Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
"Yeah, do you have movies there?"
Fernando resists the urge to sigh in frustration. "Er...yes, yes I do."
"What kind?" Please don't be a pornseeker, please don't be a pornseeker....
"Most kinds. If you're looking for one in particular let me know and I can track it down and see if I have it or not."
"No, I mean like DVDs or tapes or what."
"Oh. Mostly DVDs. I've got some VHS here yet but I've been trying to get rid of them for years now."
"I see. Because I have boxes of old movies and I was wondering if you do trades."
"Well, depending on what they are and how they look I offer store credit."
"No, I mean like if I bring two down, can I take another one out?"
"Er. That would depend, like I said, on how much credit your trades are worth. Rentals are $3.50 for new releases."
"No, you don't understand. I would give you two of my movies and then I get to keep one of yours. Just like a swap, except you get two movies out of it this way. Other places do it like that."
Fernando doesn't understand? "If your two movies were worth however much in credit, then, sure that would work out. But it would depend, as I said, on which titles and which condition. I am generally of the opinion it is a bad idea to trade a new, niceish resale for battered copies of Austin Powers and Deep Impact that would sit here and take up space for the next decade."
"Oh. Well, I'll come down there and check things out."
"You are more than welcome." The other person hangs up, but no customers unknown to Fernando come down to investigate how the Dominion is inventoried.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Mmm-hmm. "Well, if by 'crazy language' you mean 'anything that isn't English,' then no, it is not in any crazy language. Well, I mean, it is, since after all this is English we're talking about, but it is a crazy language with which you have a certain amount of facility."
The man looks at Fernando for a second, then says, "Wait. So it's not in English?"
I don't know anymore.
Friday, April 13, 2012
Fernando has a reason for this, not that it excuses anything. See, Fernando was on the internet browsing Fark one morning, we'll call the day in question April 12th, when his computer just sort of...quit. BOOM--instant transition from Fark comments thread to blank screen. Lady Luck had decided to pay Fernando a visit, it seems.
"Shit," said Fernando. He contacted his brother Alfonso posthaste. "Yeah, so, my computer stopped."
"Yeah, it's dead."
"Hang on. I'll check it out later."
Alfonso did, and he shook his head from side to side and had many words of chastisement for our hero. "Your video card is shot. Well, either that or the cable for your monitor. How old is that thing anyway?"
"I dunno. I think it's existed since like 2003 or '04. That's when the old tower came to be."
"What do you want to do?"
Fernando ponders for a moment. "How much are new computers? And not crappy ones?"
The following day, which happens to be Friday the 13th, Alfonso and Fernando sojourn to Bronze Pile and the Wal-Mart which exists there. Alfonso once worked in the electronics section there and he maintained contact with many of his old co-workers. Fernando stood nearby with a thumb up his ass as Alfonso and Co-Worker Jim discussed computer hardware and whatever, trying to come to a consensus as to which arrangement of packaging would provide the most bang for Fernando's buck.
In the end it was decided that Fernando pick up an Acer tower/monitor bundle. This purchase set him back a number of hundred of dollars, but Fernando was more than okay with it. A computer is necessary to the maintenance of the Dominion and it was way, way nicer than the barebones abomination that just died on him. As an added bonus, Fernando's monitor damn near doubled in size.
Then the brothers went to Burger King and it was the best Burger King experience ever for a great number of reasons, but the one which stood foremost was the discovery of Orange Rockslide, a delightful carbonated sugar-water concoction half of root beer and half of orange Hi-C which came into being only because Fernando had filled his cup halfway with orange sugar-water before Alfonso said to him, "You know they have Barq's, right?"
Pretty sweet day. Fernando is going to fire up LoL on it after work and see if it runs with the graphics setting set to something other than their absolute worst.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
A guy who looks like a frat boy circa Fernando's tenure at college comes into the store one day. He's got it all: polo shirt, wrap-around sunglasses, blonde highlights. Fernando had never seen him before.
“Hello,” Fernando greets him.
The guy seems surprised to find Fernando sitting at his desk behind the counter. “Oh, hey man.” He leans in conspiratorially. “Listen, you got any adult stuff for sale here?”
Fernando can play the sneaky-sneak game. “No, sorry to say,” he says in a low voice.
“Shit. You know where I could get some?”
“Family Video might have some, if you care to drive half an hour in any direction. If not, there's the adult bookstore up in Inuitland. Else the internet exists. It's sort of ubiquitous on there.”
“Alright. Cheers, man.” The stranger departs.
Hopefully the guy wasn't speaking in cryptograms about something considerably more nefarious than spank material.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
“May I ask who is calling?”
“This is Kuwait, calling from Turtlefoot Enterprises. We just thought we'd call and check in with you to see how things are going. Business is doing alright?”
“The weather has been unseasonal here,” replies Fernando. “But, listen, I don't want to take up any more of your time. You still aren't a fit for me, so I'm still uninterested.”
“Oh, I understand. Well, if you change your mind you've got my number and you can give me a call most any time and I'd be glad to help.” Kuwait says this with a throaty chuckle.
“Excellent. Good day.” Fernando hangs up.
“Who was that?” asks the customer, one of Fernando's regulars.
“People trying to sell me something using a fun new tactic. Unfortunately for them, I had my emotional centers surgically removed so I am unaffected by appeals to my baser instincts.”
Sunday, April 1, 2012
However, the marketing people must have undertaken ritual lobotomies, since they made the disc look like this:
It was only a matter of time before some brave soul brought the fact that it looks like somebody ripped the movie onto a generic Sony DVD up to Fernando as a shady business proposition.
One afternoon a girl rents the movie and her boyfriend returns it the next day. “Thank you much,” says Fernando when he enters to drop it off.
“I never knew you guys ripped movies. How much do you charge for it?”
“I...what? No, no, see, that would be a bad idea because, one, it's illegal; and, two, it would lessen what income I'd earn because nobody would rent the damn movies.”
“What? Really? Because this disc is definitely not a real DVD.”
“I'd imagine Sony-brand blank discs are available to most publishing companies and it would not surprise me that many movies are embedded onto them, just that the logo or image or whatever for the movie is question is airbrushed or painted on the disc's surface.”
“Oh.” At this point the gent switches tactics. “Well, this one didn't work in my player so I was wondering if we could, like, get a free rental or something.”
Fernando strides over to his DVD player and pops the disc right in. He does not turn on the television, not yet. “What didn't work about it?”
“Oh, you know, it just said 'no disc.'”
“Curious.” Fernando flips on the TV and notices that the title screen, bright and cheery, has appeared. “It seems to be working for me.” He peers at his shelves. “Unfortunately I don't have any other copies in right now, else I'd let you have one of those to see if that might work out better for you. But you're more than welcome to give this one another go for tonight to see if it works better for you.”
“Um, no, no, that's okay. Um, so, yeah, if you wanted to maybe just, uh, put a credit down or something, if that's okay, we can come in another time.” He hightails it out of the store before Fernando could respond.
Fernando smiles after him. “I'll see what I can do.” He replaces the movie on the shelf, puts the tag back out on the floor, and it is rented later that evening to no complaint.