Warren Rupnow updates his daily journal after visiting Bockbuster with his wife Maureen…
6:35 PM, enter Blockbuster with Maureen. Clerk greets us. I tell him its an ice box in here and Rockefeller already owns enough damn houses- turn it down.
6:45 PM, Maureen is asking if we saw that “lady boxing movie” yet. I have no idea where her voice is coming from, she’s at least ten aisles away. This place is like an airport. I yell, ‘yeah its that one where Eastwood kills her- your sister in law made us watch it’.
6:47 PM, Some guy walks into my aisle- oh Christ, he’s holding a dog in his god damn arms. They let these people take their dogs every where now. I storm out of the aisle and complain to the clerk, telling him this isn’t some banana republic, where dogs can roam free. He says he doesn’t work here. Like customers can even tell who’s an employee anymore. No one wears a pressed shirt now-a-days.
6:50 PM, Maureen finds me and asks if I want to see that ‘Saving Private Ryan’. We look at the case and debate if we’ve ever actually seen the ending. A stranger tells us we’re looking at video games.
7:15 PM, I end up in the candy aisle. ‘What parent in their right mind would let a kid eat some thing shaped like a booger‘, I ask Maureen, only to realize I’m talking to a young looker. She’s an eyeful. I go to explain myself, but then every one in the store turns as Maureen screams, ‘which of those penguin movies did we see, Warren?’.
7:16 PM, I’m trying to find Maureen, but I can’t even get out of the candy aisle. A clerk eventually rolls their refrigerator aside to free me. We find each other and decide to rent Harry Potter, in case the grand kids come over this weekend.
7:30 PM, We finally locate the start of their checkout line after accidentally setting off the security alarm. Maureen’s still searching for our card, when the clerk tells me the copy I have is for buying, not renting. I thought everything at blockbuster was for renting- what the hell is the store for? ‘No, Warren, I read an article on it in Esquire- every one is getting away from renting‘, says Maureen. ‘Where the hell did you read Esquire’, I start asking.
7:55 PM, A good samaritan gets out of line and finds us the right copy. Says he just wanted to keep the line moving. That’s a man who knows how to run an outfit- a young Carnegie.
7:56 PM, Here it is. The clerk tries to tell us we shouldn’t even be renting this movie and, instead, should be enrolled in their online program. Jesus. Doesn’t any one want to make a sale anymore? I tell him I’m not interested in the warranty- in my day, they built products right from the get-go. He keeps saying, “this isn’t a warranty, sir”. I ask if we are going to do business or not, and remind him the customer is always right.
8:10 PM, We walk out with Harry Potter, frazzled but not in a way that will ‘ruin the rest of the evening’, to quote Maureen. That good samaritan helped out again when he yelled for the clerk to ‘stop talking about the internet to these people‘. He’ll be running G/E some day.
8:45 PM, Home. We own this movie, it turns out. Christ. Blockbuster is getting a letter.