Had a lovely Saturday morning traipsing around Shoreline park. It was to be oddly hot on Saturday so I ran the dogs early-early and took myself hiking after that to get my park time before the 90° hit.
It is not unusual to be stopped while out hiking with camera. Other bird folk ask what you have been seeing or tell you what they have seen. Non-bird folk often ask about the camera. There is the usual weather talk. It’s a popular subject with strangers.
So, I didn’t think it odd at all when two ladies stopped to ask what I was shooting. We talked about the abundance of hummingbirds and all the Canada Goose babies (tons!). The older of the two asked if I had shot the large field of California Poppy. I had not. While beautiful, I generally only photograph things with a face. She asked why. I favor the fauna over the flora, love of animals, animals do things, more interesting to observe. Like that.
She used my explanation as her awkward transition into religion pushing.
The first thing that popped into my head was that scene from Silence of the Lambs – when Clarice first meets Lecter and tries to get him to fill out the survey thingy…
“Oh, no, no, no, no. You were doing fine. You had been courteous and receptive to courtesy. You had established trust, with the embarrassing truth about Miggs. And now this ham-handed segue into your questionnaire.”
I so wish I had the balls to say shit like that at the time. And in Hannibal’s voice, too?
I am way funnier in my own head.
She fumbles around in her bag and produces a little pamphlet. She hands it to me, pointing at the scene on the cover. “We could live like this, you know. This world could be a reality.”
I am, of course, irritated at this point. Our whole little nice conversation has been a sham. A sales pitch. She didn’t give a shit how my day was going. Didn’t care about what I had seen. Was just looking for an opening.
Now, I am agnostic, so maybe I don’t know about these things, but it seems to me that maybe Jesus wouldn’t appreciate being peddled like Avon?
“Would you like some scripture to go with your Skin So Soft?”
I stuffed the paper in my pocket, thanked her and high-tailed.
I looked at the pamphlet when I got home.
This is the world that could really exist.
Shall we take a closer look at our new world? This one in which mothers allow and encourage their children to feed blueberries to BROWN BEARS!!
Oh, and right on the other side of the idyllic meadow? Lion petting.
WTF??!! Who allows their toddler to SCRITCH A FRICKIN’ LION!
Are these people high? How am I supposed to take this seriously? If you believe that the earth was created by god, then mustn’t you also believe that he created predators and prey? Look, that’s just the way it works. Some things eat other things. I’m pretty sure a toddler getting all up in lions’ grill would be a death sentence, not a picnic activity.
And a peaceful world does not need to include fondling big cats and grizzly bears. Right? Maybe they should talk to Roy Horn? Maybe we put our efforts into not killing and maiming each other first? Worry about the petting zoo later?
On top of that, the pic taking sucked. Birds everywhere. Wrong light over here, other side of the lake over there. Great for watching, not so much with the taking. There was one Cormorant who sort of obliged me.
I can never get a good shot of their eyes, though. Very cool-looking. Google it.