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.