Saturday, August 11, 2012

Antics with Robby Two: Electric Boogaloo

            Here is the second entry in my Antics with Robby series. You’ve missed the Coming Attractions and Snacks Canyon but arrived just in time. Let’s begin shall we?

Open scene:  December 2007 has just arrived on the Coastal Empire. Out intrepid blogger is having a hard time due to the recent divorce, loss of beloved dog, newly arrived kidney disease, and starting over at a new school which is eating him alive. Plus, our intrepid blogger needs a great photo for his impending Xmas Card. So what he should he do? Have an adventure!

I think my favorite form of humor is those fish out of water situations. It’s those Three Stooges shorts where the stooges try to fit into a high society ball and the antics begin. Humor involving ordinary situations with something out of place kills me every time. So this is the origin of the Polar Bear Story.

Some of my new found friends in a shortly lived social circle of tour guides and downtown folk had a running joke about ways to screw with the line that forms in front of Paula Deen’s, Lady and Sons restaurant.

See, people come from all over the world and try to get in. During peak tourist season, there is always a line along Congress Street. It gets so long and serious, water stations and cooling fans are positioned so no one passes out from heat exhaustion. It’s not the heat but the humidity down here, we like to say.

I always thought it be funny to casually walk up in line like everything is normal and just stand there but dressed up like a Polar Bear. Ohmigod, why is a polar bear here in Savannah, GA? Shouldn’t he be in a cooler habitat? Maybe it was the whiskey but we laughed all summer about that.

One of my friends at the time was a photographer and her birthday was coming up. She loved to photograph out of the ordinary situations so I thought I’d give her one. I took the day off from work and we walked around Downtown Savannah with me as a Polar Bear. The results very sometimes humorous and sometimes off putting but it was worth every minute due to some of the reactions.

 I can't find all of my favorite shots but here a few I was able to scrounge off the laptop. As soon as I can get the other transferred, I''l update.

The original

The sequel

This was the first shot and it was taken out in Bonaventure Cemetery. I was going for the famed “Bird Girl” pose from the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. No one hassled us or even noticed us for the longest time. Right before leaving a tourist walked up and started to ask me for directions but then paused in mid sentence, looked me up and down and then said, “Never mind, I think I’ll be better off winging it.”
The caption of the Christmas Card read,” Robby Richardson stars in Midnight in the Garden Two: Electric Boogaloo. It was the last card I have ever done but suspect something may happen this year due to two new elves and lovely Mrs. Claus in my life.

"Life is like a box of igloos. You'll never know whom you'll find inside. To eat."

"Salmon-tini, my dear?"
            My favorite bar used to be the Scottish Bar just down the street from Paula Deen's. It's a great place called Molly Mcpherson's. It is still pretty awesome and worth checking out if you ever come down. We showed up for Happy Hour and I became an honorary bartender.

"So then I told the bartender that I must slip out of this wet coat and into a dry martini."
This is my second favorite photo. We took it in City Market. I love this one because the picture captures that just right moment I used to see in Jeff Ragsdale back in our ATO frat party days. Every time I see this, I hear Rags famous pick-up line, “What’s your major?” Oddly enough, we drew a crowd while shooting this one. This tourist started flirting with me and asked me for my number. She never called but it was a much needed ego boost at the time.

"Umm, Robby?"

            Ron Bebee is my mom’s neighbor and a great friend. If you ever see any old oyster roast pics, Ron pops up in them quite a bit. While he is a fun guy, he tends to be on the reserved side. During our “photo shoot”, we bumped into him outside the Savannah Theater. He was getting tickets to the big Holiday Musical Review.

            Our eyes locked and I had this moment of embarrassment as he walked over. I was feeling a bit sheepish. Ron just started laughing. His wife, Sherry followed right behind him.

Sherry said, “Ronny saw some guy in a polar bear suit and started joking how it looked like something Robby Richardson would do.”

            We laughed.

            Ron goes on with”As soon as I say it was you; I began looking around for Rags, Nick, and Gideon.”

            We laughed harder.

"Urrggh, Bear like sweet..."

             My favorite picture occurred on River Street at Savannah Sweets. Wherever we went, we got odd looks and double takes. We hit River Street and no one cares that a 6’ 4” Polar Bear is roaming the land. Until……

            We walk into Savannah Sweets. The two young girls behind the counter see me and scream that loud, shrieking Fay Wray type screams. I couldn’t stop laughing. When I did, the two girls thought I was adorable and kept coming up with ideas for me to pose with candy. Tourists started stopping in and a crowd developed. They went wild when I started eating the little fish gummies. What can I say? I love playing to an audience.

I can’t find the Paula Deen pics but looking hard. It was actually the worst shots of the day. We were both tired and it was getting cold. Savannah in December can be quite chilly. I stood in line while holding a large stuffed fish. The folks in line were a little amused but I didn’t factor in the desire to buy $15 fried chicken over “Is this guy going to screw up our reservations. A small child started screaming in fear of me. Honest, bloodcurdling fear. We left before authorities were called and went back to the bar for some blood warming libations.

            All in all, the day was a huge success. We got most of the shots were wanted and I had my Christmas card for 2007.  I got out of work so I could be a goof ball. I quote from the book of Ice Cube in saying, “It was a very good day.”