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Pickle Me This

April 20, 2008

Indie Cred

Last December I dared to request National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation from my local independent video store, and the clerk asked me if I was serious. This was his version of customer service, it happened all the time, and maybe he thought he was helping me. He probably thought he worked “in film” too, but he reminded me of Dawson’s Creek. One day in February, I asked him if he’d caught Alvin and the Chipmunks yet, just to be annoying, and he practically threw up on me. Everything I rented, he might have laughed at, but being too ironic for laughter, he’d scoff instead. Each time we came out of there, we vowed a boycott, but we always returned, since Blockbuster has had nothing in stock ever since they cut out late fees.

We’ve moved, and our new house has a branch of the same independent video store just around the corner. The difference between the two locations is astounding, in that every video we’ve been after has been in stock (incl. new releases) and that the staff aren’t mean. We’re just not used to the latter. Today we returned Juno, and as we walked away from the counter, the clerk began making strange noises. We turned around, prepared for whatever was coming, which was potentially being spat on.
“What,” we said, bracing ourselves.
Juno,” said the clerk, in mock-dramatic tones.
“I liked it,” I said, pleading. “It was a good movie.”
The clerk cackled in an evil fashion (instead of the unevil fashion).
“Come on, what is it?” said Stuart.
“No, just everyone’s been wanting this and it’s the first one back. Thanks for bringing it back guys! And have a great day!”

Our gratitude at not being abused was almost sad.

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