Some Things Are Destined To Get Out Of Hand
"Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law than passing laws which cannot be enforced." -Albert Einstein
Excerpt from a conversation between FAA officials and the Mayors office, Kent, Washington - taken from the Mayoral Archives (at one time, intended for the aggrandizement of his Honor and a hopefully lucrative book deal...) and made public by court order.
"...It's gotten out of hand. First it was that stupid photographer.. what was his name? - anyway, it doesn't matter. Then it was a couple of teenagers out joy-riding and showing-off to some local pilots. Next, of course, came the adrenaline junkies and the new-rich looking for some cheap thrills. And, really, that wasn't so bad - oh, we'd get a complaint or two from the local community airport, hell, we even had Horizon Airline call us over the flap with that idiot and his girlfriend who strapped a dozen or so of the things together and climbed to over 15,000 feet. But sir, as I said, it's gotten out of hand. Now we've got 8-year-old school kids flying around at recess, we've got an old guy down in Auburn who used six for lifting his truck to change a tire cuz his jack was broken - but then three escaped and he ended up being trapped under his semi for five hours, and now we've got business men, can you believe it? - business men! - using them to beat rush-hour traffic - the airspace over the city is a mess! Just this morning there was a near-miss between an idiot on his cell phone and Alaskan Flight 218 inbound from Juneau. Now the question, Mr. Mayor, is what are you going to do about it?"
"Uhh...Sir, I'm sorry, but I'm not the Mayor. If you can wait just a moment, his honor just flew in with his pumpkin, one moment please."
"This is the Mayor, how can I help you?"
"Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor. This is Hiram Pierpont of the FAA and I am calling with regard to recent complaints about pumpkin riding - "
"Wait! I can explain. I just didn't realize I was up that high and-"
"Mr. Mayor, the complaints have not been about you."
"Oh.... err.... "
"So you, too, Mr. Mayor? Sir, this only underscores the validity of the FAA's decision - it is the position of the United States Federal Aviation Administration that this use of flying pumpkins is unlawful and we are unable to continue turning a blind-eye to this activity. We understand the source of these strange squash is a small field within your jurisdiction and we are counting on you to do the right thing..."
"Surely, the FAA is not suggesting outlawing pumpkins.... Not when I'm just starting to get the hang of them...."
"Mr. Mayor, there is no alternative. We can no longer afford to have our airspace clogged with squash, public safety threatened by untrained, unlicensed, and unrestrained libertines, nor our young people corrupted by wayward photographer-ne'er-do-wells who think the world is their oyster and that just because a pumpkin can fly - it should fly. Just look at what has become of the skies over Seattle - every dolt with a gourd has taken to the air. If we must, we will make it an imprison-able offense to simply be in possession of a pumpkin - but we're not monsters, I like pie at Thanksgiving as much as anyone. But sacrifices must be made if order is to be maintained. Mr. Mayer, you need to act immediately."
"But sir, Mr. Pierpont, you know what this means?...."
(I hope somebody does...
Greetings Halloweeners, The feds are now involved and I'm not seeing an up-side to continuing this....
So here's the thing about this image - I'm afraid I succumbed to the old notion that if the plan is failing - over-compensate. Yikes! I certainly let it get away from me and when the pumpkin carving turned out the way it did, I just threw my hands up - the whole thing became a cartoon and well lets just let it go at that.
Now that's not to say there wasn't some fun involved (well, actually, quite a bit of fun). I rented a wind machine. I called the local rental places - "Hello, yes, do you rent wind machines?" "Wind machine? wha'sat?" "You know, something to generate wind - I want to move a lot of air - not quite a gale but more than a light breeze." "So you wanna fan?" "Well, not just a fan, I want something that blows hats off..." "OK, this is wha'we got..." So I finally found the biggest fan that I could still fit into my Jetta (i had to get it home) and then it was an afternoon of jumping up on a chair in the backyard and doing the 10-second delay thing with my camera while in front of these whirling-blades-of-death and all that fantastic noise - like a small plane taking off. I have to say that I had a great time with that fan and changing clothes to try to find the outfit that would flap the best. I succeeded in getting the SPs i needed and still got the fan back to the rental place by 5pm. I chatted with the guy behind the counter (I was still dressed in my cool new suit), when he heard I was a photographer: "Oh... that explains a lot. We get you eccentric creative types in here looking for all manner of strange equipment for your shoots. Always asking for things we don't have or if we can modify this or change that - all for free, a'course. Don't take this wrong, but you sorta fit right in." Fit right in?! I felt hugely complimented to be lumped with all those 'eccentric creative types'. I became his new friend and walked out of there beaming. Now when you need a bit of wind to get those overcoats flapping, let me know and I'll hook you up. :))