Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reading the Cut File

The thing about reporting is that not everything that gets observed or written down makes it into the story. In many cases, what gets left out is more of a real story than what goes in.

I remember covering a football team years ago. I covered them for a whole season and I remember that the coach would always cry during his pre-game speeches. I tried putting that in the story several times, and it always got cut. Once, I included some of the sound of the speech itself, and you could sort of tell, but I was never allowed to say it in the story.

Anyway, as I log bowling tape, I remember this exchange between the security guard who was watching the door at the beginning of the night, and the manager of the bowling alley. I have some of it on tape. You have to imagine three of us standing outside a bowling alley in the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 35th and 8th (I think). Disco music in the background along with the sound of falling pins. The manager asks the guard if he knew that they caught a couple having sex in the bathrooms. Twice. The manager kicked the couple out of the bowling alley and then a bit later came back in and they were back at it. 

The guard's response was, "What did she look like?" Then, "Were they Indian?" 
The manager said, "I don't know." 
The guard was busy remembering. "Yeah, but like, she was lighter than him, right?" 

Made me wonder if the guard caught them, too, although he didn't admit that. Then the guard turned to me. "It's always the men's room," he says. "Because women, they'll scream. But guys, they'll just watch. Get out the camera phone. It's true."

I'm sure it is. There is no way that this is going in the story or anywhere near it, but it made me laugh.

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