Blockbuster

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Blockbusteremployee

My name is Dave Stimson, I manage the Juarez Avenue, San Pablo Blockbuster. Allow me to guide you through our wonderful business...

Let me tell you something about Blockbuster. Blockbuster is perhaps the greatest business to harness the raw power of video cassettes ever. It is by far the most superior film rental store out there, and I'm not just saying that because I work here. No sir, Hollywood Videos doesn't even come close. You know that local rental store down the street from you? Utter garbage. And don't even get me started on Netflix! Although much more expensive, our small through-the-mail DVD rental service is far superior! Just ask my regional manager, he can validate all the things I learned from the training films we agree to watch. I mean, don't you find it a little odd that the official color of Netflix is red, the color of communism? That's not a coincidence, folks! This is the wonderful world of Blockbuster, the best place you can go before you die and rise up on angel wings to heaven.

Welcome!

Please come through our state-of-the-art metal detector to begin your tour of our store. We begin by taking in the wonderful smell of disinfectant and bug spray. See, we're always thinking of you, and keeping it clean here at Blockbuster. Then look over here, come on, don't be shy. Aisles and aisles of racks! With movies propped up on them, kind of leaning-up like. Here, pick one at random. Hotel For Dogs! A good selection! We all love family entertainment here at Blockbuster. In fact, it's practically all we carry. Not like Netflix, where anything goes. Did you know that one of their movie genres is labeled "Gay & Lesbian"? In order to get your hands on that kind of filth you have to be escorted into the locked backroom. Personally, I like to call it the "sin room". At Blockbuster, if your baby daughter can't watch it we don't want it within arm's reach.

Blockbuster night movie pail

All our sweets are located near the cash register, so customers have less time to think about their purchase. Impulse buying leads to happiness!

Now come over here and look at this. Tell me what you see. No? Well, I'll tell you what it is, it's a cash register. That's right, just like in the movies. What you do here at Blockbuster is pick a film off the rack, hand carry it over to me or Janet here - "Take a bow, Janet" - and we ring it up on the cash register. Not like at Netflix, where some guy in a uniform delivers it to your door. Yech, how cold and impersonal! Here we have friendly people to serve you, and a cash-and-carry policy. Only at Blockbuster!

Buy some candy!

And over here we have candy, on shelves, behind glass! Just like in the movies. There are juju beans, and some Chuckles - I like the licorice. You like the red? I wonder why they don't sell whole packages of just one flavor? - and those hard ones that you almost break your teeth on. I like the peanut butter cups myself, and Janet -- "Janet, why not get our customer here a free sample?" -- likes Atomic Fireballs. A soda? No, we don't sell those, we don't want people spilling sodas all over the floor. But Janet here can get you one from the fridge in the back room if you really... yeah, okay, sure. What kind? Dr. Pepper. -- "Janet, would you be a dear? Thanks."

You may notice our candy is considerably more expensive than it is in other shops. You hadn't noticed? That's good, forget I said anything. In any case, if it were more expensive it would probably be because our candy is simply better than other candy. I know it looks the same, but it's not. It's extra special cinematic candy! No I'm not sure what that means either, I read it on a poster in the back office. Plus, we're the only place that sells candy this late in the evening, except liquor stores, so we've got to charge for that. You know what they say; time is money.

Low low prices!

Blockbustersign

When the mail truck carrying all those Netflix envelopes hit us, we didn't care. We just left it like that. Let them do their sick little drive-bys. Fuck 'em.

We have one set price for all DVD and Blu-Ray rentals. For four dollars you get four nights of rentals! This low price also applies to kids' movies, classics, and entire seasons of TV series--that Buffy broad scares the hell out of me, but you can watch her fight vamps for four days for only four dollars! How convenient. And yes, sure, you can bargain that down. Name your price, and we can make you a deal. Nothing is set in stone here at Blockbuster. Not like it is at Netflix. Two for a quarter? You want to keep them for a month? You've got yourself a deal, friend!

See, you don't need to go anywhere else. Those $1 rental kiosks, mail order rentals, that new online streaming device straight out of some damn science fiction pic, those are just a few unnecessary options. I'd never use any of those myself. Why would you want a cheaper service with immidiate gratification when you could spend money on gas, take extra time, and deal with nice, loving, cheerful folks like us at a store? Also, if that wasn't convincing enough, everyone knows that they all, including Netflix, especially Netflix, have embedded code which destroys your television. So stick to good old-fashioned Blockbuster. It's America's store, and the only place with no embedded code. You can't catch a virus from videotape! Well, you could, but you'd have to be doing something pretty sick with it. Whatever it is, Blockbuster doesn't want to know.

The library? Well sure, your local library probably still has a decent selection of movies. But if you go in there you might be tempted to check one out, or even take home a book or two. Don't! Everyone knows that vagrants handle the movies and books. Some of them pick them up just after they look at porn on that socialistic free internet they have over there, and you know they do what just comes naturally while looking at porn, catch my drift? And libraries have insects, those library bugs you keep reading about in the news. It's nothing like Blockbuster, where there are no vagrants, bugs, porn, or other customers to worry about. Don't even think about going to the library. Or to Netflix. Just don't think about it. Anyways, the only videos they have in the library are really old and unwatchable. Doris Day is in the vast majority of them, at least I think that's who it was, it was hard to tell behind all the fuzz.

Controversial history?

What? No, no, Blockbuster did not start out as a mafia owned business. Forgetabouit. That's just an old wives' tale. And no, they did not sell it off just when Netflix was about to come onto the scene. You're telling tales out of school, Mister. Netflix couldn't hurt us anyway, never has, never will. I see you've noticed I'm missing one of my fingers? An old war wound. Forgetabouit.

All the tapes you want!

Blockbuster vs circuitcity

Take that, Circuitcity! America doesn't want your softcore pornography.

This room is where we really shine. In here, as you can see it with your own eyes, we keep thousands of Betamax and VHS tapes for your historical viewing pleasure. Many of them have been gathering dust for years - "Janet, be a doll and bring that dust rag and a broom in here!" - ever since we opened in 1979. This one, for example, you can bring home to the kids and watch over and over again for four days. Films like that benefit from a second, and even a third viewing. You'll notice things you didn't see the first time around, and not just because of the horrendous visual quality. It's like taking a family vacation to the cinema, but in the comfort of your own home, or a mystery aventure in which the entire family deciphers the plot of the film. We don't offer just films, we offer family bonding experiences! Have you ever heard of a better bargain? Wait, you don't have to go on and on, that was a rhetorical question. Please don't bring up Netflix, let's talk about the benefits of Betamax and why the powers that be killed it. No, no, not the mafia!

Betamax is without a doubt far superior to VHS. Look how big they are; full to the brim of good old fashioned family entertainment. Here, why not rent Return of the Jedi on both formats and see for yourself? What's that - can you even play these any more? Sure you can. All you need is a Sony SL-HF500 Hi-Fi Beta recorder, and the RCA jacks for wiring. Are you a PAL or NTSC man? At Blockbuster we got both! Wait, what did you say Janet? We don't do PAL? It's "So yesterday, dude"? Don't listen to her, she's barely out of grad school.

Free coffee!

Since you're here already, and asking a lot of questions, do you want some more free stuff? We've made coffee in the back, and Janet - "Janet, please, can you come back over here?" - can go over to Dunkin' Donuts for you. A back rub? Well, yeah, why not - "Janet! - she'll be right with you. But while you wait, why don't you look around at our movie selection? Yes, just browse. Over there we have our Disney aisle, always a big favorite, fluffy bunnies and all. Sure, ah, yeah, sure, you can light up a cigar. No, thanks, I don't smoke, conflicts with the emphysema. Janet? - "Janet! Get over here for Christ's sake!" - I think she smokes. Now down this way we have our Pixar material, the newest Toy Story came out, did you know that? A massage? Oh God. Well, yeah, yeah, here, lay down in the aisle here.

Netflix won't give you free coffee, now will they? Or a backrub, or a massa... a what?... Happy ending? - "JANET!!!"

Bankruptcy

Life after late fees

It may look a little shabby but outward appearance isn't as important as the entertainment of millions of American families.

Okay, Janet gave you your happy ending, now rent a video or gtfo. You're not here to rent anything, but to, what... serve me a paper? Okay. Oh shit, bankrupt? No, no, no, Blockbuster is not bankrupt. Well maybe a little bankrupt, right on the cusp, perhaps. In any case, it's in no way a reflection of the quality of our video cassettes. I'll tell you what the problem is. Internet piracy. These days anyone can get their hands on the latest Yul Brynner vehicle by just turning on their computer, downloading a file and saving it to their VCR. Or they buy illegal copies off those dodgy street vendors at the market. A cousin of mine bought one of those once, and when he got home and opened the cassette case there wasn't even a video in there, it was just a block of cheese. And that's not even the worst that can happen. Did you know September 10th was funded by video piracy, and by Netflix? No, not September 11th, September 10th, where terrorist agents broke on to the set of Homeward Bound II and killed one of the dogs. That was the saddest day in American history.

All rented out

This? Uh, we're just clearing room for all the new films coming out! Have you seen Jurassic Park?

I know I'm just babbling now. Anyway, yeah, we've got a cunning plan for getting out of financial debt. How about from now on we charge a dollar for every extra day you keep the video? That should sort things out quickly! We'll be back in the black in no time. What's more... hey, who are those men boxing up all our videos and taking them to that van? Why I know, they're just happy customers of course! Janet, get them some coffee. Hey - enjoy your films boys! Ah, The Land Before Time XIII, excellent choice, sir.

What's that now? Why are they closing the shutters? Must be closing time already. You can come back tomorrow, we open at 8am sharp. Huh; you say we may not open again until next year, maybe never? Are you hearing this Janet? Now why don't you just get out, buddy. Keep going, don't let the door hit you on - Janet, where are you going? Well fine, the two of you enjoy yourselves. And don't trip over the Starbucks logo on the way out. I've got no idea why that was left there anyway. Or this step ladder. Or this length of rope.


I wonder if Netflix is hiring?


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