I was pretty excited the day I got a camera for my car dashboard.

“This is going to be great,” I told whomever was sitting in my passenger seat that day. “Street brawls, explosions, naked people doing weird stuff, probably a UFO sighting or two and the Turner Yeti is bound to make an appearance. … Heck, just driving through downtown Lewiston every day, I imagine I’ll have enough for a full feature film by the end of the week. This is going to be big, yo. You’re pretty lucky to be in the same car as me.”

I really believed it, too. I mean, I see some weird stuff night after night while I’m out there trolling the hood in search of news and/or random nudity. After all the years of simply telling you people about all the cool stuff I’ve seen, at last I’d get to show it to you in full color megapixels, whatever those are.

So I turned the camera on, started up the car and I drove. And drove and drove and drove. Uptown, downtown, backcountry, frontcountry, you name it. I’ve probably driven 10,000 miles since I suction-cupped that camera to my windshield and I drove every inch of those miles in full expectation of “Cloverfield-style” drama to come.

Which isn’t how it turned out, exactly. The full extent of my dashcam glory is limited to:

• The time some putz pulled out in front of me on a busy avenue, causing me to slam on my brakes and sending a pile of cast-iron pans torpedoing from my back seat into the front. There’s not much to see in that clip, but the long string of profanity that joined the cast-iron clamor was kind of fun.

• That day my wife and I rescued a downed falcon on the sun-baked back roads of Minot, or possibly Hebron.

• That night when I swore I’d captured an alien invasion over Crowley Road in Sabattus but it turned out to be just a squashed firefly on my windshield.

• The thing I thought was Sasquatch on the side of a Buckfield road, but that was just a hairy guy peeing next to his truck.

That’s it. That’s what I’ve got for all that driving and all that hoping. Meanwhile in Auburn, a lady with a simple home security system — with cameras incapable of leaving their assigned spots, by the way — captures video gold on a near daily basis.

We all know who this lady is, but for the sake of privacy, I shall call her Filmorella, which is just plain fun to say. A couple weeks ago, Filmorella captured dramatic footage of a car sliding through an intersection at high speed and slamming into her house with timber-shaking force. The video quickly went viral and hundreds of comments followed on social media, most of them consisting of some variation of, “Ha ha! Learn how to drive in snow, ya hump!”

But Filmorella’s cameras, which I’ll remind you are bound by nuts and bolts to that one location, has documented a lot more than that.

Naked people? Oh, yeah. Filmorella’s got ’em.

“Some dude took his pants off in the intersection last summer,” she said. “It was like 5 a.m.”

Random oddities? Got you covered.

“You know that guy that walks around in the mesh dress swinging a sword?” Filmorella asked. “He would be outside doing all kinds of weird stuff — and then one day we caught his girlfriend beating his butt outside and then he disappeared.”

Street crime, lazy crooks and general mayhem? Well, yeah.

“I have caught multiple car accidents, people blowing through the stop signs, near misses, etc.,” Filmorella said. “We also caught someone trying to break into our cars last year, but they were locked, so they just gave up. We caught a guy dumping his bike on Lake Street.”

And workers sneaking behind a fence to smoke weed on their lunch breaks. And road rage incidents that led to screaming matches on the sidewalk. And drug deals in a parking lot and at least one street robbery were all recorded.

Also half a dozen friends who have come over to moon her cameras, which is just good times for all.

Filmorella’s cameras have captured more action just by standing still than my stupid dashcam has gotten after circumnavigating the Greater Lewiston-Auburn Metro Region 10,000 times or more. It’s just very hurtful and perplexing that after all the out-in-the-open action of recent years, there seems to be some kind of weirdness embargo around the nose of my car.

But, whatever. In a day where there are surveillance cameras on every other light pole — not to mention those wee little buggers placed in the heads of screws or in the eyes of Teddy Bears — news is reported through high-def video at least as often as it is through the written word. When a pair of naked dudes on pogo sticks get to fighting gladiator style in the street, who wants to settle for a written account of the duel when they can see it through the eyes of Filmorella’s cameras or Russ Dillingham’s drone?

I tried to get a slice of that pie with a $50 dashcam and I’ve failed you miserably. My shame is great. With God as my witness, I will find you an alien invasion, a Yeti or at the very least, a naked guy doing strange stuff in front of my car.

The naked guy will probably be me, of course, but you still have to count it.

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. Email deep-fake yeti sightings to [email protected] 

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