Big giant head

In Other News

Watch this space for further Loonette updates in the coming day. I'll be sharing with you a most excellent Loonette link sent to me by Junior Crimestopper Mike of Murfreesboro, a link that reveals the hottie beneath the
clown makeup. Mad props to Mike for sending it in. (Sorry if you can't keep props, Mike.)

In other news, I've been spending a lot of time in the darkroom, developing and printing a lot of stuff that just looks like crap. But some of it's not bad, but unfortunately it's naked stuff of my wife so I can't show it to you. Not all of you, at least. Mike and Dave Van get their own personal copies because they've expressed an interest, and since it's Mike's birthday I might send him a close-up, but the rest of you get bupkiss.

Big photo safari going down tomorrow. Me and Steve are heading down to the Balboa Peninsula for a day of fun and photography in the sun. Steve says he wants to get some "surf shots," but I know he's really going to be scoping the babes in the bikinis. "Pay no attention to the 300 mm lens, miss, just keep bending over to rummage in your beer cooler." Says he's bringing a monopod, too. Pervert.

You'd never know it from reading his journal, but he's an animal.


Friday -- August 20, 1999
Mad Props

I was talking to a younger co-worker the other day when she told me about someone doing something outstanding and how everyone gave that person "mad props" for doing this thing. And I realized that I am rocketing down the far side of being over the hill because I had no idea what she was talking about.

Can someone tell me please: What is a prop? That phrase always makes me think of spinning propellers, but I don't think that's what it means. Alternately, I think of small pieces of scenery used in movies or plays -- a gun, a dish, a cigarette, etc., but I don't think that's it either. So what's a prop?

Not knowing what a prop is, I'm not sure that I want one given to me, especially if it's mad. I mean, really, why are you giving me this upset thing if I've done something good? That's a backhanded compliment if ever I've heard one, isn't it? "Thanks for doing this excellent deed, let me thank you by giving you an angry prop thing." Um, no thanks, okay?

An angry prop. That's a scary thought ... I think. Ultimately, how scary it is depends on just what a prop is in the first place. But you probably don't want even a relatively benign item to be angry. You never know, it could be dangerously unpredictable.

So our prop is angry. Why? What has upset the prop so? Can we avoid repeating the offensive behavior in the future so as not to make it mad again? Now that it's mad already, what does it want? If we give it what it wants, will it stop being angry? Can a mad prop be appeased or do you just have to walk on eggshells until it calms down?

I think these are all valid, important questions, questions that I'm afraid I'll have to require be answered before any of you readers give me props of any kind, mad or otherwise. Although I might take happy props without knowing exactly what they are -- they're happy, so they can't be all bad, right?

I broached this topic with Beth, who was even more clueless than I. "What are props?" she asked, and I started to go through some of the above with her. "No, no," she interrupted, "What does it mean? Why would someone give them to you? Is it some kind of reward, or a punishment?" She didn't even know getting mad props was a good thing, which I think solidly establishes me as the hipster of the household. When salesmen come to the door looking for "The man or lady of the house who's down with the kids," why, that'll be me.

Once I'd explained that receiving mad props was a most excellent thing, Beth then went through many of the same questions I myself have asked -- and did ask above. I had no answers for her, only more questions, but it was interesting to see how she following much the same path I did when I sought to comprehend propness. We quickly moved past the minor quibble of exactly what a prop is and began delving into how one should react to receiving one.

We agreed that reacting as though we'd been given a compliment or a nice gift was a good starting point, so we built from there.

"Here's some mad props for you."

"Why thank you, how thoughtful." And... what then?

Well, I suddenly flashed on the movie Diehard. I don't know why, I just did. Maybe it's because it's one of my favorite movies, I don't know. Let it go, it's not important right now. What is important is that I was casting about for a bigger response for receiving props than a polite "thank you" and I flashed on Diehard. And I came up with "Yippie kiyay, motherfucker."

"Here's some mad props for you."

"Yippie kiyay, motherfucker."

I like it, it works for me. It shows enthusiasm even as it reveals a hint of aggression that one assumes mirrors the props' anger. Plus which, the prop-giver might be a Diehard fan, which would make your response that much more prop-able.

Beth didn't like it.

She thought it about it for a good long while and then she came up with her own response. I hated to admit it, but it was better than mine. "Whooya."

Wow. Short, pithy, powerful. I loved it, I thought it was perfect. I liked it so much, in fact, that I had to give Beth mad props, which provided an excellent opportunity to road test it.

"Wow, honey, that's a great response. Mad props to you for coming up with it."


Yes, it was perfect. We might not know what props are, we might not want them when they're mad, but if anyone gives us any we'll know just how to thank them.

There are those who might think it's a silly saying in the first place. Not me, I'm down with the kids. I remember being a youngster and painting "Peace, man" on a tie-die T-shirt, even though I had no idea what the phrase meant. I think these rabid props are the same -- I don't know what they are, but I totally grok the sentiment behind them.

So "Whooya" to ya, man. And mad props, too, just because.

Peace out.



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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins