Just because you have a camera

Let me followup the Facebook Photos and language post with a story about the first, and hopefully last, time I was accused of being a creepy guy.

In college I took a drawing class and had an assignment to draw a public setting. I lived on a street with a bench, so I took a big pad of paper out with me to this bench and drew a nearby intersection.

After about 10 minutes of drawing this guy came towards me from across the street. He had a little kid with him and he was pushing a baby carriage.

From the middle of the crosswalk he shouts “Hey buddy! Let me see what you’re drawing!”


He came closer. He stood next to me.

I didn’t want any trouble, so I showed this guy what’s going on – crappy right angles. Shoddy illustrations of a sidewalk. Maybe a gutter. A traffic light above the intersection. The pizza place across the street. No funny business.

“It’s for my drawing class.” I explained.

His attitude changed. Now instead of wanting to start something (with his kids in tow) he laughed a little and explained why he approached me. His wife or girlfriend works in that pizza place. She thought I was stalking her and drawing her from across the street.

Let me make it clear how ridiculous this was.

This waitress must have thought she was god’s gift to guys and that I was so talented that I would, instead of taking a picture of her from outside, LIKE HOW I THINK ANY NORMAL, RATIONAL CREEPER WOULD DO, draw her – FROM A DISTANCE. She asked her man to settle things with me, perhaps suspecting I would show him an elaborate, well-done drawing of her serving pizza in the nude, and go “yeah man it’s THE CHICK FROM THE PIZZA PLACE! I drew her NEKKKKKID!”

Maybe there was something about me that made her uncomfortable, but all I was was a guy in a t-shirt and shorts sitting on a bench drawing something.

If you think that the language Facebook uses isn’t a big deal then you’ve never been accused of having deviant intentions just because you’re a guy with a camera…or a pad of paper and a pencil.