When I was getting my minor in photo somehow I always ended up somewhere in nature where some animal had decided to procreate. This Saturday at the zoo I kept the record going.
I had a professor who had a great sense of humour and when he assigned us to finally do an assignment in colour and not black and white and it had to include action in nature, I knew just what to turn in. I chose the least, offensive, I thought, two frogs engaged in amplexus. For those that don’t know what amplexus is, it is what frogs or toads do. The male hugs the female in a hard squeeze and fertilizes the eggs externally. It looks like they are hugging, no big deal, right?
And I got an A on the assignment. When we did these assignment we always had a sort of a mini gallery showing so everyone could see what everyone else had done. It was always a lot of fun until the idiot arrived. Some holy roller innocent virgin male type person quite literally, had a melt down in front of the entire showing because there was a picture of SEX! Yeah, two frogs hugging.
He had a total tantrum about it in front of the whole showing. “How dare you not give those frogs privacy?”
“Uh, they’re frogs and they were doing it in the middle of the pond. It wasn’t exactly private and they aren’t going to file a complaint.”
I remember standing there amused and slightly bewildered that one photo could cause such a violent reaction. THEY WERE JUST F^&*ing FROGS! He went on in this fashion until the rest of the class told him to shut up.
Glendale in the early 1970’s was not exactly the height of counter culture. Most people in Glendale were either Presbyterian, Mormon or Catholic and except for all the Iranian foreign exchange students that was about it, including the professors. The professor finally told him if he couldn’t deal he could drop the class and refused to remove my 8×10 glossy.
As I recall he did drop out because I don’t remember ever seeing him again. I remember being totally amazed that a grown person or at least someone that was in their 20’s would have the sensibilities of a Victorian old maid. And I was very thankful for a professor with a good sense of humour.