Refrigerator Polaroids: Stir-crazy ramblings from a man iced-in

By Jimmy Alford | Published Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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“Nothing like an ice storm to make you want to go swimming …”

That’s my sports editor longing for summer. I imagine he wasn’t the only one. I wouldn’t go so far as to wish for triple digits.

Jimmy Alford

Jimmy Alford

I will say a rear-wheel drive convertible is ill-suited for ice. So, like many others in the area I was iced in. And when you’re iced in, some interesting things happen.

The most assured and widespread phenomenon is that when you have nowhere to go there will not be a single thing to watch on TV.

Most television programming is the pits anyway, but when you really need entertainment, the rest throw in the towel. That is just the way it is.

On days I normally would say all I want to do is nap, suddenly all I want to do is go out.

What is wrong with me?

Nothing jump-starts the crazy itch to do stuff like being forcibly cooped up. They have words for it, like stir crazy, and cabin fever. I can attest that cabin fever is made worse when the best thing on is reality TV.

This stir also affects dogs and their bladders.

It’s likely too late, but here’s a warning. Board games are a bad idea – especially Monopoly. Your house will turn into a director’s cut of “The Shining” after a hard-core game of Monopoly. You can’t leave. Everyone is now in a bad mood, except one – the future target. I also wouldn’t suggest playing Clue.

You can rest assured that when the world seems to be coming to an end and you have no where else to go, Pizza Hut will be open. It’s completely astounding.

No other business near my house was open, and yet somehow I was still able to order pizza. They even delivered on Friday. And although we had to walk to pick up our food on Saturday, at least they were open.

Being cooped up can be good for a little creativity. Does anyone remember Polaroid?

I have three ancient Polaroid cameras at my home collecting dust. They came to me via a series of bulk garage sale purchases, and in one box of bequeathed junk from my parents.

Lo and behold, I have film too. So I start taking some shots and discover a small satisfaction that can’t be had with digital.

I felt once again the finality that came with pressing the shutter. The dull click-click of the camera’s double action to snap a photo meant a beginning and an end at the same time. There are no do-overs, no checking a screen to make sure I was doing it right – just click and wait.

Every good photo was a true success and every out-of-focus or blurry shot was an utter defeat.

My wife wasn’t impressed. All she said was “That’s a $1.50 per shot,” before continuing her search through the depths of Netflix.

She ousted me soon after that. Apparently, I was making a mess when I decided to start photographing all the stuff we had in the fridge.

I got a beautiful shot of a bell pepper.

Lucky for both of us, I was able to come into work Tuesday and give her some peace.

Jimmy Alford is a graphic artist, reporter and photographer for the Messenger.

One Response to “Refrigerator Polaroids: Stir-crazy ramblings from a man iced-in”

  1. Mary Cameron says:

    I am fortunate enough to have a great amount of craft projects that I can do. Making Christmas presents was so much fun. I can now give presents that mean more than just a store bought something or other that will be forgotten by the end of January if that long. Look around your house for anything. Toilet paper rolls are great for kids. Water bottle caps or tops from glass jars can be glued as a face for Santa. Jars can be wrapped and glued with Christmas paper and can be given with a candle or a battery operated candle. Just use your imagination and you can come up with anything to recycle. Save it from the garbage heap and make something fun. Happy Holidays to all!


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