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Ted’s smart-ass remarks

Here are three stories posted by Ted about funny situations he got himself in due to his tongue (they may not necessarily have felt funny to Ted at the time…).

Smart Ass Remarks 1 (20.07.2006)

I have this strange sort of humor, sick some folks say, where I make an innocent smart ass comment at times placing me in harms way. Usually the comment is made due to the curiosity of others wondering what I’m doing.

While shooting a National Film Board documentary on the automotive industry in Canada I found myself in a situation I knew I could create a smart ass remark. Of course each time I get caught I swear I’ll never do it again.

I was at the General Motors assembly plant in St. Theresa, Quebec. In the morning I was given a guided tour acquainting me with the assembly line prior to starting the photography. During the afternoon I was on my own to shoot the action of building cars along the assembly lines.

During the shooting I had gone outside through one door and returned to the assembly line through another giving it no thought I maybe perceived as an intruder to the plant. So continuing my pictures until I became aware of being carefully observed. A worker was obviously following me, watching every time I put the camera to my eye.

I started to deliberately shoot close-ups of assembly gear, worker’s hands, parts of cars, etc. Mean while keeping an eye on the character following me, as I continued shooting bits and pieces sucking him in deeper and deeper. I could tell his curiosity was getting the better of him. Finally not being able to contain himself any longer, he walked up to me and challenged: “I saw you come in from the yard, who are you taking pictures for?”

The demanding tone of the voice, his body stance, everything indicated I had sucked him in beautifully. It was about to be a Smart Ass Comment winner!.

“Well, uh, well,” I somewhat stammered. Then blurted out, “Geez are they ever going to be mad at Ford when they find out I got caught.”

The guy gasped, nearly going ballistic. He grabbed me, then my cameras, started yelling for someone to get security and to help him hold me. Meanwhile I just stood there waiting to see what would happen. All the while trying not to laugh.

It was obvious the situation was getting out of hand with his grip on me like I was really an evil spy. So I fessed up and gave him a note from the GM PR director explaining whom I was and all employees should do their utmost to assist my successful assignment!

He turned scarlet, then face to face, eyes into eyes, literally as close as he could get without his nose touching mine, he spat out, “Smart ass!” And stomped away.

I felt bad and swore I would never be a smart ass ever again. Well…….. you know! Sometimes it’s so easy it just happens.. 😉

Smart Ass Remarks 2 (20.07.2006)

There are times when it is much better to tell the truth than make a smart ass remark.

I was about to enter the main ballroom at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto to cover the Miss Grey Cup football finalist selection. A kindly gentleman in uniform stopped me asking for accreditation. (I’d accidently left it in my hotel room 3 blocks away.)

At this time in my career I carried a bunch of gear. I had a small equipment bag, a Hasselblad camera on each shoulder and three Leica’s hanging around my neck.

To anyone dealing with media, it would be obvious I was a news photographer. I thought he was just putting me on, so I replied, “I don’t have any accreditation, usually all this camera equipment gets me into places for free food and drinks.” Not for one moment expecting to be taken seriously!

So I continued to the door. When much to my surprise he grabbed me by the arm and replied, “Well you ain’t getting in here!” He was dead serious and quite forceful in grip and expression.

I quickly explained I was only joking and really on assignment for the Star Weekly magazine.This explanation didn’t move him one iota as he kept me in a firm grip allowing others with accreditation to enter. I began to realize I was up against a stubborn, no fun security guard, vintage 60-plus who didn’t understand frivolous remarks. I pleaded with him to let me in as the event was about to start, no avail. He just tightened his grip.

Man I knew I had a major problem. Just then the reporter I was working with saw me being held at the door walked over and saved my butt.

I swore never to make smart ass remarks again! Right!………. Well you know eh?

Smart Ass Remarks 3 (20.07.2006)

A week before EXPO 86 in Vancouver opened, I had an assignment to shoot the visual mood of the site. During my fourteen hour day, I was challenged 24 times by over zealous security guards. The questioning became annoying as each time I had to go through the same question routine. Who was I, what was I doing. Even though an accreditation pass hung around my neck completely in sight!

I had a Leica 280mm telephoto lens and camera mounted on a tripod, Leicas’ hanging on my shoulders, around my neck and an equipment bag. It was obvious I wasn’t a bad guy or amateur who sneaked in a back gate.

The questioning was almost identical each encounter: However I bit my tongue even though the conversation was ripe for smart ass remarks.

“What are you doing in here?”
“Do you have a pass?” (It was hanging around my neck)
“Are you going all over the site?”
“Who are you with?”

With the final question each time I realized it meant, “what company” I was shooting for. And I explained who, what, and where. Finally after twenty-four times of this routine, even with a couple of security guards within sight of each other by a hundred yards, asking the same routine..

By the time the final guy asked his question I’d had it!

“Who are you with?”

I looked around 360 degrees and back to the guard as straight faced as I could and replied, “I believe I’m all by myself!” He looked somewhat stunned. End of questions!

Smart ass remarks prevailed.

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