duck and cover
August 7, 2003 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Pavement Terror! Do you jump out of your skin whenever a car backfires? Just hope this guy didn't catch you on film. Interesting photos of people reacting to his backfiring van.
[from MorningNews]
posted by strangeleftydoublethink (26 comments total)
Oh wow! I saw these photos in print years ago and have been telling people about them ever since. Thanks for posting, SL2T.
posted by scarabic at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2003

Well, he's no Cartier Bresson...
posted by Hildago at 4:55 PM on August 7, 2003

but the pictures are a giggle! ... made me laugh... mostly because of how I think I would have looked had someone taken a photo of me this one day in particular when a car bakefired very loudly right next to me. Holy Cow that can scare the crap out of you. Thanks for the link.
posted by maceo at 4:57 PM on August 7, 2003

uh.. "backfired"
posted by maceo at 4:58 PM on August 7, 2003

thanks for the link. half of the fun for me is trying to figure out when the photos were taken.
posted by cobra libre at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2003

I would like to see someone continue this effort and photograph people as they accidentally walk through spider webs. It would probably be easier to set up than this guy's rear-firing van-mounted camera.
posted by robbie01 at 5:10 PM on August 7, 2003

When I lived in the South, I loved watching people's reactions when the cicadas returned every x number of years.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 5:22 PM on August 7, 2003

I once heard one of these trucks "bakefire"... but maybe that's just another L.A. thing, like pseudo-celebrity candidates for Governor.

Then again, I'm sure there's at least one cable channel that doesn't have a "prank comedy" show yet...
posted by wendell at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2003

it's hammer time!

posted by quonsar at 6:51 PM on August 7, 2003

Am I the only one who thinks this guy is an asshole?
(And nice one, quonsar.)
posted by squirrel at 6:56 PM on August 7, 2003

This is a sick little game and it makes me angry. But I'm coming from a post-traumatic point of view, so your mileage may vary.
posted by swerve at 6:56 PM on August 7, 2003

Am I the only one who thinks this guy is an asshole?


This shit may be funny for a sixteen year old but after that you're just an immature asshole.
posted by MikeMc at 7:09 PM on August 7, 2003

Am I the only one who thinks this guy is an asshole?


Ditto. What fucknozzle gets his jollys scaring the shit out of kids? Maybe someone keels over from a heart attack. Har, Har, Har! What a hoot! I'd like to see him pull his stunt in Chicago in one of our more unsavory neighborhoods.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:26 PM on August 7, 2003

I thought the postures were worth a chuckle...some unknowing subjects look like they are afflicted with a palsy in some others though, the subjects were fairly ordinary looking. My laugh: it was not my standard ha-ha chuckle seemed to creep out of my throat slowly.

I do see a comedy in the postures and truth be told, did not think about the method...or his motivation. I would assume he noticed people freaking out over the van's noise and got a bit creative, wanting to catch the reactions.

There are hardly enough pictures for a coffee table book and how far off is this from candid camera or those funny home video shows that show some poor wretch taking "one in the seeds for the team " at a kids birthday party where an exuberant participant in the Piñata game levels that bat into his privates?

To each his own I guess.

posted by RubberHen at 7:30 PM on August 7, 2003

Fascinating MeFi reactions.
posted by stbalbach at 7:58 PM on August 7, 2003

I love seeing what shocks people. Being shocked that someone would post photos of people being startled by perfectly ordinary events strikes me as a sacred cow worth tossing into the woodchipper.
posted by divrsional at 8:07 PM on August 7, 2003

Maybe "perfectly ordinary" if you live in an area thats deprived of auto mechanics. I can't remember the last time I've heard a backfire in the city and when I do, it's time to hit the deck.

BTW, nice pic Quonsar.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:20 PM on August 7, 2003

divrsional, I'm not shocked that someone posted the photos, and I wouldn't be offended by the photographs themselves except that the photographer deliberately created the loud firecracker pop to get startled responses. I love a good joke, really, but this photographer's technique is pathological: he believes that his (and perhaps our) chuckle is worth the stress and pain his stunts cause other people. I don't know what you mean by sacred cow.
posted by squirrel at 8:24 PM on August 7, 2003

All the snaps have a real seventies look about them.
Check those "dragster" bikes.
posted by johnny7 at 12:54 AM on August 8, 2003

I think it'd be '78 or 79, certainly pre-1981. If the images quonsar used above were an inch or so wider, my house'd be visible on the left. The area was substantially redeveloped in 1981, and those parking meters disappeared at that time. Also, non-flared jeans indicate that the images were shot after the post-punk fashion wars finally killed the flared trouser.
posted by punilux at 2:48 AM on August 8, 2003

If only someone was wearing a pair of jeans with white piping down the leg, then we could nail down the date exactly, but I'm with you on the rough dates punilux. Those proto lady di skirts are so wonderful.

Don't quite understand why some people are so offended by this. He said he kept away from old people (and gynaecologists for some reason, though he doesn't say if it was the surgery or just the actual gynaecologist he avoided). It's an everyday sound, at least it is in Kilburn.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:39 AM on August 8, 2003

posted by crunchland at 6:01 AM on August 8, 2003

I'd like to see him pull his stunt in Chicago in one of our more unsavory neighborhoods.

I was lost for a few hours in Chicago's South Side when visiting the city a couple of years ago (and made it out pretty much ok). Judging from what I saw there, I think that there would be a lot of return fire directed towards the van...
posted by spnx at 6:07 AM on August 8, 2003

On the one hand, being someone who finds such things extremely unpleasant for various reasons which I won't go into here, this guy clearly has sociopathic tendencies, and I wish him nothing but pain.

On the other hand, looking at some of the pictures.....

posted by Blue Stone at 10:32 AM on August 8, 2003

I was only recently trying to find this link so thanks for posting it

You know, people are getting really humourless on MeFi. Shit, being thirty now I was probably the same age as the kids in the photos when they were taken (although I was in Kilburn not Southampton!) Me and my friends were terrorising the area with all sorts of pranks and probably would have deserved to be on the receiving end of this one. And who would have thought a skinhead would be so shocked by loud bangs? I bet the photographer had to speed off pretty sharpish after that one.

Looking at picture 6 I feel very old. I remember when all cars seemed to look like those, made out of recycled baked bean tins and powered by washing machine motors.
posted by dodgygeezer at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2003

I know what you're talking about, dodgygeezer, but I don't agree. I think that if you were to follow the user links of those disapproving voices here you would find people who made very funny comments on other posts that very same day. This seems to be a pretty divisive topic, which surprises me, too.
posted by squirrel at 10:34 PM on August 12, 2003

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