Explain Yourself! corners the worst tech in our lives and demands to know: WTF?! This week: The disposable camera, a symbol of an era when instant photos meant, like, 24 hours if you could make it back to the pharmacy before they closed. But when photography editor Les Shu tried to corner the disposable camera, she cornered him right back …
Look at that fool, trying to hide behind the Rachael Ray cookware as if I don’t exist. I hang out in this Target 24/7, by the registers, the electronics section, the photo lab … I’m everywhere in this store. Does he seriously think I don’t see him?
We had some great times together. He’d pick me up and we’d jet off on vacation together; Cancun, Sydney, Berlin, Des Moines … I was always around when he needed me. I was even down for a swim when he grabbed the right packaging. Name another camera that can do that for less than 6 bucks! Sometimes, he’d even bring me on his assignments for the local paper. God, I felt sexy thrust up there with the fancy SLRs, flashes popping. It was glamorous.
He knew how to use me, but I was so easy. Pre-powered, reliable flash, and I shot – and shot and shot and shot – every time he pushed my button. Eventually, I’d have no film left to give and he’d toss me away, exhausted. But I didn’t mind. I knew he’d be back.
And then that digital hussy came along – Epson was her name. She was slow, chunky, heavy, and those pictures! My god, they looked like paint-by-numbers. She was just the first, though. Before long, they came parading through his bag like it was some seedy casting couch; that first Canon, the Olympus with the long zoom, that Nikon with the obnoxious accent (so fake!). He still fit me in from time to time … until the Canon came back, all lipo’ed up and slim enough to slide into his front pocket. That was the last I ever saw of him, although I hear he’s into iPhones now. Pervert.
Now he has the nerve to come in here with that impish grin, wanting to know if the hipster irony phase has been good to me. If he gets any closer, I swear I’m going to give him a paper cut. Listen, Mr. Tech Editor nerd breath, I’m doing just fine. You hear me? Just fine! There are plenty of people who appreciate my value and ease of use! I don’t break if you drop me! And my photos have a warmth a thousand Instagram filters can’t convey! I’m not going anywhere, and I’m going to be here, haunting your ass every time you come in and pay for your dandruff shampoo! Now, get the hell out of my store.