By now, I'm sure you've seen Blockbuster's Going Out of Business sign on Naper Boulevard. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it the first 99 times I drove by. We do the on-demand thing, and I cannot recall the last time I browsed the shelves of any movie rental store (which might explain the company's financials).
But we were there on Friday night, after some Kung-Pao Chicken at the Chinese Emperor next door. Charlie suggested we go buy some stale Junior Mints and perhaps a movie or two. After reigning in my shock ("You want to go shopping?"), we went into BB.
Most of the shelves had been cleared by customers who paid attention the first time they saw the Going Out of Business sign. It occured to me I would have liked to own Gone With the Wind, The Yearling and Defending Your Life. You know, the classic stuff. These were long gone.
But there were still a lot of other titles left. And as we started to do that awkward checking-out-the-movie-shelves stroll (a cross between spastic line dancing and Walk Like an Egyptian), it occurred to me that we had done this crazy dance hundreds of times when we took our kids to the movie store to find a "tape" for the weekend. And I had completely forgotten what that "walk" looked -- and felt -- like. Scissor leg, stand, pause, consider, scissor leg, lean in, accidently bump into customer, apologize, stand. To be repeated until you had navigated up one side of the store and back down the other. Land Before Time and Belle and Sebastian. The Black Stallion and Jurassic Park. ("What's it rated?" "Mom, it's G." Not the whole truth.) National Velvet. Babe. Big. Back to the Future.
I can still recite a lot of the dialogue of those shows, but I didn't remember the walk until Friday night when we found a few "tapes" for next to nothing. And a couple of boxes of Junior Mints, for old times' sake. They were as fresh as can be.