The first time I saw the movie Adventures in Babysitting, I knew I wanted to show the Blues Club scene to my 8th graders. I bought the video and did that archaic thing of fast-forwarding and rewinding until I found the exact spot to cue it up. Then after showing it to one class, had to quickly rewind it to get ready for the next. The dinosaur years of media! But then came Youtube galloping in on its rescue horse— no more clunky videos! A few button pushes and there’s the scene! Yeah!!
But Youtube let me down the other day— with fifteen patient 8th graders waiting for my promise to deliver the goods on the screen. All there was was a bootleg version, a camera filming the scene on a screen— terrible resolution, horrible sound. Where was the one I’ve used the past few years? The computer teacher surmised that the movie’s producers pulled it off. Hmm. I wondered if I still had my old video kicking around?
He suggested I just buy the movie online. But I’m not an online shopper guy. I like to hold physical objects in my hand, to walk into stores and feel the energy, to talk to clerks, to browse through stacks. And to keep the lines open to possibility. And this time it paid off.
I biked over to Amoeba Records and looked through the A’s of Comedy. No luck! Went to the counter and asked if they had it. The clerk scanned his computer, nothing showing up in new DVD’s, he suggested that I browse through the un-alphabetized used ones. I was halfway through when a woman customer walked up and handed me a used version for $4.95. “Is this the movie you wanted?” Apparently, she had overheard me talking to the clerk and somehow found it where I had overlooked it. How sweet was that?
We started talking about the Adventures in Babysitting movie and I couldn’t help but notice a little spark between us. Then out of the blue, she looked at me coyly and said, “You know, I could use a little babysitting myself tonight. You up for an adventure?”
So I quickly paid the $4.95 used-DVD price and followed her out the door. Her apartment was just down the street. We went up the stairs and she gave me a quick tour around and then beckoned me toward the bedroom. As we reached the……
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…And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t shop online.