Thursday, December 5, 2013


The lady who tried to fleece Fernando out of rentals multiple times in the past decided to return to the store one evening. Why, Fernando had no idea, as he had been fairly certain that he had driven her away with his no-nonsense tone and immovable position on giving her an endless chain of gratis rentals. Maybe she was a glutton for punishment, or her avarice fueled a temptation that could not be resisted.
Nonetheless, Fernando greets her and she, not surprisingly, does not respond, caught up as she was in her own world and doubtless plotting her next move. So Fernando returns his attention to the internet while she browses the store. She comes up a few minutes later with a pair of tags for Turbo and Monsters, Inc. Fernando fills out the slip and takes her money and she leaves.
The following day, her vehicle pulls into the parking lot and she climbs out with her movies. The chimes jingle and before Fernando knows it, she stands before his counter, her perpetually irate expression made even more intimidating and vampiric, for her lips are pressed together so tightly as to not exist at all. "This one didn't work for me." She holds the case for Monsters, Inc. in her hand vertically, so Fernando can clearly see the colorful surface of the disc in case he needed to be reminded about how his inventory looked.
"That's no good," Fernando says, rising from his seat and crossing the office. "Let me take a look at it."
"It just didn't play at all," she insists, setting the case down on the countertop rather than passing it over into Fernando's outstretched hand.
"Peculiar. Let me pop it in my player and see. What exactly didn't work about it?"
"It wouldn't load at all. It just spun in the disc holder." She pauses for a breath, then appends with a generous dollop of vitriol, "This is not the first time this has happened."
Fernando ignores that. He powers on his DVD player and places the disc on the tray. When he pushes the button to close said tray, the woman suddenly shouts, "I didn't use a DVD player!"
Fernando looks over his shoulder and blinks rather confusedly. "Then...what? Like a game console?"
The DVD player faintly hums and churns. "Three-sixty?"
"Well, that's probably the cause of your problem. This disc was pressed in what, like 2001? It's older than some of my customers. Newer players, especially ones in consoles, don't like playing nice with geriatric discs like this one."
The woman puffs out a snort through her nostrils.
Fernando follows that up with a question. "Did you ever try this in an actual, like, DVD player?"
The woman folds her arms across her chest. "No."
"Perhaps you should try that tonight and see if the disc treats you better in that instance." Fernando pushes the power button to his television and, lo and behold, there's the DVD's title screen featuring music by Randy Newton. "It seems to be working fine for me." He pushes the eject button, replaces the disc in its case, and passes it back over to the woman.

She looks as though she wants to say something more, but decides against it and instead skulks out.

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