It was an altogether nothing type of morning. The kind you could easily have stayed in bed for.
The skies were never going to yield anything photo-worthy but given that I was awake at three-something, it cried out for me to do something with my dark hours.
When I left home at four-something, I didn’t know where I was going. I told Morgan I was heading somewhere down in the Tampa direction, but couldn’t tell her where.
I was a half hour away from home before I settled on Ybor City. I chose this place because it wasn’t going to offer me a twilight view of any sort but the weather wasn’t going to give me one anyway. I could have gone downtown Tampa but felt I had photographed that too many times in recent months and ruled it out.
Ybor (in case you are not a Tampanian) was annexed into Tampa many moons ago, so technically speaking it is part of the city. But in reality, it has an entirely different feel to it than the city. Historical low-profile buildings, a lot of red-bricked streets, and a past rich in Cuban heritage, makes it beat to the rhythm of its own drum.
In its heyday it was the cigar capital of the world (or so they say) and many of the side streets play host to old cigar factories.
Anyway, this morning its purpose was simply to give me some deserted views to play with. And for most of my time there, there wasn’t a sinner in sight.
Come weekend night, this same street is wall-to-wall with revelers, so here is what it looks like when there is no reveling taking place. The pics are at the end of this blog.
While I was there, I have to be honest and say that I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write about. I mean the place was hardly noteworthy; certainly my images aren’t.
But what really woke my brain up quite abruptly was stumbling onto that little store in pics five and six.
What had been a very vanilla outing was now suddenly enraging. My temper flared and I honestly thought about chucking a brick through the window at it. But sanity prevailed and I opted to just express my displeasure in words.
Looking in that window first, what caught my attention was the tiger in the middle of the floor. I wasn’t quite sure he was real until I saw the forty or fifty other obscene trophies of hunted creatures mounted on the walls.
To say I was disgusted would be a huge understatement. And it made no sense to my mind that such a little store would be somewhere where brutal death would be on display.
It also didn’t seem to fit with anything; with neither their neighbor stores, nor the city itself. So I was spellbound in thought as my peripheral vision searched for nearby rocks.
Why would anyone buy such a thing? Who do they think they are impressing?
I mean, the vicious bastard hunters that slaughter these types of poor creatures .. .well, if they display their “trophy” in their house, at least it is a topic of conversation about that time they compensated for their little dick on a great African safari.
I assume we all know that about them, right? Anyone who hunts with a telescopic rifle, shooting some poor creature that doesn’t even know his murderer is nearby… well they are not just mentally defective human beings, but they are compensating for whatever shortcomings they have that makes them feel like they scum they actually are.
But forget about those dirty callous bastards for a moment. At least when they show a mounted head of some poor creature, there is every possibility that they will impress some other moron within their herd.
Who the fuck is going to be impressed with the body of some poor creature that you bought in a little store in Ybor City? I want to know who these people are.
I suspect that if you lift the rock that the hunters crawl under, underneath their slimy bellies reside the pathetic sub-slimes that buy this kind of shit. Imagine being such a low-life that you live vicariously through the butchery of other low-lifes.
I wish these people would just kill themselves and put the rest of us out of their misery.
It is bad enough knowing that there are humans that perform such brutality on helpless creatures. Those of us with morals jump and shout about it at ever chance and try to get legislation passed to stamp it out.
But we can never win, because for each one of us there are a hundred assholes who will buy the stuffed body of these creatures.
Look how long it took to turn the tide against the fur industry, for fuck sake. And that whole industry is so disgusting that a dog with a mallet up his ass should have been able to get that practice outlawed five minutes after it started. But we still haven’t managed to shut that down.
So the chances of getting this hunter trophy type business shut down are non-existent. All the creatures will be long dead before these immoral assholes run out of bullets.
Maybe that’s when the NRA will lobby for the right to hunt humans. Criminals, the infirm, the retarded, the homeless. (Ironically there was a homeless person sleeping in the doorway of the store next door. )
Imagine a future where some old guy with a camera stumbles across this store selling human heads and half-bodies; perfectly mounted and ready to be admired by your friends and neighbors.
Imagine how big your dick would feel then, Mr. Hunter.
… just a thought.