Have you ever noticed that on home videos, we record some of the dumbest things? I’m not talking about silly family moments—those are gems. I’m talking about filming the new chair you just got…or, your walk to the mailbox…or, the drive to the ball park, out the window, so that all you see are passing cars and trees and houses.
Why do we do that?
When BJ and I were in California, we took the chance to visit Hawaii. Right after Brittany was born we went and spent 2 days on the big island and 4 days on Maui. We rented a car to sightsee. We took our video camera and we have hours and hours of the camcorder filming the backseat. Granted, we accidentally left it on.
And because I’ve been trying to put some of the old video tapes onto the computer, I’ve had a chance to see a lot of video—and a lot of it old. Mom and Dad first got their camcorder around 1988. BJ and I got ours in 1995. We’re talking 20 years ago! But what’s funny is watching the really old footage. Both BJ and my sister Angie constantly hide from the camera for the first year or so. You’ll see the camera point to them and they’ll either turn their heads or dash into another room. My Dad, Mom and I are completely different stories. For some reason, Dad and I seem to pull out all the narration stops, telling every single little thing. We’ve got footage of me taping while we’re playing cards! I hold my cards up for the camera, laugh about it, then point it at Angie, who dashes into the other room!
But you notice too, different people act differently around the camera. Some act shy around the camera. If they don’t try to hide, then they’ll act like they don’t notice the camera except they clam up and don’t say anything. After some minutes, they’ll peek at the camera and yell “stop!”
Then there are those who act like they don’t know what to do, and will say as much into the camera: “What do you want me to do/say?” they’ll ask. I laughed and laughed at video footage of my Uncle Roger who, during the preparations for my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, would wave at the camera and walk away doing this funny arm-pump motion nearly every time the camera was pointed at him.
Then, there are hams—like my kids. Point the camcorder at them and they immediately break into Hamlet 101, or Rock Concert at Madison Square Gardens. They’re not shy at all—not sure where they get that from. Must be their mother.
The attached video is the third time Steven Butler and I went on television to promote our comics. We were still doing Cat & Mouse, but Steven had gotten a high profile gig drawing Badger. Enjoy.