Monday, 1 August 2011

Four legs and a curtain

As I walked into a city train station on my way home just now, I walked past one of those photo booths.  You know the ones where you sit on a seat, pull a curtain across, put money in, have your photo taken several times by the machine and then walk away with the photos.  The curtain doesn't go all the way to the ground.  I've always found this strange, but it's interesting to see the legs and feet of the people who are in there.

I wonder about them.  What's the urgent need to have a photo taken right now?  Who are they and what's their story?

It's all in the angle of the legs.

Tonight there were 4 legs. As there often are. They were entwined in such a way that it was difficult to imagine how they were sitting, until you realised that it wasn't at all difficult to imagine how they were sitting. The curtain didn't really make their nook (nooky?) private and from the outside, I felt vaguely voyeuristic.

The long set of legs looked sturdy in sensible brown trousers and lace up casual shoes.   The smaller set of legs was encased in bottle green trousers and were flighty.  There was laughter coming from the booth as the angles of the legs changed rapidly and frequently.  The curtain undulated with the movement of the people behind it.

I remember in the book  "Sex Bombs and Burgers - How war, porn and fast food created technology as we know it" by Peter Nowak there was discussion about what happened as photography became more accessible and people could get photos without the need to go somewhere and have someone else take the photo.    Apparently the first photo booths didn't have curtains.  And then someone realised that they needed to have curtains because people photographed themselves engaging in sexual activity.  Now we have the half curtain.

Was it always half a curtain?  I don't know if it has always been a half curtain or whether it was halved as a rationalist cost cutting measure.

The bigger question is what would happen in there if it was a full curtain?

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