon's newscast. It began with a journey: a frantic uphill trek in which I tried to discern which Patrick County field could support such a monstrous squash. The GPS fell strangely silent as I threw my news unit into one hairpin turn after another. Just when I was about to give up the mission and point my camera at the first interesting cow I saw, the aforementioned pumpkin patch hove into view. Actually, an unmarked gravel driveway leading to the aforementioned pumpkin patch hove into view, so I jerked the steering wheel to the left and damn near put Unit 4 on its side. That's when I spotted it: not the Great Pumpkin, but an aging tractor surrounded by three men, all of whom seemed to be wondering why the approaching news car was doing so on two wheels. Once the dust settled, I hopped out of my ride, shook a few hands and got down to the dirty business of loading a nine hundred pound pumpkin into the bed of a pick-up truck. Okay, so the only thing I lifted was a lens, but it didn't matter, for my hosts handled the hoist. All I had to do was flit around the field like the parasite I am, eventually landing on the gargantuan gourd itself before the damn thing was trundled off to a nearby county fairgrounds.

A few hours later, the clip below aired. Did it change the world? No, but neither will that three part investigation on filthy hotel bedspreads/napping utility workers, justsoyouknow...

Then there was today. No sooner did I offer to air my list of grievances in the morning meeting than I was informed I was suddenly late for a distant village. Mocksville, to be exact. Seems that was to be the scene of a reunion of sorts - if I could get there in time. Never one to back down from a challenge involving fossil fuels, I ran to my car before the suits decided to send me to a city council meeting instead. Only when I was safely on the interstate did I scan the printout someone jammed in my greasy photog fingers: Something about a horse ... of course. Thirty minutes later, I found myself as lost as I was when I was searching for that pumpkin patch. This time, however, I had fewer roads to choose from and after driving down two of them, I stumbled across the corral in question. A nice lady was waiting for me there and as I wrestled my gear into submission the explained the significance of the approaching equine. At least she tried to. Three sentences into her spiel, a truck pulling a horse trailer roared into view. I shouldered my weapon and free-rolled for the next few minutes. Only after the horse - a Palomino named Jasmine - nearly trampled me did I get the low-down on the mischievous steed. Seems Jasmine wandered off six weeks ago, prompting her owner to launch a hard-target search of every pasture from here to Hanging Rock. That's where a woman spotted a certain Mermaid-named mount this morning, sparking a series of events that ended with me backpedaling before a horse who clearly wanted to step on my throat. She never got a chance, for this wasn't first rodeo. Neither, for that matter, was it my first missing horse story, but merely the one I produced today...

A fat pumpkin. A skinny horse. Two tastes that may not go great together, but together they constitute two days in which I didn't have to stick a lens in a baby-mama's face. That, my friend, is as close to a victory as this photog's gonna get. And it's two more reasons why newscast producers know when they send me out solo, I'll come back with the goods, or not come back at all.

Now if only I could stop getting so damn lost.


Steve said...

Love this. Added your blog to my new Google Current Reader. :)

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