Thursday, November 21, 2013


Sometimes life is not entirely a great large boring or despairing thing. Sometimes a full week, or more, goes by without anything extraordinary or uncouth or offensive happening inside the Dominion's walls, despite the presence of out-of-town hunters.
This is one of those times. Sometimes I fear I've finally driven away all of the entitled or otherwise asshole customers.
Furthermore, this lull in interesting content coincides with National Novel Writing Month, which of course I am doing again this year. After writing over a thousand words per day to compose a narrative I'd only envisioned two or so days before the first of the month, the last thing my overtaxed right brain wants is to switch gears and come up with more words on another topic. That, and all the time I spend composing an essay on, I don't know, altruism or a snarky observation on some unimportant facet of human society is time I'm not spending on increasing the wordcount for my NaNo project.
And I certainly am not going to be one of those people who counts posts made to other places on the internet as words added to a separate narrative. I have some scruples.
So, I'm taking a small siesta from this weblog, at least until something interesting happens again. The holidays draw ever closer and that always brings out the characters. Snow will fall from the heavens and I'm sure a butthole snowmobiler or six will take this as a sign to churn across the naked asphalt. And it's been quite a busy year for sneaks and thieves for some inexplicable reason, so the fourth Annual Absondments come the year's end shall prove positively monstrous.
The Chronicles will return. For as long as there are customers, there shall be depressing tales to share about encounters with them.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Here We Go Again

Firearm deer hunting season looms and with it come the entitled outsiders who expect Saladolsa and its businesses to cater to their every selfish need. The Dominion is in no way exempted from this farce and, while Fernando has a few hunters come in during the bow hunting season immediately prior to firearm season, they are much fewer in number and, overall, less dickish.
One day, Fernando has just headed into the back room to turn on the exterior lights, for it was about five in the evening and the sun has sunk below the horizon, and he does want for the parking lot-slash-road in front of the store to be illuminated. While he's back there, he fixes up a cup of coffee. He hears the door chimes jingle but thinks little of it. Then he hears an unfamiliar voice addressing someone else: “Goddamn, Hangover Three. They never stop.”
Fernando peeps around the corner of the door which separates the store's front from the sanctuary in the back and sees a couple of gentlemen in their late 30s or early 40s perusing the new release rack. They wear forest-colored attire and have taken no heed that the Dominion's office is unoccupied. To their credit, they also didn't immediately make a beeline for the back room. Fernando feels a niggling in the back of his brain, a sense of vague familiarity that he nevertheless cannot immediately place.
Hello,” Fernando greets them. “I'll be right out.” His coffee preparation takes another thirty seconds or so, then he pops back out to the front and shuts the door to the back room behind him. In the meanwhile, the pair of gentlemen have continued scouring the rental racks for something to watch, but they have either, apparently, seen everything Fernando has to offer or have no interest whatsoever in seeing, say, Oblivion.
In fact, one of them gives rousing and insightful commentary that changes Fernando's outlook on life forever regarding Katie Holmes, her overall physical appearance, and the voluminous and frequent sexual urges she inspires in anybody “who isn't a closeted homo like that jackass [meaning Tom Cruise].”
And then Fernando remembers where he'd seen them. They'd came in the previous year and made similar sorts of observations among their runnin' crew before they turned to Fernando for film-watching advice. On the bright side, at least Fernando has the one dude, Thailand, in his records so he would not have to do the un-fun song and dance which is account creation this time 'round.
Speaking of the homos, Thailand, the less-crass of the two gents, points out World War Z to Vietnam as a possible night's diversion and Vietnam responds with vitriol, “I seen it. It's not a bad movie. The ending's weird but the biggest problem is it has that fag in it.” Now, Fernando is by no means an expert, but he strongly suspects that Mr. Brad Pitt can pull more tail in a week than good ol' Vietnam has in his entire life. Perhaps instead Vietnam was taking a zealous stand against cigarettes?
Enough of this. Fernando wishes to spare his ears and brain of as much bigotry as possible. “Something I can help you with?” Fernando asks them. It worked last year, after all.
We're just trying to find something good, y'know. Something with action,” Thailand says.
Action, got it. “Iron Man 3. Have you seen it?” Both men shake their heads in the negative. “It's better than the second one. Not as good as the first, but what ever is in sequels, right?” Fernando shrugs as though sheepish.
You're telling me,” Vietnam murmurs. Fernando surmises this to be another reference to Hangover Three, one which he does vehemently share. But Thailand plucks a tag off the case and heads up to the counter with Vietnam, while Fernando takes an alternate path behind selfsame counter through a parallel rack arrangement
You'll have to forgive me, I misremember your name,” Fernando asks of Thailand when everyone is ready to complete the rental process.
Thailand. We were in here last year a couple times.”
Oh yeah, I remember now,” Fernando says, as though he only just remembered now. “It'll come to four dollars.”
Thailand digs out a five dollar bill while Fernando retrieves the movie. The swap is made, change is doled out, and Fernando bids them a good evening.

At least this time it wasn't an election year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Call Forward

Fernando sits at his computer one dreary day and banters with a friend. It has been one of those profoundly slow Wednesdays on which the weather is just bad enough to encourage people to stay home but not quite bad enough to goad them into renting movies. The chimes jingle and a man enters the store. “Yeah, I'm here to pick up the movie you're holding for me?”
Er...which one was this?” Fernando asks. He has one reservation in the pipes, but it is for a different guy and he is waiting for said guy to arrive to collect them. It is possible, however, that this other man is here to pick up on the reservation in question.
White House Down.”
Fernando blinks. “I'm sorry, I don't have any copies of that on hold for anybody.”
Hey, I called you twenty minutes ago and you told me you would hold one.”
Fernando tilts his head. “I have gotten no phone calls all day.”
Listen, you told me you would hold that movie for me.”
I received no calls from anybody asking that I hold that movie. There's good news, though.”
What's that?” he asks, knitting his brows together.
I have copies of it in. Would you like to rent one of those?”
This is works for him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One Hour

Fernando sits at his computer one evening when a minivan pulls up and a guy comes in. He had rented some movies earlier that week and returned them two days late, racking up a neat twelve dollars in late fees. He picks out a couple of films, comes up to the counter, and says to Fernando, “I also have some late fees.”
Yep, twelve bucks. Did you want to put something down on them?”
Yeah, I'll pay that off.” So he does, and Fernando hands over the change, and the man leaves.
Not one minute later, a woman storms into the store and waves the cases at Fernando. “How much were these movies?”
Those came to eight dollars.”
They're four bucks each?”
And why was the late fee twelve dollars?”
Because you had out three movies for two days.”
She slams the cases down on the counter and crosses her arms. “Two nights?”
Yes, they were returned at around eight on the second night out. The movies are due back at seven.”
And you charged two nights for that?”
For one hour?”
I want my money back.”
Alright.” Fernando shrugs, rises, and heads on over. He places the movies she'd just rented on his desk and then pops open the till to hand over eight dollars.
She looks down at the money, then back up at Fernando. “What is this?” she hisses.
Your refund.”
I want all of it back.”
I'm sorry, the late fees which were assessed are a debt that needed reckoning.”
I want all of it back,” she repeats.
Sorry, I'm not giving you back the twelve dollars in late charges you owed me.”
I'll tell the police you ripped me off.”
Go right ahead. I have the signed rental form back here and the daily rate of late charges posted here, there, and there.” Fernando points for emphasis.
We're never renting from this place ever again!” she shouts as she storms out.
And I wish you all the best. Have a good evening.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Teleportation Tech

The doorchimes jingle half an hour before closing time while Fernando helps another customer by retrieving movies. Since he is somewhat distracted by his task, he does not immediately see who enters, but once he finishes up with his other customer he sees two young men around the age of sixteen, seventeen milling about the new release aisle. They wear canvas jackets and dun-colored pants, and their boots track clods of dirt across Fernando's carpets, a sure sign they had been mucking about in the forest at some point during the day.
Good evening,” he greets them, and they do not respond. Instead, they wantonly pluck tags until they are satisfied to at last approach the counter and spill four of them upon the glass.
Under whose name tonight?” Fernando asks.
The pair exchanges a glance before the shorter of the two replies, “Mine, I guess.”
Fernando flicks his pen back and forth between his fingers. “And that is?”
Suriname Elohim.”
Fernando looks the lad in the eyes. “Do you have an account here?”
Easily fixed.” Fernando heads into the office and retrieves a matriculation form, then places it upon the counter and hands over his pen. The young man fills out his name, his city, and his date of birth, then pushes the paperwork back across the counter in Fernando's direction. Fernando, upon reading what his guest had written, saw that he apparently hailed from Pearpound, which lay nearly a three hour drive away to the south.
I'll need your address, phone number, and a driver's license,” Fernando tells him.
Oh. I don't have those. I rode here with my cousin.” His eyes dart to left, where the taller member of the duo stands.
Fernando shrugs. “That's fine. Perhaps he could fill it out then.” Fernando retrieves a fresh application and tears up the first. The second young man fills it out and provides eerily similar information, except for the name. Most specifically, the Pearpound residence.
I'll need your driver's license,” Fernando repeats, for that line had been left blank yet again.
I don't have one.”
Hmm. Then how did you get here?”

The pair exchanges another glance, then both leave.