Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I've encountered a lot of things while doing my job that the average person would find scary, terrifying, unnerving, and even grotesque.

I've seen countless dead bodies, violent car wrecks, used needles, bullet casings, bloody clothing, gun shot victims, stabbing victims, boat accident victims, maimed limbs, teeth on a sidewalk, prostitutes in their "element", public official meltdowns, and I've even been attacked by a dog while shooting a story. (I subsequently had to endure the entire series of rabies vaccines that followed said dog attack, but that's a story for another day.)

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING could have prepared me for the chance encounter I had this past Sunday - one that will forever be burned into my cerebral regions until the day I die.  While covering a fatal car accident, the frames of video between flashing lights and caution tape began to blur and I was growing weary.

My reporter and I had wrapped our live shot for 10 and were awaiting the 11 o'clock hit, when I sat down on a piece of curb in a vacant parking lot in one of Charlotte's fancier suburbs.  As I waxed poetic about my day on the phone to my smokin' hot wife, I heard a rustle in the leaves about 5 feet from me.  The soft glow of my gel covered omni lights caught the object in question just right - it's beady eyes shined like two freshly minted Lincoln head pennies in the beams of my 3 point lighting... It was hairy, it was ugly, and it looked like a 30 pound football with legs... It was a possum, and it hissed at me... loudly.

(Not the actual possum, but you get the idea)

What happened next is still a blur, and is quickly becoming the crux of an urban legend that's been retold in my neck of the woods, but all I remember is screaming like a 13 year old girl who'd just been dumped, running back towards my live truck - the longest 30 yards of my life - tripping over an extension cord, & having my reporter & my wife simultaneously request the cause of all my dismay.

Upon gathering my faculties, catching my breath, explaining myself to them both, and then checking my underwear, I paused and had a brief laugh at the whole incident.  But rest assured dear reader... This photographer will never, ever, ever ever ever ever ever, turn his back on a dimly lit church parking lot in Charlotte suburbia again.  You can bet good money on that.

And thank God I got those rabies vaccines when I did...

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