Movies that Suck: Keeping Up with Our Joneses

Movie Stuff Collection

All addicts have their favorite hook-ups.

Every alcoholic goes to their favorite bar to get drunk because everyone behind the counter knows their favorite pour before they even open their mouth.

Every junkie goes to the favorite dealer to get high because they know they aren’t a cop.

Every john goes to their favorite prostitute because they remind them of their mother.

Movie addicts aren’t much different. They all have a movie store they go to, sometimes on a weekly basis, where they blow their paychecks on DVDs, posters and other assorted paraphernalia. They do it impulsively, without thinking about what financial responsibilities they will miss, what possessions will be repossessed or what bones will be broken and in how many places, all because they spent $70 bucks on “The Thin Man” box set instead of their student loan.

Their choice in stores also says a lot about themselves and their level of addiction. Some choose to go to the friendly neighborhood rental store, the one owned by the neighborhood hippie whose been there since Laserdiscs went out of style and has anywhere from five to seven screenplays sitting under a corner of the display case since one of the legs fell off years ago.

Some prefer to do their shopping online because you can find everything from the mainstream to the extremely rare if you poke around enough cyber corners. They also save a lot of money on sunscreen and gasoline, which might sound like an insult but given that global warming and oil companies are squeezing our budgets with the vice like grip of a medical tourniquet, we could actually learn something from these people, these pale, pasty, pathetic people.

The most delusional among us go to the big name store chains like Blockbuster and Circuit City, which are now merging to become one giant extremely crappy movie store company. It’s like poop hooking up with puke to become poop-puke.

My store always seems to be on my radar where ever I am. It’s on the way to my Dad’s apartment and there are only two roads to get to him: one is a toll road that doesn’t pass in front of the store and the other is a road that takes me directly to both. My subconscious movie nerd (I call him Bernard because all Bernard’s are nerds, yes I mean you Bernard) always reminds me to bring enough loose change for the ride there, but not enough for the ride back forcing me to take the road that runs directly in front of…hey it’s the movie store! Well, maybe I can stop and just do some browsing.

It’s one of those stores that sells old and used movies they bought from people who needed to sell it because they got sick of watching them, wanted to trade it in for something else or ran out of blood to sell and needed some quick cash before the bar closes. As soon as you walk in the front door, you’re smacked in the face with a cinder block of dusty DVD cover smell, movies abandoned by their masters long ago that have been repackaged, marked down and restocked for your viewing pleasure. For even the smallest of movie fans, the smell can become cocaine for your nose.

Every time I go there, I find something I haven’t seen that I should have or something I know I’ll like even though I’ve never heard of it before and I have to buy it. You can’t walk out of this store empty-handed. The dealers behind the counter are surly and sarcastic, and sigh loudly, even if you ask them a question as they wonder if you’re just stringing them along and wasting their time for someone who’s willing to do what it takes to make the money for their next score. There are no free rides on this rolley-coaster. It’s buy or beat it.

An hour later, I walk out of the place with a plastic bag full of movies and tapes and a wallet that’s as flat and sickly looking as the ozone layer. Addicts always say they can quit any time they want. Not me, I admit to my addictions. I say I don’t want to quit.

Besides, technically Bernard is the one with the problem. Did you know he also smokes crack?

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