Welcome to the 1920s

October 13, 2008

Last week was just funny and depressing on so many levels.  Since everyone has depressing issues of their own, I’ll only mention the funny ones,

I was teaching the last of my eight lighting workshops with the students at RCC.  They are getting ready to go on internship and I wanted to give them a challenge.  I had them tear a full page product ad of their choice from a magazine and reproduce it exactly.  Students always seem to think that this will be an easy task (even if they choose an easy subject) but when it comes down to getting it done they realize what a challenge it can be.

One student decided to replicate a beer ad.  It was a simple image of a glass bottle of beer with a pomegranate. I knew that because we were at a school that we would need to get the proper permission to bring the beer on campus and into the studio.  I told the student that it was their responsibility to do that, or he could substitute with a bottle of creme soda.  A little background: until a few months ago, Asheboro was a dry town, you couldn’t even buy beer or order it at a restaurant.  So what I thought would be a simple request turned into something much more elaborate and comical.

So the student tells me, “I just need to get premission from the school police officer and we’re good to go.”  The next thing I hear is that the student went out and bought a 6 bottle pack of the beer along with props and came back to school to locate the officer.  He found the officer, explained what they needed to do and that it was for an assignment, the officer confiscated the bags, told the student to have the instructor (that’s me) call him.

So I walk outside to see what’s going on.  About 20 feet to the left are the students talking about how bogus this whole ordeal is. Thirty or so feet to my right is the officer with three other “official” looking people talking among themselves and pointing at the bags and in our direction.  Then they begin walking our direction.  It was one of those slow motion kind of walks, heavy with authority, like in the movies when something’s about to “go down”.  At that point I was wishing he had bought that creme soda.

So they inform me that to do what we wanted to do required a form to be filled out. (easy enough) Problem was it was supposed to be filled out a week in advance and at this point the student could be charged with “possession of a controlled substance on campus”! (oops) They let the time period slide, and got us the form which had to be signed by the student to officially request the beer to be brought on campus, I had to sign it saying it was for a legitimate assignment, then the head of the department had to sign it (glad he was in his office that day).

Then they tell us that they will escort the bags into the studio with us, and once it goes in it cannot come out.  One of the requirements was that we call the officer by 4:00 to have him witness the student pour all 6 bottles down the drain. (we only needed the one for the shot)  After all of that craziness had passed, the shot was set up and the students proceeded to work on creating that image for the next four hours.

At 4:00 we put in the call for the officer to come by the kitchen in the studio so that he could varify that the bottles were never opened and could witness all that golden frothy grossness (I’m not a fan of way beer tastes) right down the drain.  I came to the realization that this must be a weird glimpse into what it may have been like 80 years ago.  I had been checking the stock market on my phone all day and watching it go down, down, the drain; and now I was watching “the man” making people pour good useable booze down the drain like they did during prohibition.

Weird how history repeats itself, if only for one afternoon.

6 Responses to “Welcome to the 1920s”

  1. Which is why it’s always better to ask forgiveness, rather than permission 😉

  2. Wow. Way to make a three-step process a ten step process!
    Sweet delicious tax dollars rolling down the drain with the beer. Damn Shame.
    You get the absurd and hilarious “post of the day” on my RSS feed!

    Ps. Did the kid manage to get the shot right? Hopefully there is a happy ending.

  3. Cheryl said

    Yes please can we see the shot please??

  4. Nikki Norris Mills said

    That was a fun little story!

  5. Shara Lana said

    Shot! Shot! Shot! As my hands pound my desk. I want to see the shot. LOL

  6. ivangonzalezphoto said

    I had not seen this post prior to the Photo, ha ha.. I guess i’m that kid!

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