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Location: Cantonment, Florida, United States

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Obscurity is fun! Until one's penchant for obscure stuff causes one to be isolated from the rest of humanity! Whee!

A couple years ago, Suncoast Video produced a series of commercials based around the idea that they carry far more videos than oversized general stores like Wal Mart. In the commercials, a bespectacled fellow walks up to a perpetually stoned employee in what appears to be the afformentioned Wal Mart. Our corrective lensed hero tries describing a movie to the employee due to his poor memory of titles. The employee continues his daunting task of spacing out, and the man with glasses looks at said employee like the brainless horror he is. Then, with the suddenness of an air horn blasted behind the viewer's head from an inconsiderate sports fan at a high school football game (what, that's never happened to you?), the glasses wearing man is teleported to a Suncoast, where he finds a kindred spirit in an overenthusiastic employee who can figure out the title of any movie based on the loosest of descriptions that customers with glasses can offer. He leaves the store with his every hope and dream fulfilled.


If only this were reality. You see, it really stinks being a fan of obscure media. Here's how my average visit to Suncoast Video goes down.

Clerk: Hi, welcome to Suncoast Video. How may I help you?
Me: Hello, I'm looking for a DVD.
Clerk: You've come to the right place. We carry all the most popular titles.
Me: Yeah, I know, but I'm looking for something that's hard to find.
Clerk: (with smugness and disdain for my implication that they may not carry what I want) Well, we'll just see if we have it in stock. What is it you're looking for?
Me: The complete works of Russian animator, Yuri Norstein. Or Image Entertainment's Masters of Russian Animation collection vol. 3, the one that contains Norstein's Tale of Tales.
Clerk: *Awkward silence and obvious hatred*
Me: So, do you have it?
Clerk: It appears we do not. Is there something else I can help you find?
Me: Yes, I'm also looking for the original Orion dub of Akira.
Clerk: We have several copies of Akira, it looks like they were released in 2001. Is that it?
Me: No.
Clerk: Ok, anything else you're looking for?
Me: How about Black and Blue?
Clerk: (The smugness is back because he thinks he's caught me in a mistake) Ah, if you're looking for the N'Sync album, might I suggest a record store?
Me: No, Black and Blue was originally a concert video released in 1980. It features performances of the Dio led version of Black Sabbath interspersed with performances of Blue Oyster Cult. I take it you don't have it.
Clerk: (The hatred is back) No. We don't.
Me: Here's an easy one for you. Do you have Metropolis?
Clerk: That's a Superman movie, right?
Me: Good day to you.

You may think that I am trying to sound superior and more refined than the poor people behind the counters of movie stores. I'm not, I'm just remarking how much it sucks liking things that are obscure or out of print. This is a detriment to getting work, despite what it may seem. Let's say I were going to write a script for a television show. I'd put in all the references and types of jokes that I like. Considering I share interests with about 137 people on the planet, chances are good that my script will be rejected. The average person does not want to hear dialogue like this:

Guy 1: Hey, did you see that special on Bose–Einstein condensation last night?
Guy 2: Totally, almost as interesting as the reproduction of Lon Chaney's London After Midnight that was on after.
Guy 1: Damme! Did I miss that? I'm as disappointed as when I was outbid on that Scott Ross plays Scarlatti Laserdisc on ebay.

See? That's no good.


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