Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Under Surveillance

surveillance, camera, security

No matter where you go these days, you almost always see security cameras.  My kids' favorite are the ones with the video monitor positioned so you can see yourself.  My kids like to make silly faces or dance a little jig and then laugh at one another.  It's a pretty funny sight and one I should videotape myself to use as parental blackmail later on in their lives - like before their first date.

As for me?  Those monitors always make me want to run and hide.  When I see my reflection, I usually have a grey pallor to my skin, have circles so dark under my eyes it looks like I've been on a 6 month drinking binge, and somehow there's just enough shadowing so it looks like I've grown a beard.

Both my bank and credit union have installed 2 way cameras  at all of their drive-through kiosk lanes.  It's  very disconcerting to see myself straining against the anaconda-like stranglehold my seatbelt has on me as I'm trying to reach out of my car window to grab the little banking canister.  I certainly understand them needing to see me but why on earth do I need to see myself?  If I want to see myself, isn't that what my rearview mirror is for?  I'm pretty sure the Department of Public Safety's driving manual says: the rearview mirror is for applying lipstick, quick hair checks, swiping under the eyes for dropped mascara, making sure there are no salt remnants left around your lips after eating some McDonald's french fries, and the occasional check to see who is actually driving behind you. 

When I look at my reflection in these bank cameras it makes me wonder if I really do have a chin that extends halfway down my chest, but I'm pretty sure it's just camera distortion.  If I did have that kind of double/triple chin, does the bank really think I'd want to look at that while I'm waiting for my money to be deposited or withdrawn?  If they're going to force me to look at myself, can't they at least supply me with a single use lipstick, blush, and a hair brush? They could place it in one of the slots right next to the blank deposit slips in the drive-thru.  They could even label the slots so all are aware "Checking Deposit...... Savings Deposit...... Christie's Video Banking Enhancement set".

The thought also crosses my mind that should something happened to me, the police could retrace my path for the day and discover this tape.  It's enough of a fright to make me want to avoid the bank altogether.  I can already envision the local television news anchor's description of the tape:  "Please watch the bank's videotape of this missing woman and see if you can help the police locate her.  As you can see, she was at the bank and had pulled a little too far forward and is having to perform a gymnastics backbend with a full twist using one hand to hold the car door slightly open while keeping her foot on the brake and grasping the bank canister with her other hand.  I'm sure that 2 foot long flap of skin below her chin is just camera distortion and the unflattering angle they positioned the camera.  I bet the lack of make-up and unkempt hair is pretty close to accurate though.  Back to you, Jim.".

The only thing worse would be if someone found me because I looked exactly like the bank's videotape.  The tv news reporter would be interviewing "Bubba" who found me: "Ayep.  I's found her up yonder a'ways.  Durned if she din't look 'xactly like dat der bank camera thang.  E'en had dat der 2 foot long turkey wattle under her chin jist like da camera showt.  She wuz mumblin' incoherent-like sumtin 'bout bank cameras.".

No, I would prefer it if they showed a picture of me when I was 25, slender and had 1 chin, with a caveat from the news anchor saying the photo was "not recent and from a few years back".

Obviously these new surveillance cameras are the wave of the future.  Maybe I could be more open to all this new technology if the security cameras came equipped with some preferred features........ like an "enhance image" icon where all you have to do is touch the screen and the circles under your eyes disappear, your hair is smoothed, a bit of blush is added to your cheeks, and it clones out the turkey wattle.

Or maybe an even better idea would be to give me an option of allowing me to superimpose a really great looking actress over my reflection.  I'm a redhead, I think Julia Roberts would be my perfect twin.  Why, that might even make me want to roll all of my kids' pennies, just so I could go through the bank drive-thru.  It wouldn't surprise me if I became a daily customer:  "Why yes, I'd like to deposit 1 roll of pennies into my account.  And I'd like to select Julia Roberts as my reflected image for the day.".   And if I really wanted to be adventurous, I could be Jennifer Anniston or Sandra Bullock that day.  Now this could be a security camera system I would most definitely support!

by: Christie Bielss

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