Blockbuster a Bust, and a Lesson in Neurology

I am a total novice in the collage department, but our trip to the Blockbuster yesterday called for a little something special. It was, perhaps, the shortest and most infuriating trip to a video store ever to be recorded in human history and memorialized with an amateur cut-and-paste project.

Always in the past (always being three times, past being the last five weeks, since I initiated our $5/month “family membership” in lieu of Netflix’s impoverished streaming options), there’s been a movie playing on multiple screens around the store. Always it’s been a kid’s movie. Today was no different, except that today we happened to walk in during the scary part.

I have no idea what movie it was, except as I dropped Elmo’s Alphabet into the return slot, thunder growled, ominous music rose, and shrieking broke out behind me. I turned to find that Mbot had plastered his back to the windows and was yelling to get out. Of course Blockbuster is set up so you can’t go out through the in door (Led Zeppelin almost named an album after this problem). You have to go all the way around the checkout counter in order to escape.

As we made our way around, in fits and starts, I dragging Mbot by the hand as I issued orders for Gbot to follow, between uttering soothing yet urgent words to Mbot, I asked the young man behind the counter to turn off the movie. He looked at me blankly and, over Mbot’s shrieks of, “It’s scary! It’s scary! Get us out of here!”, I repeated myself. The employee moved, slowly, three feet. But it was not toward the video control; it was toward the counter to help the only other customer in the store. “Please turn off the movie!” I repeated again over Mbot’s  howling. He did not, nor did he offer any indication that he understood it might be the right time to move swiftly in order to Make a Difference. Does Blockbuster management encourage employees to take drugs before their shifts, or do they have a hiring policy that includes the vastly stupid?

I was furious at his lack of response. I managed to drag both bots past the double doors out into the 103 degree heat, still soothing Mbot and then asking if Mbot was okay. He answered, tearfully, that he was, and once in the car, began the usual barrage of questions that attends any event, good, bad, in or out-of the ordinary: “Why did that man have on a scary movie? What was that bad movie? Did he not know boys would come into the movie store? How about that cloud with the fangs? Why did he not turn it off?”

In answer to the last question, I said, unable to help myself, “Because he is a dopey man.”

“Why is he dopey?”

And I’m afraid I responded, “Because he doesn’t have enough brain cells.”

Mbot (who has apparently learned a little about God at preschool inspite of my less-than-god-in-heavenish approach): “Why did God not think he needed more brain cells?”

Me: “Because God is wrong sometimes.”

Mbot: “Would he not be dopey if I gave him some of my brain cells?”

Me: “He might still be dopey. Besides, you need to keep yours, Moon Pie. We need all the brain cells we’ve got.”

Gbot entered the conversation: “I do not need brain cells.”

Me: “You really do.”

Gbot: “I will give him some of my brain cells.”

Me: “Well that’s very kind, Spice Bear. Look. We’re home. Let’s watch the Backyardigans go to Mars…again!”

The cloud with fangs. What can I say? I was on a roll.

Argument for Staying Culturally Current

“Good job, Mom. You finally got it.”

I have transcribed below the conversation Mbot and I had at the pool at the Y on Saturday. In my defense, I will point out that the background noise consisted of squealing children and splashing water, as we were in the kid zone, with its array of eternally splashy spouts and spigots. (Note: I have transcribed not the conversation as it actually occurred, but as I experienced it.)

Mbot: “Did you ever see octopus pie?”

Me: “Octopus pie? No.”

Mbot: “Octopus cry!”

Me: “Octopus cry?”

Mbot, becoming impatient: “Octopus crime! Did you ever see that movie?”

Me: “Oh! Optimus Prime! From The Transformers! Sorry, Bug, I couldn’t hear you. No. I have not seen the movie.”

Maybe I should, though, so he and I can continue to inhabit the same holodeck.

Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class Optimus Pri...

Class Optimus Prime figure and the truck he transforms into. Definitely not a seafood dish. Picture from Revenge of the Fallen Leader(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Batman Beguines

With a nod to Cole Porter, Christian Bale, and Chris Nolan.

The mask and cape were abandoned early into the jingle-dance at Music Together yesterday. Note to self: Must have Morgan Freeman design a mask that won’t slip during big dance moves.

This post assumes prior knowledge of the 2005 movie, Batman Begins, which I attained Thursday night in Chicago. I actually went to the local library, withdrew movies, and took them to Chicago, rather than taking chances with cable or forking out the cash for pay-per-view. It took me two sessions, but I managed to watch the whole thing on Mbot’s DVD player.

Although I’m way too “Please can’t we just all hold hands and read Winne the Pooh again,” so the whole idea of Gotham City kind of gives me a yucky woozy feeling, I liked the movie. The acting was good, the lines were funny, the sets were cool, and finally, FINALLY, someone has adequately explained to me why anyone over the age of five–even anyone with quads like that–would wear that suit, and that frown. I won’t be watching it with the Bots anytime before 2020.

Cole Porter wrote the song, Begin the Beguine, and there’s a West Indian dance called the Beguine. The song is very complicated, and according to Our Wikiness, even Porter himself needed the sheet music to play it all the way through. So chances are, Mbot got it right when he improvised. But getting it right in our music class isn’t ever the point. The point is feeling comfortable in our clothes, and turning that frown upside down.

Check, check.