Gone With The Memory

| Austin, TX, USA | History, Movies & TV, Popular

(From the time of its initial home video release in the early 1980s, Gone With The Wind was only available as a deluxe package costing roughly $100 or more. This changed in 1998 when, in preparation for its 60th anniversary the following year, the film was finally released at the “sell through” price of $19.99. The video sold like hotcakes; we could hardly keep it in stock. One customer was very excited when her reserved copy came in:)

Customer: “I am sooooo happy they’re finally putting this out at a decent price!”

Me: “Yeah, it took ’em long enough.”

Customer: “I know, and it’s just soooo goooood!”

Me: “One of the greats.”

Customer: “It is. Man, I remember when it first came out.”

(I should’ve left well enough alone, but seeing that this woman couldn’t have been more than 30 years of age, my inner movie nerd just couldn’t stay quiet.)

Me: “You remember when it came out?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “You?”

Customer: “Yes, it was a very big deal.”

Me: “I know… but it came out in 1939.”

Customer: “It did?”

Me: “Yes, you can look at the date on the back of the package.”

Customer: *looking at the back of the box* “Huh… Well, I wasn’t alive then.”

Me: “Few of us were.”

Customer: *with an “a-ha!” smile* “I remember when they put it to color.”

Me: “It was shot in color.”

Customer: *red in the face* “Well… I REMEMBER SOMETHIN’!”

It’s Going To Be An Interesting Knight

| Austin, TX, USA | Books & Reading, Movies & TV, School

(Back in 1997, I am working at a large, national video rental chain. A high school aged boy, roughly 16 years old, walks up to the counter.)

Boy: “Can you help me find a movie?”

Me: “Probably, do you know the title?”

Boy: “First Knight.”

(The requested film is about the love triangle between King Arthur, Lady Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot. Action aside, it wasn’t normally requested by men, especially high-school aged. Thinking this strange, I still take him to the appropriate section, find the tape in stock, and hand it to him.)

Boy: “Thanks, man! You’ve saved my life.”

(Back at the counter he ends up coming through my line.)

Boy: “Thanks again, man. You’ve really saved me some time.”

Me: *as I hand him his change* “What do you mean?”

Boy: “Oh, we have to read this for school, and I forgot all about it.”

Me: “You have to read THIS for school?!”

Boy: *smiling as he goes out the door* “Yep, and I can’t stand Shakespeare.”

(As he walks out the door my coworker and I break down laughing, realizing that he was actually looking for “Twelfth Night.”)

Coworker: “Boy, is his teacher in for a treat!”

(Shop)lifted To A Less Aggressive State

| Columbus, OH, USA | Bizarre, Criminal & Illegal

(It is back when major video rental chains are still in business. We have a regular known shoplifter hit us and neighboring stores recently, and he walks in to my store. It is a Saturday night, and we are slammed, so before I can go and watch him, he is already trying to go out our entrance door, which lacks sensors.)

Me: “Sir, you need to go out the exit. That’s an entrance-only.”

Shoplifter: “I just have to run to my car and get my wallet…”

Me: “Okay, but you need—”

(And with that, he is gone out the door. Luckily, I’m not the only manager on tonight.)

Me: *to coworker* “I’m gonna take a smoke break real fast.”

(I proceed to walk out to the parking lot, which is huge because it is in a shopping center. I see the man and start following him.)

Me: “Man, it is a nice night tonight, don’t you think?”

(He doesn’t respond, but I continue to try and chat while following him. Suddenly he starts jogging, and I follow. He then starts throwing carts in my way as I run behind him. After another few minutes, he stops, turns around, and pulls back his fist! I am not a muscular or tall guy, and I can only react instinctively, which is to shrug my shoulders, look at him, and say:)

Me: “Really?”

Shoplifter: *taken aback* “Well, what do we do now?”

Me: “Well, if you drop all the stuff you have on you, I’ll be too busy picking it up to even see where you go…”

(By this point, his getaway car was honking and yelling obscenities. After about thirty seconds, he opened up his jacket and dropped around $400 worth of pre-rented games. True to my word, I took my time getting them as he took off. Later, I get scolded by my manager for going after them and potentially getting hurt, but she laughed about how my reaction was enough to shock the shoplifter out of his aggressive state. Needless to say, he never came back after that.)

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