Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Status Report

As you may or may not know, I'm in the process of editing together the Chronicles covering the first three years of wacky hijinks down at the Dominion. I'm done with the editing in large part; I've only got a little bit of the Internet Saga left, and then I turn to my heap of Declarations. After that, well, a final run-through checking for nefarious mistakes that I missed on the first two pass-throughs and then it's off to formatting. I've decided to price it at 99 cents at Amazon for the Kindle to start, and if when it proves popular enough I'll shop it off to other fine online retailers.

Enough about the boring crap. You'll all be overjoyed to learn that Mister Half-Face has graciously agreed to supply artwork for this project. Not every Chronicle will have a picture to call its own, but we have narrowed down the candidates, and she is hard at work churning out masterpieces. Every saga will have at least one visual accompaniment to its name; VHS Box Guy and Sweatshirt Grammar Girl are some others I can recall off the top of my head. Observe, if you will, the unctuous mind-horror that is Pumpkin Lad:

This is but a draft sketch. The finished product will be even better. Dang awesome or pretty dang awesome?

More updates as they develop!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

They Are Our Future

A semi-regular enters the store with a man and a child of four or five in tow. Apparently she had begun seeing this gent at some nebulous point and they've decided that Saturday will be kickass movie night. Fernando has never had any trouble with this semi-regular before.

But this time a child is involved.

The first thing which sets off Fernando's annoyance radar is that the kid is running around the store like he just downed three liters of energy drink. He crashes into one of Fernando's racks and sends DVD cases tumbling to the ground. The semi-regular barks at the child to behave while the parent (there's a distinct familial resemblance between the man and the boy) keeps doing his own thing. Well, okay, he made half-assed noises of chastisement but his waggling of the finger carried no threat and so was disregarded by the little demonspawn.

The kid gets bored of running up and down the aisles before long and reaches the conclusion that Fernando's life needs a bit of boundless joy added. He makes a sound like a revving engine and makes a running leap into the office area, then pivots on his heel and sprints out, straight down the aisle between the racks directly in line with the door leading to Fernando's sacrosanct back room. He doesn't let the door deter him, no sir. He twists that knob and opens that fucker right up and vanishes into the room which had just been partially renovated and recently cleaned.

I'm sorry, nobody's allowed back there,” says Fernando, moved to action at last. He tries honey on these annoying flies. “Please could you get your son out of there?”

Why? It's no problem. I'll make sure he doesn't get into anything.” Dad says this while not paying attention to his offspring's hijinks

Well, that didn't work. Time to transition to dick mode. “Okay, well, nobody is allowed back there. That's just the way things are.”

This makes sense to him, so Dad flails parental authority about ineffectually by offering inducements for the kid to come out (yeah, sure, reward your kid's shitty behavior by promising them ice cream if they stop acting like hellions). The kid gets bored of the amazing sights back there, like giant tubs of drywall compound and stepstools, and returns to the front of the store of his own accord. Semi-Regular Customer, meanwhile, has apologized profusely about this behavior, but “you know how kids are.”

Maybe it's time to set up a D&D-style trap on that thing. It can only serve for the betterment of our species.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Math Blaster

The phone rings one afternoon. “Hello, Dominion of Movies.”

Yeah, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in buying some movies from me.”

Well, that would depend on which titles they are and how good of condition they are in.”

I've got about six hundred VHS tapes here. I'll let them go for a only buck apiece.”

Er...I resell VHS tapes for less than that. They're not worth very much, seeing as the technology has been defunct for a decade now.”

Yeah, but I've got all kinds. Clint Eastwood ones, every James Bond movie, I've got all kinds.”

I'm sorry, but your best option might be attempting to resell them as lots on eBay or something. I won't be able to offer you what you're asking at all. Not anything close to it.”

How much you thinking?”

Probably like ten cents each, at most.”

Fernando hears a hissing intake of breath. “I think I'll try somewhere else.”

Best of luck to you. Have a good day.”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pill Pusher

A pair of annoying high schoolers enters the Dominion one evening. They don't buy or rent anything and instead just wander around the store being generally loud and obnoxious. At one point the taller of the two tries engaging Fernando in conversation.

Hey, you do stuff online, right?”

I've been known to visit a website or two in my day.”

Where do you go to download movies?”

That's like asking the pharmacist where he goes to sell pills on the side.”

The analogy is lost on this sterling representative of the younger generation. “Huh?”

Never mind.”

Eventually they leave.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


An older lady enters the store one afternoon. “Where're your new releases?” she demands.

They're actually right behind you. Everything's organized chronologically but if you're looking for something in particular just let me know.”

The woman makes a throaty harrumph and studies the rack for a moment. “The ones I want aren't in.”

Which ones are those? I could certainly reserve a copy for you.”

Dolphin Tale and The Help.”

Fernando grimaces. “Sorry, but all of my copies of those have already been rented out for the night. Like I said, though, if you'd like me to hold them for you for tomorrow or another day, I'd be happy to.”

I want them now!” the woman mewls.

I'm sorry, but I can't help you with that. I can still hold them for you for tomorrow though.”

You're no help,” she says, and stumps out.

Okay then.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Da Update

Fernando's distributor sends him an email one day. It seems they are instituting a new credit card billing system and they need Fernando to resubmit his information for use in this new system. If he does not do this thing, his service could be interrupted and his orders could be tardy (which...yeah. Just yeah). At least this time it is done via computer and does not involve using the antiquated and tortuous technology called the fax machine.

So, Fernando follows the link in the email to the revamped but still unnavigable company website and meanders his way to the account profile setup. He fills in all the assorted fields, makes sure everything is correct, and clicks SUBMIT.

He is redirected to one of those “do not hit refresh” pages where a little curved arrow turns, letting him know that the company's servers are churning their silicon hearts out. After a few moments, Fernando is shunted to a different page. This one is blank but for some size 8 text which reads as follows:

“Your information has been submitted to our system however there was an error when attempting to add the card to your account management page An associate will review your information.“

God damn it, distributor. And hire some web designers who know what punctuation is, while you're at it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It's a Friday, frigid and hateful. Fernando sits in his office and is speaking on the Book of Faces with one of his compatriots, Oso Hija. The conversation is mundane and soon the topic turns to work because that is apparently what adults talk about.

Today is a super-duper slow day for me,” types Fernando. “I have not made a single cent!”

That's because you need more exciting advertising!”

Like what?”

Oso Hija links Fernando to a page full of neon signs which can be purchased. There is an abundance of ones that read “Live Nudes” and “PORN!” Oso Hija can be quite the comedienne at times.

Are you suggesting that I attain live nudes?”

You can get the PORN! sign, and just start carrying porn movies. Think of all the business you'd generate!”

Fernando is about to respond to her with a comment about how he likes maintaining the sanctity of his back room when a vehicle pulls up, then backs up in front of the window. The driver looks at Fernando in confusion, and Fernando has no idea what is going on. The man shrugs and points over to Fernando's front door, so Fernando gets up to check it out. Maybe an animal was turned into road pizza or something.

But, no. Fernando was just a derper and forgot to flip his freaking sign to OPEN. He remedies this and has a sudden, mad influx of custom to the store.

When he finally has a spare moment to attend the conversation on the computer, Oso Hija tells him, “That's okay. Nobody's perfect!” Then, after a pause, “You should write a blog about this!”

That would make me look bad.”


Okay, Oso Hija. You win.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ask What You Want Answered

-Ring ring ring-

The caller ID reads Wireless Caller, so that's no help. “Hello, Dominion of Movies.”

Yeah, how long between your new releases?'

Er...usually I get them in every week on Tuesday, but every now and then I've got Friday releases as well.”

No, that's not what I meant.”

A pregnant pause.

Fernando breaks it. “So what do you mean?”

How long do you have your new releases?”

I'm not sure what you're asking here. Do you want to know how long rentals are on new releases?”

Yeah. That's what I said.”

Fernando opts not to challenge the man's wrongly held beliefs. “Generally for one night, but they can be rented for more than one if desired.”

Oh.” He hangs up.

Okay then.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sins of the Mother

One evening a...well...”gaggle” is an insufficient group classification. A friggin' legion of 12 high-school-age girls enter the Dominion all a-giggle. Not a one of them is familiar to Fernando. They gallivant about the store with their loud talking and bickering and eventually decide on The Drifter as their evening's entertainment and come back to the counter.

Fernando addresses the gathered masses, feeling very much like a professional orator. “Under whose name would this be?”

Can I put it under my mom's?” asks their apparent leader.

If she has an account here.”

She should. Esmerelda T.”

Ah. The Shutter Island people. “Actually, I'm sorry. You guys have a number of outstanding late fees from about a year ago. Sixty-something bucks worth. I can't rent to you until it's taken care of.”

Well...that's from a year ago.”

This only further reinforces my point. If you would care to purchase the movie outright, however, perhaps we could do business.”

I promise we'll bring it back.”

Sorry, but no. I'll sell it to you for five bucks, else I can't help you.”

She accepts Fernando's proposal, and Fernando not only garnered income but also freed up inventory space.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Shameless Plug

Okay, it's 2012. December is but 11 scant months away, and I've decided to scratch “have a book published” off my bucket list before the world ends. "What'll the book in question contain?" curious souls ask.

The stuff you've been reading.

“But Fernando,” said souls rightfully point out, “there's no way anyone would pay for that which is freely available. Besides, you would never find a publisher for such dreck.”

Absolutely. But, hey, Amazon exists. I'll throw it up on there as an e-book for a paltry amount ($2.99? Market research is needed.) God willing, I'll sell ten copies. I'm not going to shoot for the stars when I ought to be aiming over yon molehill. But ten copies is more than zero copies, and as far as I'm concerned that's all that matters.

As for content, in addition to everything that's been put up so far, strange unshared Chronicles which exist in my memory and the large Open Office Writer file in which I record such things will be added. If you ever had a burning desire to learn the complete details of the #1 Fan saga, it'll be there. Care to reap delicious Schadenfreude over my blunders? Yep, those'll be there too. There's even the story of the sublimely pissed-off guy who made a wide array of threats to my building and my person. I'll probably also throw in a few of those sardonic commentaries on life that everyone loves so much, and maybe some pictures. Who doesn't like pictures?

When will this masterpiece of literature be released? I'd really like it to be ready by May or June. Most of the actual writing is already done, but I still need to do the aforementioned research on the mechanics of self-publishing and to meditate on such things as layout and organization. Should it be chronological? Topical? Eh, I'll figure it out.

Any updates on this little project of mine will be in addition to the regularly scheduled insight, invective, etc. that you, Dear Readers, salivate for. So, yeah. In the immortal words of Mario Mario, “Let's-a go!”