Welcome to your local Video Store:

The days of the family owned video store are, for the most part, well and truly over. Much like other successful cottage industries, the video rental store has been transformed from local shop to sprawl-king chain stores (ie: hardware stores transformed to Home Depots; Five and Dimes transmogrifying into CVS/Walgreens; and rich people making the small lateral move to corrupt politicians).

So let's just assume that you, like 95% of the rest of the United States, must rent your movies from a place like Blockbuster. For moi, it is within the blue and yellow confines of my local blockbuster that most of my anti-social rhetoric spews forth. Here's a company that isn't satisfied with merely running every other store out of town so they can jack up the rental prices, but must only offer their own edited versions of movies that might contain "objectionable" material. "How is that such a bad thing?" the screaming fairies amongst you might ask: well, it wouldn't be if they actually offered the uncensored version as a rental option. But oh no, you can't make up your own mind - you have to subject your tastes and conscience to the whims of the corporate board rooms.

Hey, no big surprise. This is corporate America. They like their patrons to be like wee little lambs wandering the aisles in peaceful, sedated bliss. The problem is that I don't much like being in aisles with sheep, I don't like being dismissively rung up by some zit-faced fucknut in a bright blue knit shirt, and I don't like being forced to dig for a copy of Henry: Portait of a Serial Killer from underneath 2,000 copies of Snow Dogs.

But yet, I have little choice should I want to rent a movie. So I might as well make the most of my trips outside the cave. Perhaps you can find some wisdom in my own experience below:

Arriving in style:
Set the tone early on and make sure that when you pull up into the parking lot, you are blasting something extraordinarly offensive. I personally prefer Venom's "At War With Satan" (and by with satan, they mean on the same team) for the loud narration about raping angels. Really makes the family unit in the PT Cruiser parking next to you warm right up. It's especially good if you haven't got access to a car, but have access to a boombox.

The entrance to the store is equally as important. I could write an entire tutorial dedicated purely to the subject of proper door usage (and maybe I will), but suffice it to say that you should attempt to make the logo-emblazoned glass shatter (if it does, sue). And never, ever hold the door open for anyone trying to follow you in - let them work out their own entrance, you don't need to do them any favors. The slamming of the doors ought to wake up even the blandest of the sheep wandering about the harshly lit interior.

The puckered-asshole idly scratching himself behind the counter ought to jump to attention when you walk in the door. This is your gauge for success. If he/she/it then attempts to berate you for your door-opening stlye, bark at them. That's right. Bark. Don't actually make the dog sound, just say "Woof...woof woof woof...woof" everytime they try to say something. Continue walking while doing this until you're into the habitrail of movie shelves.

Searching for the right movie
Finding the right movie is all about personal choice, one which I would never try to dictate. Of course, that doesn't mean that I can't inflict my opinions on others. That said, the aforementioned "Woof woof woof" assault is a fine way to discourage people from picking up copies of movies like Snow Dogs, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and anything starring Barbara Streisand.

The search method is where I will attempt to provide instruction. Most stores arrange new releases alphabetically, whereas the older releases are sorted into category (ir: Action, Drama, Comedy, Shit, etc.). I personally enjoying re-sorting the new releases into the "Movies I think are decent" category and the "Shit" category (also known as the floor). It tends to confuse the patrons and annoy the help, but what the fuck do I care about them? I'm here to find the movie I want to see, and I don't have time to sort through 2000 copies of Harry Potter to get to them.

For older movies, you'll have to spend some time deciphering the store's codes for Drama vs. Action vs. Comedy. You'll find that the Drama section is a dumping ground. A lot of Action films get sucked into the Drama category (ie: Blade Runner) and a lot of great Comedy films find their way in their as well (ie: the aforementioned Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). I suggest making your opinions known by knocking over the racks which contain incorrectly sorted DVDs. This may raise a few hackles, so I suggest adding a couple of "oopsie, my bad" statements followed by fake epileptic seizures as you find yourself dismantling the store.

Checking out
Once you've demolished most of the store and found yourself a movie you want to rent, make your way up to the checkout lane by running and loudly making siren noises. This has the dual effect of making people think you are retarded (allowing you to better explain the demolition process of earlier) while getting them out of your way as you get to the front of the line.

At this point, the checkout people should be thoroughly disturbed by your presence. Confirm this fact by asking them to explain exactly what logic is at work that requires a Noon return time when most of their customers work day jobs. Now that they are toeing the company line, start barking at them again. "WOOF! woof woof woof." If you've really worked them up into a tizzy, they'll have forgotten to get your cash and you'll get our scott free. Otherwise, you'll be required to pay them their $4+, which I recommend you do in pennies.

Congratulations! You've finished the Video Store tutorial. You're one step closer to becoming truly Anti-Social. Shopping, in its many forms, is something everyone has to experience. However, there's nothing to say that you can't make your outings into the world as painful for everyone else as possible.

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