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Back in the old days, before digital cameras, people used to drop their film rolls off at the store. It would take a day or two for the film to be processed and the photo prints to come back. I used to work at one of these giant film processing plants in Long Beach, California.

It was a night job. A big pile of film cartridges in envelopes would be waiting for us in each of the four sorting bins. We would sort by film types, deliver them to the four darkrooms, splice similar film rolls together, and feed them into the processing machines. After they were developed, they went to huge photo printers that exposed each frame to a giant photo paper roll, which got developed and chopped down into paper prints.

At that time, I don’t think the average person knew how many eyeballs would be looking at their personal photo prints. Sometimes after a zillion shots of typical holiday pictures, something weird would pop up.

One time, someone yelled there was some gross shit going on in the printer area. We all ran to see it. The contents of the giant rolls of prints were fully visible for about 6 feet before they went into the choppers. What we saw was a large party of gay men with a life size rubber arm and fist which they shoved into each others ass. It probably would have gone by unnoticed, except that there were literally 100’s of photos of this activity.

I was in charge of the reprint department, where I saw even more bizarre images. Guys wanting copy prints of their naked girlfriends, groups of prisoners flashing gang signs, and police crime photos with plenty of blood to name just a few.

After a while, this stuff became pretty routine and wasn’t all that shocking. A couple of exceptions was a Polaroid copy order of a long penis in a hot dog bun with mustard, ketchup, and relish on top. Another was a plastic surgeon that took B/W shots of each of his patients. One set in particular was both horrifying and amazing. The first shot was a single engine plane crashed head first into the ground. The next was the pilots bloody face. An eyelid had almost been torn off, his nose broken, smashed cheek bones, his mouth was disfigured with teeth knocked out. The last photo was after his plastic surgery had healed. His face looked perfectly normal. No sign of facial trauma.

My co-workers were mostly big party people. After work, they would gather together at somebody’s house for some heavy drinking. I got invited to go a few times, but I never accepted. This blond BBW named Cathy, who was the unofficial leader of the group, sat down next to me in the lunch room.

“Hey! Mind if I ask you a few questions?”

“Not at all. Go right ahead.” I said.

“You don’t drink do ya?”

“Nope. Never have.”

“I assume you don’t smoke either?”

“I tried it once, and it was awful. So that’s a no too.”

“So...you really have no idea why we enjoy partying...do you?”

“Not really. But I don’t want you to think I’m judging you guys. It’s fine if you enjoy it.”

She put her hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear.

“I know. Some of the guys thought you were stuck up, but I knew you were just a shy boy and maybe a little square, right?”

“Yeah...I guess so.”

It saddened to know this hot blond thought I was a wimp.

She looked at me and smiled.

“I need you to do me a big favor. Would you be willing to help me?”

My spirits picked up a bit.

“Sure...whatever you want!”

She put her arm around my shoulder. I’m pretty sure she knew I liked getting this kind of attention from her.

“My cousin is coming here from Kentucky next week. My mother expects me to take her around the city and show her a good time.”

“What does this have to do with me?”

“I want YOU to be her DATE! I’ll be taking my boyfriend along with us, so it will be like a double date!”

“What’s your cousin like?”

Cathy scratched her head and thought a minute.

“Her name is Raylene. She is younger than me, maybe even younger than you. But don’t worry, she looks mature for her age.”

“What do you mean?”

“She’s a big girl like me. Maybe even bigger now. I haven’t seen her for a while. Her family is Baptist, so she’ll appreciate a nice wholesome boy like you.”

“You think I like big girls?”

“Ah...isn’t it obvious? Every time I walk by your station, you look up and stare at my fat ass.”

“Sorry...no offense!”

“None taken. I wish my boyfriend liked it as much as you do. He keeps telling me to lose weight.”

“I think you look great!”

“Yeah...I know. But you’re just not my type. Raylene is more your style. You two can sip your Shirley Temples, while me and my baby get blasted. Ha! Ha!”

“Is this just for one night?”

“She’ll only be here for the weekend. But if you two hit it off, You can come back Sunday if you want.”

“OK...let’s see how it goes on Saturday.”

“Right...you really saved my bacon on this one. How can I thank you enough?”

I just sat there with a dumb grin on my face.

“What’s that look for? What are you thinking?”

I just shook my head.

“It’s nothing. Never mind.”

“Come on! I want to hear it!”

I was so embarrassed, I closed my eyes.

“How about a hug and a kiss?” I whispered.

“Not a problem!”

She grabbed my waist and squeezed her big boobs hard against my chest. Then she grabbed my face and planted a big wet one on my lips.

“Did you like that?”

“Very much!”

“I’ll pick you up next Saturday at 7:00 pm OK?”

“Here’s my address...” I said. My hands shook as I wrote it down.

“Get back to work before you faint.”

***TO BE CONTINUED***
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmrwrong1:
MrWrong1 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great premise - indeed I feel 500 years old when I realize dropping my film canisters off at Fotomat or the local drug store and coming back in 4-5 days to get my prints was once part of my life... When 1-hour places became a thing it felt like science fiction! (Side note: a photographer I work with a lot shot his personal stuff in Kodachrome for 30 years and wound up having to send his rolls to the last place they developed it, somewhere out in Kansas. He's based in NY with 1,500 custom film developers and no one there could handle it anymore at any price. Then they stopped making the film entirely and he stockpiled it, now uses the rolls like he's dipping into a million dollar wine collection.)

Otherwise, great start. I love dialog-driven stories, much more immediate and draws you in. Elmore Leonard is one of my writing gods. He can go on for 3 pages with just two people talking, cramming in a short-story's worth of exposition. On that note, I don't mind the lack of description here. Maybe because the non-dialog parts feel like a dude telling me a story in a bar, where he wouldn't necessarily give me a part-by-part, FA fic-style description of Cathy's body. Where there's authenticity in the writing you can let the readers' imaginations do a lot of the heavy lifting (no pun intended).
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:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
We both have lived through a lot of amazing technological developements. I felt like your friend shooting Kodachrome. I was into Super-8 movies and eventually all the places to buy it and develop it dried up. 

I love Elmore Leonard. His books are movie scripts sometimes. In the 90’s I wrote a lot of audio podcast drama/comedies, and I may have have picked up my dialog skills from that. Thanks so much for your comments
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:iconspann19:
Spann19 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2018
Great start but hope  we get more description of how big Cathy and Raylene are.
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:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I give you more description in part 2. Enjoy!
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:iconspann19:
Spann19 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2018
much obliged
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:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
You’re right. I need to do that. Thanks for the comment. I looked over your stories and they are intriguing. You’ll be getting some comments from me soon. 
Reply
:iconspann19:
Spann19 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2018
Looking forward to it
Reply
:iconkay-s-sb:
kay-s-sb Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Artist
Interesting. Keep it going :)
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:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I will!
Reply
:iconkay-s-sb:
kay-s-sb Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Artist
I'll look out for it
Reply
:iconlnmman:
LNMman Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a great start, and it leaves me looking forward to seeing more. 
Reply
:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you. I’ll be posting the next part soon. 
Reply
:iconlnmman:
LNMman Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent! I am looking forward to it!
Reply
:iconrenderedspeechless:
renderedspeechless Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018
A fun, quick read but you did a nice job building up the interest by outlining some of the weirder photos and subjects.  I like that you chose to divide it into smaller parts, which I feel builds a little suspense and makes it easier for people to read, because I don't like reading long text on a screen.  Didn't you allude to your double date once in a comic?  No matter, a great human interest yarn with a lot of relatibility.  Keep it going Geep, let's see how your date goes!!

(On a side note, I think any of us who grew up in the film age know about what "normal" people really did with their polaroids.  At the time it didn't seem too big of a deal, but looking back, it is rather disturbing how many polaroids I found in my elementary school's parking lot, or in the woods behind our subdivision.  I have a comic story I have been sitting on for some time based on a polaroid I found in the woods when I was a kid.  So I can only imagine how much stuff you saw in your job.  Though I am surprised police photos made it in, as I'd think they'd have their own private facilities for such work.)
Reply
:icongeephead:
Geephead Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in my experiences at the old Berkeley Photo Lab. I worked there around 1979, so it was truly a different time. 

I don’t like to get bogged down with too much text either. You need to explain some things, but I like using dialog to move the story along. 

Polaroids were the only real  “private” photography back then. They had a reputation for recording the kind of material you didn’t want anyone else to see. Tons of polaroids passed through my hands in those days. People had no ways of making copies, so they sent them to my reprint dept. to get re-photographed. 

Your polaroid story sounds interesting. Maybe you could do it in your DID style of comics or just write a text story. 
Reply
:iconforcedlactationlover:
Forcedlactationlover Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Nah! The cops used local services just like everybody else. More efficient, and cheaper. (Privacy was a totally secondary consideration to 'saving the taxpayer's money'!)
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