Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Germy Gum

I have a little side gig working for a local photographer. It's mostly team and individual pictures for boys and girls sports teams, it's fun work, and I often see kids I had in preschool (I live in a small town, remember?).

Yesterday evening, I helped with spring soccer pictures. One problem with outdoor pictures is, well, the outdoors. If there is rain, the shoot is, obviously, canceled, but wind? The wind is our enemy. It blows order forms away, forcing the person who is collecting orders to run across fields like an idiot, chasing after them. Sometimes, it's a bitter, cold wind, which causes the little kids to cry when they have to take off their coats for the photo. Of course, sometimes, there isn't a breath of air stirring, it's 90 degrees, and we're in the hot sun for hours, taking softball or Little League pictures. But it's always a good time.

Kind of like this. It's flexible. And
is like one of those pop-up
windshield shades or the
 FlyingNun's wimple

At yesterday's shoot, I was the one who posed the kids for their pictures. It was windy. VERY windy. And overcast. And a little chilly. Then the sun would peek out, and I would have to try to hold a round reflector, about 3 feet across, to keep the sun out of the child's eyes while simultaneously trying to keep the wind from lifting me off the ground like I was the Flying Nun. With a girl player, I had the added complication of trying to prevent her hair from blowing across her face while simultaneously holding the reflector, keeping her in the correct pose and not letting myself be blown away like the Flying Nun.



Could have been me.

Our first indicator that it was going to be quite a night was when we arrived at the soccer field and a child was screaming at the top of his lungs in the parking lot. Sure enough, he was one of the little soccer players from one of the 3 year old teams, and he wanted no part of getting his picture taken. Neither did one of his other teammates. Nor did two or three other boys from the other 3 year old teams. For a solid hour, there was constant crying from anywhere from one to five kids, none of them wanting their picture taken, all of them clinging to their mom or dad like little monkeys, and all of them winning the war of wills, in spite of the cajoling and/or threats offered up by the parents. (Not only did they refuse to get an individual picture taken, they also screamed and howled and didn't join the team picture as well.)  "Challenging" hardly covers it.

The last couple of teams were a little bit older kids, 9 and 10 years old, and they were a blessed relief. As if in answer to a prayer, the wind died down, the sun broke through the cloud cover, casting a glowing, golden light on the players as they posed for their pictures, and, most importantly, no one cried. We were on one of our very last individual pictures, the boy was posed and ready, and the photographer was ready to snap the picture when she saw that he was chewing gum (I might have missed that when I was posing him...).  She asked him not to chew while she took the picture and started again to snap it when, laughing, she turned to me and said, "I can still see the gum in his mouth."

So I took one for the team (the photography team, that is), held my hand out, and let him spit his gum into my hand. The photographer's mouth dropped open, but she quickly took his picture. The boy then plucked the wad of gum out of the palm of my hand, popped it back into his mouth, and ran off to play soccer.

The photographer looked at me and said, "I don't pay you enough for that."

I'm not worried. The super king-sized cold bug that I have going on right now will beat up anything that kid had to dish out via that piece of gum in my hand. Who's germy NOW?




26 comments:

  1. bwahahahah VENGEANCE! I didn't know you photographied. Do you photogrograph or just hold the shiny bits?

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    1. I just help the photographier. I no take photographs.

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  2. (visual: 'lucky thirteen' blowing into your fist that holds the gum-wad-of-Destiny before you let Pele-of-the-Plains put it back in his mouth.)
    funny post, yo

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    1. Didn't have to; germs had to have been smoldering in my hand already.

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  3. OK, that is disgusting. But being in the preschool profession I get it. More than once have I used my bare hand to wipe boogers off the nose of a child not my own.

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    1. If only a piece of gum in my hand were the worst thing that had ever been there....

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  4. mothers can do that also they can pick the sludge out of the kitchen sink drain strainer with their bare hands. Nuff said

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    1. Exactly. And not because we like to, but because NO ONE ELSE WILL DO IT.

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  5. It's a mom thing. My husband couldn't fathom how I could lick our kids' ice cream cones when they got all gooey and drippy for them. Meh, no biggie.

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  6. LOL!! As a mom, I totally relate! Who cares about 'little' things like germs?! :D

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  7. Sounds like a cool side gig, except when there is wind and whining kids.

    Well I sure hope the gum wasn't too sticky in you hand. To be honest, after I read the title, I was ready for something far worse --- having germy gum stuck somewhere on you.

    Kate at Daily discovery

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    1. It was quite a night for bawling kids.

      The gum was not sticky. It was actually minty fresh (not that I analyzed it, but I could smell the mint when he spit it in my hand). And yes, I'd rather have it in my hand on purpose than step in it.

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  8. Look at that, you took one for the team! It sounds like a sweet gig, even if it can become frustrating at times.

    Weather would be a real hassle, but in my opinion childsplay to well... whining children lol

    Like Kate, I was afraid it would be way worse. Like the gum was spit out on the ground and then the kid picked it back up afterwards to chew on more. so glad that wasn't the case!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. It's a pretty fun gig, even when it's crazy hectic. Except for the wind. Gahhh!

      A little antibacterial handwash and I was good to go.

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  9. U r such a patient soul. good to know u met all the odds for a click and windss--- :( its damn hot here in India now

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    1. Is it hot and dry there, or is the air humid? Sometimes our air is so humid, it almost feels like you are swimming instead of walking! But we have a couple of more months before it's that bad.

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  10. had no idea of all this, very insightful and enlightening.

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    1. Thank you! Working with kids is always interesting!

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  11. You probably have a great germ tolerance built up!

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    1. You would think so, but I caught a nasty cold from one of my students last week (and I know EXACTLY which one...).

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  12. Wow! Where do you get your patience! As for the gum spitting, I can deal with my own kids doing it...almost. I can't imagine letting someone else's kid do it! I guess being a preschool teacher comes with its own brand of immunity!

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    1. A piece of spitty gum is so much better than a lot of things that could get on my hand that I didn't really think twice about it.

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