June 20, 2011


On the weekend I was enjoying a bike ride down one of this city's many paved roadways, when I saw a guy with a regular digital camera taking a picture down an alleyway up ahead. In the few seconds I had before I reached the alley, my mind quickly formulated the most likely scenarios as to why this man was taking a picture:

Scenario 1: Graffiti

Tourists love taking pictures of graffiti in alleyways because in most other cities in the world, what we call "street art" actually takes the form of skywriting. Germany's "The Red Baron" was actually an artist himself before adding guns to his bird, and gained widespread notoriety with popular air tags such as:

"The ground sucks"
"The Baron is airin'"
"Str8 up Ace"
"Sick of $chnitzel"

Scenario 2: Picturesque Alley

Let's talk this one out:

- A lot of movies feature scenes in alleyways where they're portrayed as dark, seedy and dangerous.
- Movies aren't real.
- Therefore, alleys aren't dark, seedy and dangerous.

It's kind of like how the Elephant Man was portrayed as a freak in that movie, but in real life John Merrick was married to nine different women and was rumored to be the influence for every Hugh Grant character.

Scenario 3: Group Shot in Alley

Webster's defines "alleys" as "the toilet between two buildings" and yet that doesn't stop tourists and narcissists from having their pictures taken within.

If you know anything about top notch storytelling, you'll have realized by now that none of the above scenarios are the correct answer. Rather, when I whisked by I looked down the alley and saw this:

I didn't even have to Photoshop that alley-lookin' industrial background, meaning that perhaps bodybuilding alleyway photo shoots featuring amateur photographers is more common than I had originally thought.

The only difference between the above photo and what I actually saw was that the guy in real life had his pants around his ankles.

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