Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with the first child of Prince William, and it’s safe to assume that THE big money photo of the year will be the ultrasound photo of the royal tot.
So- assume you’re an enterprising fetal paparazzi- how would you go about capturing the image that the public demands? I called up KenQuest Medical Equipment, a Nevada-based company that sells and rents ultrasound machines, and spoke to a guy named Walter. He didn’t give me his last name, but he did give me the skinny on how an aspiring fetal paparazzi can get the tools he needs.
Hi Walter, thanks for talking to us.
My pleasure. I love truTV. You guys do Bait Car, right?
So here’s the deal- assume I’m a fetal paparazzi, and I want to get the first picture of the unborn royal. Could I rent the equipment from you?
I’m afraid not. We only rent to accredited hospitals or established places of business. We rent to mostly surgery centers, hospitals or those sneak-a-peek places, where they charge you too much money to get a first look at your baby.
Hmmm. Could I buy it?
Sweet. Let’s talk turkey. First off, do you have any training operating ultrasound equipment?
No, I’m not specifically trained, but I know a lot about these machines, I’ve been selling medical equipment for years.
Do you have anything portable?
About the size of a 15-inch laptop.
Nice. Are either one of those models weatherproof? I figure I may have to be waiting outside Kate’s home or hotel for quite a while. It’s rainy in England.
Neither one of those units are weather-proof and they don’t like moisture. You’d want to be careful to keep it dry.
Would it be possible to get an ultrasound image from across the street, or through the window of a speeding car? Do they have any kind of a zoom lens available?
Again, no. The key to getting an image is you’d have to get close to her. I’d be afraid of being tackled, or shot dead.
Thankfully, Walter, fetal paparazzi are made of sterner stuff than you are. How does it work?
Well, the transducer has to be be touching her her body.
Would I need to squirt that gel stuff on her stomach?
Either the stomach, or wherever the baby is hanging out that day. Using the gel would be better, but you don’t need it. Without the gel it’s harder, and could muffle the picture.
That’s good intel. Does it have to be on bare skin, or can it be through clothes?
Again, you could do it through clothes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It causes more friction,and that could make the photo more difficult to come out clearly.
And this is a 3D image we’d get?
Actually, 4D is what they call it. There’s an extra D now.
How does that work?
That’s just what they call it.
And what does a 4D image do? What does it look like?
It makes the baby look…creepier. Some of my friends have posted their babies on Facebook and it’s so weird.
I’m sold. How much money are we talking here?
You could get a used, refurbished unit for anywhere from 18 to 25 thousand dollars. New, you’re looking at 40 to 50 grand.
I’d easily make that back for this picture. Are the used machines good enough? What do you recommend?
I think the used ones are perfectly fine. Hey, maybe you get a used one on a paparazzi budget, and then once you get paid for the image, you come back and buy a new one.
I like the way you think, Walter. Do you have any other advice for aspiring fetal paparazzi?
I’d say you should be very, very careful what you take a picture of.
Are you saying it’s a bad idea to attempt to take an ultrasound of the unborn child of the Duchess of Cambridge without her consent?
I think you know exactly what I’m saying.
Thanks for your time.
Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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