Vintage Kodak EK4 Instant Camera!

Hold on to your teeth, kiddies! I know, I know, Mojo calls a lot of things "crap" when really there's nothing wrong with them. While she herself does not want them and/or does not find them useful and/or decorative and/or whatever, that does not mean that other people may find those very same objects to be their Holy Grail, their DaVinci Code, their....ah, Mojo is tired of trying to come up with any more popular culture references. You know.

Anyway, Mojo is ready to concede--the entire Craptacular has been leading up to just such a point. A piece of totally useless stuff so pointless to keep, you will be screaming at Mojo: "WHY, Mojo? WHY did you keep this all these years? What is WRONG with you?"

Let us hark back to the Seventies, shall we? An ugly decade to relive, I know, but I will make it short. Remember the sudden and dramatic upswing of a little something called the Polaroid camera? Instead of submitting your film in little envelopes and waiting a few weeks for it to be mailed back to you, you could have your pictures INSTANTLY! Well, in a few minutes, anyway. Out of this grey square slowly the images would emerge. You could pretend the picture developed faster if you flapped it. Tray exciting, assuming you were born in the era before digital cameras became the norm. Nowadays your kids think Polaroids had something to do with the dinosaurs, but at the time it was pretty cool.

If you follow advertising at all one of the big things everyone talked about back then were the Polaroid commercials. They were very memorable for some obscure reason that continues to defy the industry. There were these two relatively famous people--James Garner and Mariette Hartley--who would gently snark and tease each other like they were an old married couple while playing with whatever camera they were hawking. People were absolutely NUTS about the commercials. But in one of those advertising conundrums that drive people who spend millions on such campaigns absolutely bonkers, people remembered and loved the commercials....but did not necessarily remember what said commercials were selling, which were Polaroid cameras. Advertising people write about this phenomenon to this day, and it still drives them bonkers.

Now, poor Kodak had pretty much cornered the camera and film market, and when upstart Polaroid suddenly came around and offered people the chance to see their pictures instantly instead of waiting for processing, Kodak freaked out. At first they pretended it was just a novelty. But when the commercials got so hot and everyone started buying Polaroids instead of Kodak cameras they got horribly horribly nervous. So they soon launched their very own instant camera devices. Of which this one--the EK4--is a proud example.

Yes, it's a vintage Kodak EK4 Instant Camera, Kodak's hopeful-but-destined-to-failure Polaroid-killer, that started way too late in the game to ever catch on. (There was also that persnickety little patent infringement suit Kodak lost against Polaroid when this baby came out, but why make a fuss over petty legalities?) It made you turn the little handle, see, while Polaroid had that oh-so-cool electronic throw-up sound it would make when it shot the picture out at you. Crank a lever, or throw-up sound? Was there ever any question in people's minds? Besides, if you had the attention span of a gnat you knew Jim Rockford wanted you to get the Polaroid. And who are you to argue with Rockford?

Does this baby still work? You've got me. I don't have any film for it. I have no way of checking the odd proprietary silly-looking battery. I don't know if you can still get FILM for these babies. But I've got the whole kit 'n' kaboodle here: the camera, the flashbar (with four flashes that haven't been flashed yet!) and the owner's manual, all in a gorgeous leatherette pouch. Ahhh, leatherette....another boon from the Seventies....

I am SO certain this is SO craptacular and will not sell that if it DOES, Mojo promises to eat her hat! Granted, Mojo does not own a hat, for she has a rather large head (chock fulla brains, dontcha know) and very few hats will fit her without looking like a little doll fez on the very top of her head, like the hats circus chimps wear. But if this thing sells for, say, twenty bucks, Mojo will buy a hat for the express purpose of eating it. And not a little dinky hat, either. No, if this thing sells for anything over twenty bucks Mojo will buy one of those big novelty foam cowboy hats, like the sort drunken morons wear during sporting events, and eat it.

Assuming humans can eat foam, that is. I know dogs can't. It will clog their intestines and kill them if they are not operated on. So maybe foam is out. Now that she is actually taking the time to think this through, Mojo does not like the idea of suffering from a severe intestinal blockage just for the Craptacular. Calmer heads must prevail. But anything made of cotton or wool or hemp should be safe, huh. Hemp. I like the idea of a hemp hat, or cotton. Provided it is snipped into little pieces, and doesn't have nasty heavy dyes on it. There's a place up in Noho that sells hemp clothing. I'm sure they must have hats. Anyway, Mojo is so certain this thing cannot possibly sell she is willing to risk her digestive health just to show people how stupid and useless and craptacular this thing is. (Like you need further proof than just looking at it.) She will make her Favorite Older Sister videotape the eating, and put it up on the mojocrap blog. Because Mojo Never Lies.

So go ahead--bid away! You get the Certificate of Craptacularity, although in this case I consider it to be totally redundant. This would be a really great gift to give to someone and blurt out "It's a camera!" while they're opening it and then watch their face when they see it's a camera all right--a THIRTY YEAR OLD camera! And if you can maintain that childlike enthusiasm while you say things like "It's an INSTANT camera!" and "I hope you LIKE it!" you can really get them wondering about your mental health, but they'll be too polite to say it to your face. HOURS of amusement.