Allow me to explain.
I always, always carry around a small point-and-shoot camera in case I happen on some dramatic spot-news event.
But this never, never happens.
Then one fine day, as the Shirelles would say, I left my home without the camera. It was unseasonably warm and I left my jacket in the house, camera cradled comfortably in an inside pocket.
I had driven for about three minutes when I remembered I left the camera in the jacket.
I thought to myself, “Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if I ran into some dramatic spot-news event?”
About six minutes into the drive I ran into a dramatic spot-news event – almost literally.
An alleged ne’er-do-well was speeding dangerously in the opposite lane, chased by six police cruisers, sirens blaring. This is a narrow country road with a wide curve that I had just passed, and the alleged miscreant was now rapidly approaching.
He managed to get by me without crashing, but I knew he wasn’t going to make the curve at the speed he was traveling.
After letting the chase proceed on by me I turned around and followed.
The alleged reprobate hit a telephone pole and one of the cruisers, and his crumpled car now sat in the middle of the road, grille to grille with the less-damaged cruiser. The alleged bad guy was not seriously hurt and was restrained by a resident as he tried to flee through his yard.
This was a dramatic spot-news event six minutes from my home, where my little traitor of a camera was taking the day off.
Police cruisers had quickly sealed the road off so that the now roundabout route to my home would have taken me 30 minutes at least.
I got out of my car and tried to use my cell phone as camera. The difficulties posed by this were, a) I barely know how to use it as a cell phone, and b) it’s a low-end model with a less than obvious route from phone to camera.
Desperation, like its more refined cousin, necessity, can give birth to invention. I somehow got the sucker to take pictures.
In much the same way I had mused earlier, I thought to myself as I drove away, “Gee, wouldn’t it be funny if a real photographer arrived after I had left but in time to cover this dramatic spot-news event?”
The consequences of having this thought were, a) a real photographer did make the scene in time after I had left, and b) his photos made mine look like cave paintings.
If only I hadn’t “wouldn’t-it-be-funny-if’d.”
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth office and can be reached at email@example.com.