Proxy Father (PG)
The Smiths had no children and decided to use a proxy father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr.Smith kissed his wife and said, ''I'm off. The man should be here soon''.
Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. ''Good morning madam. You don't know me but I've come to....''
''Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you,'' Mrs. Smith cut in.
''Really?'' the photographer asked. ''Well, good! I've made a specialty of babies.''
''That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat. Just where do we start?'' asked Mrs. Smith, blushing.
''Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is fun too; you can really spread out.''
''Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me.''
''Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.''
''I hope we can get this over with quickly,'' gasped Mrs. Smith.
''Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure.''
''Don't I know!!'', Mrs. Smith exclaimed.
The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. ''This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London.''
''Oh my god!!'', Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief.
''And these twins turned out exceptionally well when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with.'' The photographer handed Mrs. Smith the picture.
''She was difficult?'' asked Mrs. Smith.
''Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look.''
''Four and five deep?'' asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement.
''Yes'', the photographer said. ''And for more than three hours too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling. I could hardly concentrate. Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in.''
Mrs. Smith leaned forward. ''You mean they actually chewed on your, eh...equipment?''
''That's right. Well madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so that we can get to work.''
''Tripod??'', Mrs. Smith looked extremely worried now.
''Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold while I'm getting ready for action. Madam? Madam?.....
Good Lord, she's fainted!!''
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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