I have been asked to be the second photographer at a wedding next weekend. The first photographer is the normal kind of wedding photographer who will pose them either stiffly or romantically in all the ways we normally expect a bride and groom to be posed in front of churches or pretty trees or on fake, little bridges. I am the second photographer who will take all the more candid shots where people are doing their normal people things rather than standing in typical poses against typical backgrounds. You know, stuff like when the flower girl has her finger jammed up her nose.
That Girl and I walked all over town yesterday, scouting for interesting spots at which to shoot wedding photos. We checked out old buildings with weather-stained stonework, new buildings made of glass, alleyways, and a downtown park where goths, hippies, and punks smoke pot in between winters. And then, we came across a small car show on the street put on by the Regina Vee-Dub Club.
I was surprised at how many of them were pink.
There were also a lot of roof racks. I did not know that roof racks were even an option for Bugs.
And sun roofs! Is this a custom type thing? I obviously know nothing about cars, let alone VW Bugs.
This VW bus was barely six inches off the ground, which just struck me as profoundly stupid. You would maybe want to put only two small people in it and drive really slow in case you hit a pebble.
This one was just so freaking beautiful. I wanted to crawl all over it with my camera, but I was struck with social phobia, mild sunstroke, and a touch of confusion over my sexual attraction to the vehicle. I even walked around back and checked out the junk in its trunk.
I don't even know if this is a Volkswagen. It wasn't parked with the other cars. I didn't care what kind of car it was, really. As long it wasn't being too sexy for me, I was fine with it, and, thankfully, it wasn't being too sexy. Not that it isn't sexy. Just look at it. It's got style.
There is no reason for me to defend the limited sexiness of this car. It's not like it will find this post on the internet and weep over its inability to fully turn me on. I'll drop it.
<-- CHANGE OF SUBJECT -->
Okay, this is a change of subject, in a way.
When I was in my early twenties, I hung out with hippies, grew out my body hair, and new people who slept with pyramids over their heads, so it stands to reason that I spent some time in VW buses. There was one bus in particular that stands out in my mind, because it scared the ever-living crap out of me the few times that I consented to take a ride in it.
From the outside, it looked like any other VW bus, which is the only explanation for why the owner was never forced to take it out of commission. The only seats in the vehicle were the driver's and front passenger seats, which were equipped with neither seatbelts nor cushions to cover the seat springs. Makeshift seat covers were formed out of balls of secondhand sweaters, which did not necessarily save you from having your ass punctured by dirty metal. I usually chose to sit on the floor with the spare tire and a box of scrap metal.
The floor, despite its obvious perk, was not much better, because there was a largish hole in it through which you could see the asphalt speed by barely a foot beneath you. The driver pointed this out as being a plus, because he had lost the ashtray. I spent each of my rides in that claptrap, motorized death shell huddled up near the back and chainsmoking, only crawling toward the front occasionally to drop a cigarette butt through the floor. I was sure I would die.
Why does youth plus boredom sometimes equals risking possible dismemberment and/or death? Oh, I forgot one key element of that equation: marijuana. I needed the pot to kill my fear that the van of some stoned, protein-deficient hippie whose name I could never remember was going to drop me through the floor and make road meat out of me.
Yes, I am aware that I could have chosen not to get into that VW bus, but I was much younger, underfed, and had just been diagnosed with a major mental illness. My IQ was under siege. At thirty-five, I get to be all smart now! I never ride in see-through vehicles anymore! I rarely smoke weird-smelling pot from strangers! I bath on a more regular basis!
Getting old isn't all bad.