Having had a Netflix account for almost as long as the service has existed, I haven’t found much reason to go into a Blockbuster in almost a decade. There are times, however, when the occasion does warrant a visit to the brick and mortar cinema shill for one reason or another.
Because I am not a frequent visitor to the venerable video chain, I have an ancient Blockbuster video membership card which I have grown oddly attached to and absolutely refuse to get rid of. My reasoning for not upgrading my card ranges from the mildly paranoid, (I’m not getting on their mailing list. Don’t you know they’re hooked up to the NSA master database) to the slightly insane (But honey, this is a pre-elimination of late fees card! It’s gotta be worth something!)
Because of my strange card nostalgia, I have to go through an extended rigamarole every time I need to rent something. Not only does Blockbuster have to “update” my information every time I patronize their business, I also have to brave the obligatory point of sale marketing and up sell gauntlet.
No, I do not want a new card. Yes, I am aware of the tremendous savings I could take advantage of by becoming a Total Access member. No, I am not interested in pre-reserving the Special ‘Gross-Out Ogre’ Edition DVD of Shrek the Third.
Having recently moved back to Pennsylvania, I knew a recent trip to the video store would be a typically trying experience since I would have to once again re-calibrate my information on file with Blockbuster, Inc. What I didn’t know going in was why specifically this time would be painful.
Doug from Blockbuster: Ah, I see your last address was in Connecticut, have you just moved here sir?
Me: Yes, we’ve just moved back to PA. We’ve lived here most of our lives though.
Doug: You know what you’re going to like about Pennsylvania?
Me: Mmmm, I’ve lived here before. 25-plus years. Over 90 percent of my life.
Doug: (On a conversational roll and seemingly undeterred) The autumn here is SPEC-TAC-U-LAR! You’re really going to like the next couple of months.
Me: You don’t say?
At that juncture in our repartee I didn’t see the need to point out to Doug that Connecticut’s falls aren’t too shabby either. Nor did I mention the fact that much of New England’s tourism economy is built around the ability to lure city-folk to look at dying leaves and have them buy maple syrup from millionaires disguised in flannel jackets.
Doug had Pennsylvania pride to impart, and who was this dumb Nutmegger to stop him from doing just that.