Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Camcorder

We bought a camcorder the other day. Well, when I say “bought”, I mean we cashed in the points I’d accumulated on my Visa to get a camcorder. I don’t really know if we’ll put it to good use, but we’d both been thinking about getting one for a while, so there is a chance that we might actually use it, from time to time. (It’s supposed to take three weeks to get delivered, so I guess we have some time to think about how we want to use it.)

I’m not really sure what Andrea wants to use it for. There is some work-related stuff that she’s already thinking about, but I think she might have some other ideas brewing, as well.

And as for me… well, anyone who would spend a couple of days creating a stupid cartoon could probably find some meaningless films to make with a video camera. (By the way, I don’t like explaining my humour to people—if I have to explain it, it probably just means that it wasn’t funny—but if you’re not “getting” the cartoon, here’s a hint: it’s all about the timing, for me.)

For example: I live in Toronto, but my parents live in Blenheim, which is about three hours away. So I occasionally make the drive home to visit them, and see some of my friends who also live in the area. And very often, on the drive home, I secretly wish to myself that I had a video camera with me. (This is the same drive home that prompted this post. Since I didn’t have a camera, I simply narrated the drive to myself instead.) What I’m thinking is that I would simply point the camera out the front windshield, and let it capture the traffic. I wouldn’t make a three hour video, of course; I would edit it down, to just the interesting parts, maybe put some dance music behind it and have a sped up video of me weaving in and out of other cars’ tail lights, or whatever. The last time I went home, I really would have liked to have had a camera with me; when Andrea and James and I were on our way back to Toronto, we saw the following:


  • Really spooky fog. There was no fog on the road, where we were driving, but the conditions were just right that as we were passing by some fields, they had low-lying fog. If I’d had my digital camera with me, I would have pulled over and got some pictures. (My camera phone wouldn’t have cut it, of course.)
  • Some kind of weird lightning. For part of the drive home, we could see the clouds ahead of us being lit up by lightning, but there were no storms.
  • Rain. At one point, we were driving along and everything was dry, and then suddenly it was pouring down. A few minutes later, it had stopped again.
  • Idiot drivers. We’ve all seen this, and it happens every time I drive home from Blenheim: I get behind someone who’s doing 110km/h, so I pass him, because I’m doing 120. As soon as I pass him, he suddenly speeds up, passes me, gets back in front of me… and then slows down to 110 again.
I don’t remember if there was anything else interesting on that drive home.

Of course, even if I do start bringing the camcorder with me for the drives home, I know what will happen: Every time I have it with me, absolutely nothing interesting will happen. I’ll just get three hours of tail lights. And one day I’ll forget to bring it with me, and on the way home I’ll pass by a mobile orphanage, which is on fire, and I’ll have to pull over and rescue the orphans. And the person running the mobile orphanage will be Lucy Liu, and she’ll be so overcome with gratitude that she’ll ask me to marry her, but of course I’ll have to gently turn her down, because I’m already very happily married; she’ll shed a tear or two, but she’ll understand. And then just as I’m about to get back in my car, Air Force 1 will crash next to the highway, close to the mobile orphanage—but not close enough to make the fire any worse, luckily—and the only survivor will be George W. Bush, and as he’s crawling out of the wreckage, I’ll walk over to him and punch him in the face.

And because I will have forgotten the camcorder, I won’t be able to get any of it recorded for posterity. Hopefully Andrea will be with me, so that she can at least vouch for me. Maybe she could use my camera phone, and at least get a still picture of Bush lying on the ground, holding his nose. (Also, Lucy will probably take the rejection better if she actually sees my wife with me; she’ll know that I’m not just making it up, to let her down easy.)

And I’m sure I’d have other uses for a video camera, too. Probably involving juvenile movie parodies, and that type of thing. Hopefully not involving me re-creating music videos, like so many other losers on the internet are doing!


P.S. I should probably mention that just because she was in charge, doesn’t mean the mobile orphanage fire was Ms. Liu’s fault. Sometimes mobile orphanages just catch on fire; there’s nobody to blame for it, it’s just one of those things.

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