Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Why I don't go out

So here's the plan last Saturday night: after nestling the kids snugly in their respective beds, I'd change up the routine a little, you know, grab a couple white Russians, and settle down and watch The Dude on DVD. My brother sent me some homemade kahlua last Christmas, and this would be a use that he'd approve. Moreover, it's the sort of night that suits my wife's absence (she hates "trashy" comedies) and my low level of disposable income just fine.

Of course any effort like this requires a chain of silly errands, and parental obligation says that I can't leave the little angels at home with a big bowl of food (like I can the cat) and two hats, four mittens, two coats, and two shoes--get back there you, shoes on outside, I mean it--four shoes later, we're out the door. Now I've got good kids, but the civility of their behavior during any excursion decreases exponentially with time and geometrically with the number of stops. As such, it's wise to keep the destinations to a minimum and make each one quick. Craftily, I save the video store till the end, bribing them for behavior with a promised rental of some godawful children's flick for themselves. The milk acquisition goes off without a single yowl, but even though the video store is only across the street from teh Kwik E Mart, I feel some tension growing in the car behind me.

In the video store, the kids tear off. Judging by their speed and volume, I can set my estimate my browsing window with atomic precision. I hasten to comedy. B, b, b... shit. Drama? As I look futilely in L, the twin terrors come racing back. Time to take drastic measures. I brave a discussion with the clerk:

"Do you have The Big Lebowski?"

"Huh?" Obviously, he's never heard of it.

Louder, "The Big Lebowski." (I hate, by the way, voicing my preferences to people I don't know.)


"Kids, you can't walk through there with that!"

"...have to ask my boss."

"Just a minute, girls. Garfield? Seriously, you want this? Okay, I guess, now hold on..."

"...says they don't have it. Never even came out on DVD."

See, here's the sort of doofus I am. I'd thought, without ever really considering it, that by now every movie that any human could conceivably want to watch had been digitally remastered and lovingly transcribed to DVD. Certainly this one would be likely to qualify. After all, several copies each of Big Fish, Big Momma's House, Big Daddy, and Big Fat Liar are there cluttering up the shelves, and surely those have about four decades of unrentedness between them.

"Um, so do you have it on VHS?"


"Kids, please don't do that."

"...don't rent VHS anymore."


"Kids! So what are all those, then?"

"You can buy the old tapes, but we don't rent 'em anymore."

So what are the odds, I ask myself, and turn to the wall of plastic. Things One and Two take the opportunity to dangle forlornly from each arm, and I spend about five chatty, remonstrative minutes gazing at the selection of justifiably forgotten eighties flicks.

"You guys ever hear of the alphabet?" I mutter.

"Daddyyyyy, let's goooooo."

Several "one seconds" later, I walk out of the store with a DVD rental of Clerks II. It was raunchy enough to curdle the milk I'd bought, and even though I often found myself acknowledging the humor on an intellectual level, you really just can't go back. I managed to stay up through about 7/8 of it, before the white Russians finished their bit Cold War espionage and sent me nodding off. I watched the final bits when my older daughter was at dance the next morning, hammering on "stop" like a Jeopardy! buzzer each time my younger one's distractions didn't hold up in the other room..

I think next Saturday night, it's back to blogging and stuff. Lesson learned.


Anonymous said...

Please see my last comment to you in LS's Blog.

Artemesia said...

Dear Kiefus!

Sorry..I was too quick on the trigger.. I really meant that you could use my Blog Name (Bailiwick Haven) as a link but not with my profile name preceding it.
P.S. When I create my Directory..can I include your Blog in my links?

Keifus said...

Okay then, it would be my pleasure. (I'm still rather annoyed with myself about doing that. Early on, my blog got "outed" back when I didn't want it publicised, and I was annoyed. So you'd think I'd have had the presence of mind to ask first...)

And yeah, I'd be honored.