It started innocently enough, as most things usually do with me.
I was driving back from Florida to Oklahoma. I’d had several Red Bulls, some coffee, and a bottle of water. I needed to stop, soon. It happens.
This time, it happened about 3:30 in the morning somewhere outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. I took the first exit that looked like it may have a gas station somewhere close by, and thankfully found one after a few minutes of driving. What I was hoping for was a nice truck stop. A Love’s, Pilot, anything bright and sanitary that didn’t scream “You shore gotta purdy mouth, boy.”. Which, honestly, the entire state of Arkansas screams that at me, but that’s a different story. What I found, in fact, was something that looked like it belonged in a Quentin Tarantino movie. A small, dingy looking building with yellow lights outside, and heavy bars on the windows and doors. Tiny place. Creepy place.
Side note – it is a general rule that the level of urgency with which one needs to use the restroom is directly related to the speed at which common sense, logic, and modesty decline, if not all but vanish. Most every street in New Orleans in and around the French Quarter is a testament to this fact. So I’ve heard. From a friend.
So I ignore the voice in my head screaming, ” Hey. Remember the laundry scene in Shawshank Redemption? Yeah. You’re about to reenact that. As Andy. There’s trees over there. See? Trees. Lossa trees. MMmm. Trees.”, and I go in. There’s no clerk behind the counter, half the lights in the tiny store are off, and it was completely quiet. All these things should’ve bothered me, but they didn’t. I find the handwritten sharpie-on-cardboard sign that indicated a bathroom was close, and away I went.
This bathroom was maybe half the size of what a one person bathroom should’ve been. No lock to be found, one stall, no door, with a toilet that hadn’t been flushed in at least a few weeks, and 3 urinals crammed against a wall. I take the middle one. Why? I don’t know, I just did. 5 seconds later, in the middle of doing what I needed to do, the door to the restroom opens. The only way I can describe the guy that walked in is to have you picture a cross between Hank Williams Jr., and Andre the Giant. Huge, big, cowboy hat, beard, sunglasses on. At 3:30 AM. And of course his business doesn’t lie with the empty stall. Oh no. Bubba Jr. walks up to the urinal next to me, breathing like he just ran a marathon, reeking of cheap cigar smoke, and starts doing his business.
Hold that scene in your head. And if you have an iPhone, get it. Really. Do it.
Go to Settings>Sounds>Text Tone>Tweet.
And play it. Over and over again. That’s what sound my phone makes when I get a text. For those of you without iPhones, it’s a short, two-note whistle. Like when you’re whistling at someone to get their attention.
Now. Back to the urinals.
Bubba Jr. is in the middle of doing his thing, I’m doing my thing, and I’m starting to regret very much my decision to stop here……and someone texts me.
Empty restroom. 3:30 AM. Two guys next to each other. Arkansas. Purdy mouth.
I’m not sure how he stopped going, but he did. Just…stopped. All got quiet. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw his gigantic head turn and look down at me. At this point I’m mentally punching whomever just texted me, figuring out how to avoid either a massive beating or an impromptu, involuntary love-fest, replaying the laundry scene from Shawshank Redemption in my head, and without looking up I said, ”Dude….I’m sorry, that was my phone. Really. I…I got a text.”
That was the first time I can remember in the history of ever that I didn’t wash my hands when I left, nay, jogged from a restroom. But I honestly didn’t care that night. Apologies to whomever rented that car next.
Was there a moral to that story? Of course not. I’m Brett Birdsong.
I’m pretty sure I say this every year, but if you’re looking for an end-of-year “Look how fabulous I am” blog post that’s going to pat you on your bottoms and throw glitter at you and smack you upside the head with a unicorn…..you’re in the wrong place. I’m fresh out of glitter, I have a (usually) strict anti-unicorn policy, and despite internet rumors and a pending lawsuit from a Waffle House in Ohio, I don’t pat bottoms.
Once again, there’s no main theme for this post. Just a few photos, some personal, some funny, that I wanted to share with you. All 2 of you that still read this blog.
To all of you who make this crazy life possible…thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Wishing you all the absolute best for this year, and many more to come. Group hug. All of you.
From my last wedding of the year. 100 million points to my couple for braving the freezing cold and holding still long enough to get this shot.
Absolutely dear friends of mine, Satchel and Harmony. We somehow talked each other into driving to New Orleans for a maternity shoot, which of course isn’t complete without dancing and street musicians.
From an engagement earlier in the year. My first encounter with a pirogue. Not my first encounter with the swarms of ticks crawling up my legs during this shot. Ah, memories.
Because real jump shots have mid-air high fives in them. That’s why.
From Paige’s bridal session here in Tulsa. Loved this shoot.
This is one of those pictures I like, but I’m not sure why I like it. This was in New York City a couple of months ago.
One of my most favorite places. The Maison-Bourbon jazz hall in New Orleans, Louisiana. Awesome musician Jamil Sharif doing his thing.
Engagement session in St. Petersburg, Florida. We were smoking cigars in an alley, you know, like we do, and this slightly (very) intoxicated gentleman decided he’d like to have his picture taken with the happy couple. Well played, sir. Well played.
A picture that’s lived in the deep, dark corners of my backup hard drives for a couple of years. This was during one of the Florida to California road trips, and whenever I’d pass through Denver, Satch and Harmony would graciously let me crash for a few days. Always with the best food you can imagine someone cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With pies thrown in. And scones. And cookies. A random, just being lazy shot of hanging out with my friends. Love youse guys.
One of my favorite wedding shots of the year. Islamorada, Florida. Can’t wait to go back.
One of my favorite shots of my kids this year. On our way back from a bakery we’d hung out at for a bit, and the rain starts. This happened.
This is Stoops. He smiles when people kiss. And then bites them when they stop. (No. Not really. I think.)
Chris and Jamie’s wedding at Pellegrini Vineyards, Long Island, NY.
I absolutely love this shot. Chris and Jamie, right after their wedding ceremony. A few moments of quiet, away from the crowd. I’m pretty sure we were all snotting, but I’m going to blame the wine.
I did a band shoot for a friend a few weeks ago, and I’ve kind of become instantly addicted. This is Jenny Wood, incredible talent. Look her up on YouTube. Do it.
This is Luke, Clinton, Dustin, and Fabian. Together they make up All About a Bubble. I’ll spare you my rambling praises for their talent, and instead tell you to go to their website, and open the audio player. Better yet, find them on iTunes and check out their album, ” The Life and Times Of”. Seriously. If you’re an indie/American/rock fan, it’s great stuff.
Scenes from a bridal shoot with a friend, local photographer Ann Bennett. Loved these.
Speaking of dear friends, this is Brandon and Brandi. And unless you dig back through the blog, you won’t see this picture, which needs no explanation. You’re welcome.
Ending this with probably the most Christmassy (is that a word?) picture I’ve ever taken. A wedding in Florida, in June, Christmas themed. All bonus points to Santa for dressing up, dancing, and being overall jolly throughout the night while the rest of us were sweating buckets.