Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photo Booth

In my neighborhood is a new store called Therapy.  Lot's of folks go in this boutique like establishment that carries everything from greeting cards to furniture.  Lots of "Made in Oregon" type objects and a selection of books, art, and clothing that reflects Northwest tastes.  Many people like to say they are "in therapy."

The other day I noticed a new item.  It was one of those old school type photo booths.  On closer inspection, it looked like one of the originals with the small strips of sample photos proudly displayed on the sides of the machine.  But in talking with the sales person a bit, I found out this is a modern version of one of the originals.  The cost is $5.00 for a strip of 4 small photographs and the machine has the ability to post one or more on Facebook instantly as well.  Of course.
Not exactly the 25 cent version of my childhood.  But enough to get me thinking on the photo booth that my neighborhood posse and I used to frequent at the miniature golf course in our neck of the woods.  After playing a round of gold, still full of laughter, we'd wait our turn and pile into the photo booth.  Jimmy, Paul, Randy (sometimes) and myself hovered around the small stool inside and attempt to close the curtain.  We had a few quarters between us so there was enough for three or four rounds.  There was no such thing as instant photography in those days so the entire process often took some time.  After the mugging for the 4 shots was done we'd wait huddled around the yellow mound below the glass screen that house the red light that would flash before each snap of the shutter.  One night Jimmy noticed that the yellow mound resembled a large breast with a slit in the middle that would usher forth the much awaited photo strip.  "Give titty give," he started to chant.  It wasn't long until the four of us demanded, in chorus-like fashion, "Give titty give."  When after what seemed like much too long, the slim strip of paper appeared, we'd cheer and then slowly turn over the photo strip. More laughter.  Repeat the process.

I've often thought that putting one of these photo booths on a high school campus would be a real moneymaker.  Of course that was before everyone carried around a camera and the phenomena of selfies.  Today, the impact would be rather underwhelming, I fear.  Unless, of course, there was a rebirth of fondness for the genre.  A sepia toned contact sheet of your childhood available, on demand, from Mother Nature herself.

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