You know what’s annoying? I mean, other than getting lemon juice squirted in your eyes by an angry waitress? People who don’t look at the camera when they’re being interviewed on TV.
I think that all started with those local “news teams”, doing their commercials. You’d be watching them, talking to some camera, from the side. As if, you were just some bystander in a room where they were being interviewed. But, in fact, they were talking to you, weren’t they? OK. I admit it. It was kinda cute when it first started out. But now it has spread like “reality shows” and the flu. Now, I’m seeing TV commercials with people talking about all kinds of stuff – looking off in some other direction.
It’s like some prodigy TV director somewhere said “Well, that’s just fine, but next time let’s film it from over there, and you pretend we’re still here. That way the viewer will think they surfed into a channel where they’re seeing something they’re not supposed to see, and that will cause us to sell more of our merchandise.”
People imitate what they see on TV. That’s got to be obvious to purt’near everybody. So now I find myself trying to do group portraits of people at various events, and inevitably, there’s some goofus staring off into space as I count to three. That lady either thinks she’s on one of those stupid TV commercials, or she doesn’t understand the significance of a photographer counting to three. Like, “What’s he counting, birds? Let’s look up and see!”
You know what else is annoying? Of course you don’t. That’s why I’m telling you. No, I’m not talking about that guy with a heavily-pierced, tattooed face and flaming orange, spiked hair, handing you your breakfast at a fast food drive-thru as you come home from the casino at 4 am with just enough money left for the dollar menu. It’s too dark to examine that food for foreign objects while you drive and, more than likely, you’d probably eat it anyway after you took that off. (Who’s gonna know?) It’s those recordings you get when you dial a phone number, thinking it’s a long-distance call and it really isn’t a long distance call. “We’re sorry. It is not necessary to dial a one or a zero when calling this number. Will you please hang up and try again?”
Well, here’s my question: If that machine is smart enough to recognize that is a local call and I don’t need to dial a one or the area code, or whatever, why doesn’t the thing just go ahead and put the call through? What’s that gonna hurt?
I’ve tried to convince myself that there are just some things put here on this Earth that serve no purpose other than making folks lives a little more miserable. Ants, meth, and Ann Coulter come to mind. And software technical support, of course. But, try as I might to just go with it, understanding that everybody else has to deal with the same crap, sometimes it just gets to me, you know?
So I put my TV way over in the corner of the room, facing right along the wall, and left my easy chair there where it was. And, sure enough, this Ann Coulter interview came on and she was looking away from the camera, but it was as if she was looking right at me. I had outsmarted the director. I called the network to tell them about it, but forgot to dial one and the area code, and a recording came on, telling me that I had to dial one, plus the area code. Then I went to the refrigerator and got that plastic lemon and squirted myself in the eye.
That’ll show ‘em.