Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today, I Prey on the Paparazzi.

They're fast. They're fierce. And most of them are short. They lug around large, clunky, black backpacks, armed with Nikons, multiple lenses—some bigger than their heads—so they're prepared for any celebrity drop-off occasion. They never know when they’re going to have to climb a telephone pole or scale a building to get their shot. But they do know where it’s going to take place.

The paparazzi procedure goes down like this: They get the tip—most likely from a paid-off driver named Manny, or a hotel manager: “So-and-so is gonna be at the Greenwich Hotel at 4:45. So be there, get your guys. Be ready." So they get there and they wait and they wait, because the celebrity is late. Always late. And they kneel, and they lean, and they smoke, and they drink fruit punch Gatorade and they suck down Red Bull. And then one of them gets excited. He jumps up and points. "Hey, there she is! There she is!" The limo rolls up. And everybody looks, gets ready, pulls out their $800 point-and-shoot bazookas, and it's nothing but disappointment. A false alarm. It’s just a chunky lady with ugly dog.

"Wait, there she is!" Another guy screams. They get up. Here we go again. They're ready to work. Earn their fee. All they need is that shot. That one shot. The money shot. The one we'll see all over the magazines: People. OK. US. Entertainment Weekly. And when that Escalade rolls up, and the door opens in slow motion, they start snapping away. Flash! Flash! Flash! It's the red carpet as far as these hard-working guys are concerned.

It so happens that one of my favorite coffee shops, Peace and Love, is located across the street from Robert De Niro's Greenwich Hotel. So I’ve seen the privacy-invading paparazzi storm the personal space of celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Seal, and Heidi Klum. And just a few hours ago, the paparazzi preyed on the stunning Katherine Heigl, but what they didn’t know was that today, I preyed on them—the paparazzi.

1 comment: