Scofflaw

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Scofflaw. I love that word. It so perfectly encapsulates the character and actions of a certain sort of person that we encounter everyday on the road and in the business.

The scofflaw that powers on past you on the road when you are doing the maximum speed limit is one example – if they then dive through several lanes of traffic on solid lines you have perfect confirmation. The fact that they do this in large 4WD luxury vehicles – grey, silver, or black – goes without saying, but the interesting thing is that they are not all white males – there are a fair percentage of darker drivers and many of both sorts are females.

When those same vehicles are at rest outside our camera store we still see a division into the honest citizen and the scofflaw. The former pays for the parking fee in the proper parking bay – the latter straddles two spaces and pays for none. The arrival of the council parking inspectors leads to a frantic dash out the front door and a belligerent encounter with the grey ghost. Fortunately the parking inspectors are rarely moved to sympathy with this class of driver and fines are applied. It is amusing to see the desperate dances that they do out in the centre of the street to try to beat the fine – when they could have bought a $ 1.50 parking ticket for their $ 75,000 car in the first place and retained their dignity.

In the photographic world we also get them – not least in the website business. No end of sites have featured plagiarised images that are meant to promote the artist – but are clearly pinched wholesale from other sites. Occasionally the hosting companies can be prevailed upon to make them disappear but the ruse is tried repeatedly. It’s not new – Linhof’s house magazine ” GROSSBILD” had a name and shame section in it for years that found pinched images in the European press. And this was in plate camera days!

The scofflaws that try it on with the rental department of our shop are always doomed to disappointment – particularly as there is a large bond taken upon the equipment rental to ensure that it comes back in good condition. Bring it back two days late and see what happens to your bond…

The best scofflaws are the ones that decide that the various laws of physics, chemistry, and biology do not apply to them – the action camera boys and girls. You see them everywhere these days – from skydiving into volcanoes full of scorpion nests to antique car shows. Honest – I saw a man with a GoPro strapped to a helmet on his head doing the rounds of the Hyde Park vintage motor show – ducking and nodding through the lines of parked cars. God, I so want to sit in HIS lounge room and watch the show on telly…At least he will not be watching the wreck in Royal Perth.

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