Does Anyone Sell Asshole Remover?
(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Sept. 5, 2016
In Plattsburgh City, NY assholes like to harass photographers.
Sometimes they like to shout stupid drive-by insults from a car. But the worse ones are those who walk up to you and want to argue, not listen.
Today around 6 PM. I'm sitting on a bench on main street, minding my own business. I notice my shadow falling on a large bright white crosswalk stripe in the street so I take a few shots. No people in the frame, just my head's shadow.
Someone walks by, sees me, stops and turns around. From his appearance and his use of English he seems to be a foreign exchange student. He asks me if I take photographs of people out in public. I reply yes. He tells me I shouldn't do that.
I explain to him that for the most part if I want to photograph someone in public it's my right. I don't need permission. I ask him if he's an American. He dodges the question by asking me if I'm an American and whether I'm familiar with the constitution.
What seems to be at first just a discussion, an opportunity to learn something, turns into verbal belligerence on his part. He tells me, an American citizen, I have no right to photograph anyone in public unless I ask permission.
Before he leaves he tells me: "You should only photograph things like ice crystals."
Since it's a holiday -- Labor Day -- another such incident has to occur less than two hours later.
I'm at the McDonald's down by the lake, sitting at a picnic table with a friend, taking shots of the view. Day is shifting into night. I converse with my friend while shooting. There's a woman sitting fifteen feet away at another table. She gets up and comes over, telling me I can't take photographs of people in public. She's a local yokel, a drunk redneck. My camera was never aimed at her.
Obviously she's ignorant. Before she confronted me she wanted to make her burger flatter by pressing it into the bare wood of her picnic table. The same table that seagulls shat on.
My friend tells her that we were having a private conservation and she was being rude. She leaves, saying that if I photograph her she will have me arrested.
What I need is an aerosol can of Asshole Remover. Spray once and the problem disappears, deleted from reality.
An extra large can.