I rushed home when I got out of work last Friday morning. I knew that a DVD sent from Netflix would be in my mailbox when I got home. It’s a movie that I’ve wanted to see when it originally ran in theaters. ‘One Hour Photo’ is the name of it and it stars Robin Williams.
I remember seeing the trailers thinking about how cool of a story it could be. Then, I read the reviews and found out that the movie was worth seeing. There were rave reviews about Robin Williams’ performance.
Usually, I have a problem with Mr. Williams. He rubs me wrong in the same ways that Dana Carvey, Jim Carrey, and Martin Short do. Occasionally I find something they say funny, but usually I find them as annoying as being in a small room with Super Balls in perpetual motion. They just don’t seem to know when to shut the hell up. They rely too much on voices without any real observational comedy.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m the weirdo?
But after watching ‘One Hour Photo’ (I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Netflix), I recalled the time when I got that first camera.
My Aunt Betty gave it to me for a birthday gift when I was twelve or eleven years old. I think it was one of those Kodak Instamatics. It was rectangular, about five inches long, two inches wide, and about three quarters of an inch thick. You know what I’m talking about, right?
It was packaged with a roll of film, 24 exposures to be exact.
My mother told me that she would be happy to pay for the first round of picture developing. So immediately I set out to snap all of the pictures ASAP. That way, Mom could drop them off at Revco for developing and I would have them back in a few days. I was very excited. I felt that a whole new world of creativity was opening up to me.
A few days later, Mom came home from work, walked into the house, and shouted my full name. If you’ve ever had parents, then you know that it’s a BAD thing when they do that.
Mom explained how she dropped off those pictures the other day. The Revco on Lawndale (now a Dollar General Store) was the place where all the Sims family photos were developed. All of the photo technicians knew us like Sy the Photo Guy in ‘One Hour Photo’.
On that day, when Mom picked up my first camera shots that she was paying for to be developed, she noticed a change in the staff. The person working the checkout acted strangely when she approached the register. Other staff people from the main checkouts and Pharmacies were stopping what they were doing to take notice of her. She suddenly felt uncomfortable as all eyes were upon her when she was picking up my pictures.
She told me that she quickly paid for them and rapidly made her way out to her car. Once inside, she tore open the envelope to see why my photographic subjects were causing so much attention.
Mom told me that her jaw became unhinged and her mouth dropped to her lap. She couldn’t believe what she had spent good money on for developing my first roll of film. There were pictures of spit on concrete, pictures of road kill and other dead animals, pictures of dog excrement in various stages, from fresh dog logs to crumbling white chunks of poo, and to top it off… I also included pictures of my own digestive masterpieces. Proud snapshots of my own bowel movements just before being sent off to the Greensboro Department of Sanitation.
Please keep in mind that I was eleven or twelve years old at the time. I was a dumb little kid with absolutely no inner monologue of common sense. I just thought that it would be funny.
My mother was HORRIFIED!
She tore the pictures up in front of me. She burned up the negatives in the kitchen sink before my very eyes. She told me that I could no longer have a camera. And, it took her a very long time before she walked into that Revco store again.
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