We just ordered a SmartTV for our house, which will replace a big, thick Sony Trinitron that I actually saw in a photo in a New York Times article on e-waste. It was my TV exactly, and it stood atop a pile of lesser electronics proudly, bathing in a ray of sunshine as if to say “I’m old but I still work perfectly, so you can suck it!”
So, pretty soon I’ll have a Netflix account that streams movies. Which means I’ll no longer need to visit my local video store.
I’ll miss that place even more than I’ll miss my Trinitron. Consider this:
One day I was browsing through the titles when the guy behind the counter picked up the phone and called a customer.
“This is a message from Video Express,” he said, “you returned the wrong movie last night. If you could bring back your copy of Titanic, we’d appreciate it. Thanks!”
The guy hung up the phone and then said, “Hey, check this out.”
I walked up to the counter and he showed me the film the customer had returned by mistake. The label on the DVD was covered with shiny diamonds and dollar signs. A guy dressed in pimp-fur flashed a smile containing a bunch of gold teeth. A naked woman graced the label. And the name of the film was something you don’t want to know.
The guy laughed and said “This might be the best part of my job. Can’t wait to see who claims this one.”
I smiled back and said, “Bet you a box of those Milk Duds that some grandmother comes in to get it, but blames her grandson.”
And then there was the time I was returning a film at 2 pm. I spotted my favorite employee working behind the counter, so I stopped at the door. And then dropped my film through the Night Deposit slot. We just smiled at each other and then laughed.
Yup, Netflix can deliver everything I want for $7.99 per month, except priceless scenes like that. I think I’ll go up there and buy some Milk Duds before I stream a movie. It’s the least I can do for a business that’s been so good to me over the years.