Sunday, February 26, 2012


Hey, what's this movie about?” asks a young man one day. Fernando follows his voice to the comedy section, where he points at Hot Fuzz nestled on its lofty perch.

That is a comedic masterpiece by Edgar Wright with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It's very similar to Shaun of the Dead in that it's a sendup-homage-parody of a specific type of movie, in this case buddy cop. I highly recommend it.”

So it's a lot like Date Movie then?”

Well, except for the fact it is good.”

The young man rents it and is satisfied.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

God Bless

-Ring ring ring- goes the phone one Saturday afternoon.

Hello, Dominion of Movies.”

Hi, this is France Zip-Bag. I'm calling from Zail-Kanzin Church and I was wondering if you had a movie.”

Which one would that be?”

Letters to God. We were showing it today for our parishioners but we've misplaced our copy.”

I should have it around here somewhere. Let me check right quick for you.” Fernando heads out into the store and scans the shelves for the DVD case. It is nowhere to be found. “Well, the case isn't on the rack out here where it should be but I know I've got it.” He returns into the office and searches the shelves back there. “Nineteen-twenty-three...twenty-three...there we are! Yeah, got it right here.”

Great. We'll be down in two minutes to pick it up.”

Zail-Kanzin is maybe a seven, eight minute drive to the south from Saladolsa, but it turns out Mr. Zip-Bag was not fibbing. A vehicle pulls in from the north side of the highway. A women climbs out and enters the store. “Hello!” Fernando greets her.

She appears flustered. “Hi. Um, I'm looking for Letters to God. I just got a phone call asking for me to pick it up for a thing we're putting on down at Zail-Kanzin Church.”

I've got it right here.” Fernando does one of the things which he does best and the woman is sent back on her way with grace and efficiency.

You're a lifesaver. God bless you!” she says as she leaves.

I feel like I got a ring of Wish with a single charge and I don't want to squander it....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kenny Chesney School of Conversation

One evening Fernando needs to use the bathroom dreadfully all of a sudden. He is about to rise and head into the back room to take care of that business when a truck pulls in. It is one of Fernando's regular customers. Usually when he comes it is a quick in-out; good for Fernando, since he does not like leaving the front of the store unattended.

The man comes in with son in tow and they set to browsing when another vehicle pulls in. This truck contains a father and his daughter, the latter being the semi-regular customer of the family. Fernando's bladder sends waves of protest through his body, but he perseveres. Surely this will not take overlong.

When the two men see each other they nearly do a happy dance, shake hands, and stand in the middle of the new release aisle talking for the next twenty-odd minutes. About what, Fernando was only half-aware thanks to his mighty need to use the restroom, but the word which jumped out at him was “tractor.” To their eternal credit, the men's offspring behaved during this palaver. The daughter browsed cases while the young man sat on the floor in the kid's section.

The one man's teenaged daughter finally took the initiative of breaking the store out of its stasis. She approached the counter with the movies in tow and Fernando set about filling out the rental slip. She shattered the bubble of conversation encapsulating the two men by saying, “Dad, I need the money for the movies.”

Well, I guess we'd best be on our way,” says her father and he hands her a ten. “Looks like she wants to get going.”

Yeah, it's getting pretty late. You have a good night, hear?” First the one group leaves, followed shortly by the other.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

We've Got It All!

Fernando doesn't usually do much writing that isn't prose for any number of reasons, the fact that he's not very good at it being foremost among them. That being said, the urge struck following a phone call Fernando received on a Sunday. Creative liberties have been taken with the ensuing conversation which has been related. Words that are used may not have been said exactly as they are written. People don't usually speak in a way conducive to lyric doggerel.

Four on Sunday afternoon, the phone decides to ring

Fernando crosses over and says into the plastic thing

Like a gent it's:

Hi, Dominion of Movies, how can I help you today?”

You got some VHS there that I can buy to play?”

Absolutely, I do, now!

What kind you wanting?”

Come down to see!

We've got it all on VHS.

Fair bit of horror

Action, kids', comedy.”

We've got it all on VHS.

Buck apiece for starters,

Six-for-five deal's the norm.

The only kind I lack is the ubiquitous porn.”

We've got it all

(Or nearly all)


Stranger on the phone takes deliberation time

Then says, “That don't help me much. Hoped X-rated could be mine.”

Fernando answers,

Sorry that I cannot help you.” “Well, you got any on DVD?”

Fernando palms his face in abject misery

(Happens a lot, don't you see, now?)

We've got some drama

Some westerns too

We've got it all on DVD

Care for a war film?

Sci-fi/fantasy stew?

We've got it all on DVD

I'm sorry again.

It's an unnecessary risk

Attaining porn for the back room on video disc.”

We've got it all

(Well, nearly all)


What kind of store do you run?

You know what people like?

Pick up some, and then I'll come down, and fast!”

Twenty bucks a movie, and shipping too,

I'll get right on it...wait, lemme think, no.

I'll pass.”

Hot new releases

Oldies to boot

A weekly rent-one-get-one-free

Some games as well here

With more and more taking root

(For most part on X360)

It's not that I'm prudish

It's I don't see the point

Wrangling with a provider of skin flicks for this joint

I've got it all

(Quite close to all)


Apologies to Mr. Yankovic.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


-Ring ring ring-

Hello, Dominion of Movies.”

Yeah, do you have Real Steel in?”

I do indeed, would you like me to--”


Nobody came in to rent that movie over the remainder of the night.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dinner and Looking at Cases for Movies

Fernando sits at his desk one evening when the guy who once tried selling him a crapton of VHS tapes for far more than their worth comes in. Fernando hasn't seen him in nearly a year. He is cradling a brown paper bag in the crook of his elbow and eats some form of fried snack food out of it. Fernando is unsure if the chips are being eaten straight out of there or if there is a bag within the bag. Fernando greets him but the man ignores him.

He meanders around the comedy section of the store while he eats his bag of chips. The store is otherwise empty and deathly silent, so Fernando can hear every crunch. This lasts for about ten minutes, until Fernando hears the crumpling of a plastic bag. Mystery solved!

Then he comes up to the counter, sucking chip flavor-dust off his fingers, and ruminates about filling out a slip for Fernando's drawing. He decides not to and heads off on his merry way.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fools and Babes

Two girls, a boy, and their father are in the store one evening. The kids are in the kids/family section; Dad is browsing on the other end of the store in horror.

Hey, watch this!” says one of the children. These three words have never been the preface to something good in the history of language.

Fernando hears the sound of running feet and toppling cases, followed by childish giggling. The patter of footsteps recedes and the giggling intensifies. Fernando comes out of the office and, yup, one of the little bastards had just run full tilt along one of the rows of movies. She's preparing for Round 2, arm outstretched and fingertips snaked around the edge of Enchanted, which lies at the end of that row. The row above...well, which used to be above anyway, is now on the floor. The entire row. Dad hasn't deigned to focus on anything outside his favored lair in horror.

Please stop,” Fernando says.

Dad hears that no problem and is goaded into immediate action, naturally enough. “What're you doing with my kids?” he thunders, swinging around the back end of the store.

Some movies fell down,” says the other girl.

Oh yeah?” Dad does not inflect it as a question, and he leers at Fernando as though he is the bad guy in this situation.

Fernando could not gainsay the little brat. Parents believe in the perfection of their crotchfruit and Dad is already ill-disposed towards Fernando for daring to chastise the kids' behavior. The last thing Fernando needs is for a grown man to throw a tantrum over the believed mistreatment of his children. Fernando decides to act diplomatically (for once). “Yeah. I was about to pick them up but they have to go back in the right order. If you guys are ready I can get you on your way before I start, though.”

This seems to satisfy Dad. They rent four movies but it wasn't worth it, not in the slightest, for Fernando had to pretend he was not in a foul mood to customers for the rest of the night.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dunking Donuts

One Sunday evening in January the weather has decided to bless Fernando with a never-ending supply of drizzle and freezing rain. It does him minimal good, though, since people are already glued to their televisions and rooting for assorted football teams. Some of those people are, apparently, the plow operators employed by the local government.

As has been shared before, Fernando's parking lot is not so much a parking lot as a street on which people arrange their cars when they come in to rent. Officially, it is the local government's job to keep it clear of ice and snow, but for all practical purposes Fernando is the one to salt and shovel the half of the road nearer to the store when Winter shares its bounteous gifts. He likes for his customers to be able to enter his Dominion without wading through snow drifts or running the risk of a concussion after slipping on ice.

Someone pulls into the parking lot and instead of doing the thing which rational people do, he decides to utilize the slick conditions to their fullest. He jams on his brakes and cranks the wheel and Fernando can hear the high-pitched whine as his vehicle corkscrews around on the street, making a full revolution and half of another one. He exits his vehicle to return some movies while it is still positioned at an angle in the lot.

When the chimes hanging above the Dominion's door tinkle, Fernando says to him straightaway, “Please don't do that again here.”

Oh, sorry man. I won't. It's so fun though.”

It'd be less fun if something were to happen, either to you or your car or somebody else's car (though the lot was at this time empty and Fernando hopes—HOPESthat he would not have done such a silly thing had it been filled) or my building.”

Oh, yeah, I guess so. See ya later.” He departs, climbs in, and does a jerky-slidey series of movements before pulling away.