camera_duels camera_duels

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Cole Sprouse  This instagram is dedicated to the people out there who secretly take photos of me, and how I take photos of them first. May the fastest camera win.

Let’s be clear. This is the face of an absolute patootie. Like an npc that sells pastries lookin ass patootie. And yet, regardless of resident patootiehood, there existed a demon inside her ribs that drove her to take secret photos of my lunch. Perhaps she was a blogger? One of the ones that gets all dressed up and invites her friends to a meal just to spend 30 fucking minutes taking photos of their dish to an audience of 10 mukbang fetishists. Or perhaps they were -just- a duelist? I’ll let you decide which is most likely. Now this was a particularly special duel, because after it took place, as I got up to leave, she asked for a regular photo. I imagine my face looked quite a bit like that evil curled smile in the old animated grinch movie when I retorted: “haven’t you already gotten one?” I laughed, she laughed, her demon laughed, it was a good time. I took a normal photo with her. All seemed right in the world. It was then that Patoot asked her friend if she wanted a photo as well, to which her friend said: “no. I don’t like him anymore.” Well -fuck you very much- strange woman getting hammered on tomato juice at 11:30 am, I don’t like you anymore either.

To be a duelist means that, on many occasions, one must be prepared for the long range encounter. You may be looking at the first photo and thinking, “wow, mother must have been right, maybe I am dumb. I can’t even see the duelist.” Let me hold your hand through this one just like your kumon tutor. Scroll right, ahhh yes, there she is. Sometimes the camera plays the revolver, sometimes the rifle, but for me, it always plays the victor. And pro tip to the casual duelist: if you want to remain unseen, may I suggest you stay away from high socks and sandals. You aren’t pulling yourself away from an anime binge to help dad unload the groceries, you’re in the middle of town- and this town ain’t big enough for the two of us.

Four. Four asses in one shot (duelist excluded), ripe and ready for their creeping jort and cargo silhouettes to be devoured “hole”-heartedly by my ass hungry audience. BEHOLD my friends, a stunning example of a common, amateur approach to subtly. A move I have coined “the straw man.” The technique involves manipulating one’s partner into standing in front of me, at safe distance, as if to take a casual photo. But then, assuming I’ve relaxed my guard with some entry level puppetry, the duelist peers around the friend like some guilty dog back from behind the family room couch. The camera, you see, is already zoomed in to spy me in the background, foreground occupied almost entirely by friend’s nose bridge. Thus the duel is settled, and the unaware are taken victim. But I am not unaware. No, in fact, I am aware of all of these surroundings. The last bit of hair stuck and splayed out upon your friend’s sweaty upper back. The small seagull walking almost imperceptibly against the like-colored street near captain cargo. The bathroom sign pointing you to the right receptacle to deposit your phone. And I am most. certainly. aware. of your technique. Come back after a bit of training.

What whispers one hears when paranoid. Where even a silent ~sprouse~ under one’s breath can become bullhorn. Look, HARK, the triumvirate of “let-me-see-your-managers” delegating their matriarch. Who is brash enough to sneak a photo? Ahhh yes, ‘twas the paisley Prius driver on the left. Your colleagues turned their faces in shame, but you? No. Not you. You went boldly where so many of your kind have gone before- right to the person of authority. But this time there is no discount on a pair of shape-ups for you my dear, just internet notoriety.

An advanced technique betrayed by an amateur mistake. There are times when you feel like the antagonist and times when you feel like a character in the background. And while I’m sure I could sit here and write to you of the bubbling fury I felt deep in my man womb, how much easier it is to simply liken my emotional state to the woman behind our fair human heatlamp: the fog of war stare, arms folded in resignation. I’m actually impressed with the phone call technique, nothing new to me -a cynical master of the paranoid arts, but nonetheless advanced. A shame the tact was shattered by an automatic flash feature, burning deep into my soulless eyes the image of a fallen man on the precipice of the void we call ~social media currency~ #ad #cameraduels

Couple shoutouts real quick hold up: (1) Shoutout to TSA precheck not approving me yet. (2) Shoutout to this Italian mamma mia who scared off her helpless children with secondhand embarrassment for the sake of social media points. She too is a fan of jack e codjee it seems, must have missed her quivering youths calling out "Jaghed" in the old "cock-n-balls-screening" machine. It's all audiences now folks. Nonetheless, she's about to get me on that no fly list in the Newark airport, which, is a crying shame cause Newark has always been the basement stepchild of the far superior JFK international. Eyes and ears people, #cameraduels can strike anytime and anywhere, even in high security lanes.

My father once told me that the key to great driving was ensuring the safety of myself and my passengers. Now, behold the fatherless fanatics: car in motion, eyes and hands off the wheel and road. There are times when I am truly in awe of the bravery of human sacrifice. A soldier risks all to save a fallen comrade. A group of righteous protestors fight oppression within a fascist regime. An old woman with dementia walks across a 4 way intersection to the local grocery. THIS, is not one of those times. In fact, a picture of ~a sprouse~ driving a car is so low down the life and limb foodchain, I am almost honored by the attempt. But I digress. You may be asking yourself, "Cole, aren't you taking a picture while driving too?" Yes, yes I certainly am. And typing this caption too. And while I was stopped when I took this, even if I was in motion I had already resigned my existence to another plane. If they play for keeps, so do I.
The screaming and giggling that echoed from their car was a grim prologue to an ~auto~biography I should be writing: "I killed two people who probably shouldn't breed anyway," (working title), or at least the opening sequence to "red asphalt 2." Now if they did, indeed, collide with Darwin (because of me) I would have felt a tad guilty, I admit. But to be fair Oprah made us take a pledge for this exact reason, and so I think she should probably feel more ashamed. I hope Satan likes the photo.

Hark ~ across the expanse ~ do you see them?, three villains trying to skulk on dried leaves. Caught, the comrade to the right hastens out of frame in immediate retreat, ironic that he doesn't wish to be photographed. The two more base members of the country bear jamboree decide to hold ground, giggling to themselves as she readied her camera. Wormtongue, saying nothing to his friend whilst the act was being carried out, only awakens from the mists to point out the obvious: that I had already won. The two save face and begin their exit, chased shortly thereafter by the friend whose anonymity was not granted.

I should have guessed by the denim bedazzled devil's lettuce ball cap that the wearer wouldn't have the subtlety to pull off a proper camera duel. There, do you see her my fair audience? In the distance, past KJ's moai profile, the girl with the avocado phone case and pestle knuckles, giggling and wiggling like a toddler in a wicker chair and smelling like one of Marley's dreads. "How do you know she was taking a picture of you cole?" "Maybe she was taking a picture of KJ." Hmm, good point, but have you ever considered: eat my ass??? I know for a fact that I'm huge with the aging 420 audience.

A blinding flash. Quick blur. Momentary desperation. Primal cooing. Inevitable defeat. Temporary victory.
Ahh yes, I know this ritual well. Is it wartime atrocity? Nay, tis a #cameraduel.
The subway is a photographic operating theater, and I am the cold body upon the table. So many shots lay unused within my library, that I intentionally avoid posting many of them. This one, this one however. This one is different.
The holiday spirit is in full form. There, behind sad dad and the ghost of Christmas past, a duel was stewing. A young woman pulled the number1 #rookiemistake: flash.
So excited was I, that I blurred the shot. Yes fair people, even pros are prone. Fear not, the bright light of shame shines through, and the flash is still visible. Unfortunately, the only real illumination was upon her characteristic frown of embarrassed defeat. #HeKnowsWhenYouveBeenBadOrGood #ColeInYourStocking

Don't tap on the glass, it scares the fuckbois.
Here I was, walkin with a slight limp, when I suddenly notice the glass next to me fogging up. Lo and behold, a camera duel was underway. You see,a camera duel is kind of like a spider sense, except it's located in the sphincter. I turned quickly, and in just enough time to also get my own reflection. Now, I'm not a fan of selfies, personally, but I suppose a good selfie always involves making other people feel insecure. So this selfie hit all the right criteria.
He thought by framing his iPhone with his delicate index fingers, he could steady his shakey hands. Wrong. My shot however, like a true pro: soft and steady, accompanied with a venomous smile.
#FriendlyCompetition #cameraduels #quakingbowels

Eating in public is dangerous when my brother and I are together, mostly because duels are a constant occurrence. Have you ever had a photo taken of you while you were #UvulaDeep in a shake shack burger? No? Well it's #Lovecraftian, and it's something you inherently want to keep out of the private albums of kids with wayyyy too much liberty on #WorldWideWeb.
This was the setting of our present duel. Female Zack and Cody here were trying to pull the ol' "casual selfie" technique, one that frames their target in the background of an otherwise Michelin portrait of one's many chins. I'll admit I always feel a bit guilt ridden when dueling children--it's a tad dubious to take the life of a child for social currency. #ItWillEventuallyBecomeNormalThough. They shot, I shot first. And while her back is turned, I'm sure the mother's maternal instincts had alerted her to her childrens' demise. #cameraduels #LittleDutchChildren #TheHaircutTranscendsGenerationGaps #pattyportraiture

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