Wednesday, June 11, 2008

creepy clowns and baseball moms.

so there's this mom on the baseball team and throughout the season i saw her with what was obviously a professional camera taking pictures of her son.

then a week ago she comes to the game with a box full of photos. and then i see her handing a stack to this parent, then that.

obviously she's taken photos of each kid, not just her own. cool.

so i get up into the stands where my friend is sitting and she has a stack of photos of her boy.

"look. this one is great, isn't it?"

"wow, those are good. how many did she give you?"

"there's like ten here"

"that's cool"

"yeah. they're two dollars and i'm trying to decide which ones i like"

"wait, what? two dollars for the stack?"

"no. per picture"

"did you ask her to take pictures?"

"no. i didn't know she took pictures. she just handed me this stack to see if i wanted to buy any"

"what!?! who does that!?!"

perhaps, had i known the woman who actually does that was standing not too far behind me, i could have moderated my voice some.

but it was an honest and authentic reaction and i am finally learning that those are okay to have. and i stand by it. and likely she didn't hear me.

look. she shows up with photos, good photos, of your kid doing various cool things on the baseball field and hands them to you.

a stack of photos of your kid?!? of course you're automatically thrilled. then you see how good they are. then you see how many there are. then she tells you they are two dollars apiece.

this with no prior knowledge of her doing this.

it's a low level amateur form of extortion. plain and simple. sure it's on such a small scale, and sure i'm being pissy about it, but it's STILL some kind of flavor of extortion.

at. the. very. least. it's a violation of the social contract.

how hard is it to send out an e-mail! hey, i've got a great camera and i'll be taking pictures of all the boys. i will offer these professional quality photos for two dollars apiece at the end of the season. your choice to take them or leave them. if you'd rather i didn't take pictures of your son or know you won't want photos then let me know.

there's this movie director turned reality tv show producer named jerry bruckheimer. when you watch any of his "reality" shows, there's always this cruel little twist that "randomly" happens at some point in the show. sometimes it's simple but devastating, sometimes it's actually really cruel. but it's always a set up for a larger fall. and it always changes the course of the episode.

as you can imagine, this makes for good tv. and "random" my ass. in my house we call that being "bruckheimered."

while we don't watch reality tv at all anymore, i have found life bruckheimers you enough you don't have to.

i am all for the artist getting paid for their art. i am all for people trying to make a little money in these hard times. i like pictures of my kid! i would purchase pictures of my kid!

but don't sit down next to me and hand me a stack of photos and tell me that's two dollars apiece, please! when this is the first i know about it.

because it's no better than a creepy clown handing your kid a balloon at the circus and then holding his hand out to you for the dollar. or the guy with the roses who goes up to the couples dining and asks do you want to buy a beautiful flower for the beautiful lady.

do what you need to do, just don't. set. me. up. don't bruckheimer me.

oh, wait. that's right. she didn't. because by the end of the game all the other parents got handed stacks of photos and oddly enough i was the only one who did not.

guess she heard me after all.


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