The Drunks & The Camera
In tonight's edition of "Why the hell must we go live at a bar?" this intrepid photojournalist and his reporter Ken are staked out in front of a sports bar Saturday night covering game 7 of the Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers. Though doing fan reaction stories like this are like painting by numbers, alcohol and live tv are not fun mixes.
It looked like we were going to be okay - the 6pm shot went off fine; the bar was full of regional police officers who were there for the annual police week in DC. The game was over by 10, the local team lost and the crowd had thinned by 11pm.
Even so Ken & I decided to go live just outside the truck to minimize issues. About 2 minutes before the shot, a crowd of 5 guys and 3 girls stopped at the truck, attracted to the shiny things like moths to a flame. I braced myself for a little foolery (at 6'3", 225 I may be somewhat tethered by a camera on a wire but I can hurt people if they touch me or Ken or otherwise threaten us.) At 11:03 we go hot - Ken starts his intro and the fools do the usual - shouting things and one runs up behind Ken and dances around. Ten seconds later we're into the package and we have a minute until our live close hits.
None of this is really worth posting except what happens now - the fool who had jumped behind Ken was still dancing around us when I hear a clatter and at my feet drops a 4" folding knife, open and locked. The drunken dancer laughs, scoops it up, folds it and puts it away. I am moments away from my next hit so other than trying to keep them out of it my options for reaction are limited.
After the shot there was much useless yelling and cursing (much on my part - I have no obligation to be nice to these people and I am allowed to tell them exactly what I think of them.) It was only a few minutes later after we had a chance to think did it occur to us that perhaps the police should be called. I think that is an indicator of how often we deal with drunks - it just didn't occur to us to call police. Ken got on the phone and I wandered down the street after the gang by myself to try to stall them until police arrived.
I'd like to tell you that the police showed up and the drunks were pwned, but it never happened. The drunks got more amusement at my expense, but no one was hurt and eventually it ended. I sent an email out to the managers soon after so now we're going to have to have some 'safety strategy sessions' since I was foolish enough to put my thoughts in writing.
At least the home team lost - that's one less source of 'go to a bar' stories I have to worry about for awhile...
"Announcing your intentions is a good way to hear God laugh." Al Swearingen (Deadwood)