Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Video Rentals R Us

A have fond memories of going to the video rental store, perusing the expansive sea of films, and being indecisive for close to an hour before coming home to pop the tape in the cassette deck. At which point you had to rewind it due to uncourteous fellow consumers. Finally you could finally sit back, relax, and watch the movie on your little CRT with tinny speakers. Don't you just miss the good old days?

            “Hello!  Welcome to Video Rentals R Us, where video rentals are us.  Don’t give me credit for the clever name.  It was my manager’s idea.  Said it came to him in a dream.  I really look up to that man.  Quite the savvy businessman, and he never fails to pick the best movie recommendation.
            “Oh, that must be why you came, right?  I mean, why else would you come to a movie rental store?  I guess you could just be shopping for the snacks and pop.  I wouldn’t blame you.  Our popcorn is extra buttery, and not that fake theater butter either.  My manager’s wife churns the butter herself every morning.  Call it old-fashioned, but you’re the one at the video rental store.  I shouldn’t have said that.  Don’t tell my boss, okay?
            “So what kind of flick are you looking for?  Action, romance, comedy, we’ve got it.  Even those more risqué films, if you know what I mean.  You don’t?  I mean documentaries.  Some are about pretty controversial subjects.  I still don’t believe in global warming, even after hearing about it for ninety minutes.
            “But enough about me.  Let me tell you about us.  Our store specializes in outdated tech.  No, not DVDs, though we’ve got plenty of those.  Beta, LaserDisc, 8 millimeter, we’ve got it.  Even VHS, that favorite tape format.  You don’t have any players for those?  Man, you’re out of the loop.  They’re so outdated that all those format are back in style.  Pretty crazy, huh?  The lo-fi is the new hi-fi.  No, I don’t know what that means.  My manager just told me to say it.  It’s our new slogan.  I told you he’s clever.
            “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but you seem like a trustworthy guy.  Our real bread and butter, the figurative type, not my manager’s wife’s, comes from our stash in the back.  Here, let me show you.  Bootlegged.  Every single one.  The day after it comes out in the theater, we’ve got it here.  We call it streaming.  Who needs the Internet when you can get it just as fast on good old VHS?  You want to know our trade secret?  Don’t tell my boss, okay?  I sneak my camcorder into the theater and film the screen.  Pretty clever, huh?  I thought of it myself.  That’s why I’ve been employee of the month for over a year.  Well, I’m the only employee, but I’d like to think that if there were others, I’d still be the best.
            “Oh, you found one!  Excellent choice, my man.  DVD’s not my format of choice, but everyone’s entitled to his own opinion.  And the customer’s always right.  No, my manager didn’t tell me to say that one.  That’s just my personal motto.  I told you I was employee of the month for a reason.
            “Let me check you out right here.  Okay, for a two-day DVD rental, that comes to…Ten thousand dollars.  Or you can just buy the store.  Please?  We haven’t had a customer in three weeks.  We’re dying here, man!  No one wants to rent videos anymore.  Don’t ask me why, your people are the ones not coming.  So how about it?  No?  How about twenty bucks now, and the rest later?  Wait, come back!  At least take your movie!  Sir?  Sir?
            “Man.  This keeps happening.  I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.  I mean, I told him the customer was always right and everything.  Maybe I don’t deserve to be employee of the month.  I guess it’s back to the buttered popcorn for me.
            “Man, this stuff is good.”

No comments:

Post a Comment