Author Topic: Smile


« on: February 02, 2022 »

There's nothing special about this picture except what it represents: once again overcoming my lifelong fear of people.

Let me back up.

I've never been gregarious. Chatting to folks just doesn't come naturally. By the way, 'folks' is permitted of Americans – just ask Obama.

It can be torture for me, and for those with whom I'm attempting social intercourse says the critic that squats in my head.

My preference is to be a wallflower. Despite this inclination, at a relatively young age I constantly put myself in the position of having to talk to strangers where there was no need. I'm referring to my amateur career as a street photographer, already covered somewhat in this post (scroll down, or simply do a search on 'perv'). As someone who felt compelled to take people pics,

and who wasn't particularly interested in candids where they were completely unaware (cameras of yore could be pretty loud anyway), it turned out there was a need. For permission. So I got used to asking for it. Oddly enough this didn't make me any less shy, as I could disassociate myself from the act by approaching it almost bloodlessly: I want this pic, kindly say it's OK so I can get on with it. That wasn't my pitch, obvs.

It's amazing how many people will say "Sure" or words to that æffect. Very few have turned me down over the years.

This decades long course of immersion therapy reached its zenith with my Hospitality Tour in 2004, which had me cycling across the country and staying with one stranger after another. Am still not quite sure how I got through that, except to say that perhaps I'm not as timid as I think. Am still terrible at small talk (and not much better at big talk): ask anyone, preferably by promising them anonymity to assure an honest reply.

I actually identify quite a bit with my pet rabbit. Despite evidence to the contrary – see almost any video in this thread – he doesn't say much.

Like all rabs and peeps he's a social animal. It's clear he enjoys company, but he can get on fine without it (we noticed when adopting him that he kept himself apart from his brothers, for a start). He doesn't let his shy nature get the best of his curiosity. He often leaps before he can possibly have had that good of a look. Check, check, and check.

Back to that guy with the tiny bike. A few days ago on a ride I spotted him at a bus stop and thought damn, I need a picture of that: for what I knew not, but like Indiana Jones I often make it up as I go along.

There must be a master plan here somewhere

So I rolled over and just asked him. He didn't ask why, which worked for me. With the bus on the way up the road, there wasn't time for a considered shot. It was good enough to act as a muse. Job done.


Smiles all around
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2022 »
I like your posts. They make me smile.


John, one of the cyclists who dotted the landscape the other day.


(Actually, animated Jeff Lynne kind of looks like he's going to eat you.)