I can be a boycotting son of a beeyotch when crossed.
I went years without watching a Texas Rangers game after the team unceremoniously turned its back on Pudge Rodriguez after his many years of loyal service.
So I relish the troubles at Dallas-based Blockbuster, the once impenetrable video rental chain that’s fallen on hard times since the advent of Netflix. Blockbuster did me dirty long ago and I boycotted them. Now they are bankrupt. That’s the power my boycotts carry.
See, movies are my favorite thing, and so naturally I was a regular at Blockbuster back in the 1990s when that company was about the only game in town.
Our love affair had bumps and bruises. Once I misplaced a rented video and didn’t realize it for weeks. When I finally returned it, my late fee was something like $50.
The incident that led me to boycott Blockbuster was much less of a financial burden, but even more frustrating.
One night I rented one of the dust-covered B-movies in Blockbuster’s cheap section — I can’t recall the name of the movie but it starred Wings Hauser, so it obviously hadn’t been rented in years.
The movie was due back before the store opened on Thursday. I planned to return it Wednesday night, but when I got home from work I was tired and figured I’d return the video in the drop-box the next morning before the store opened. However, I showed up at the store a minute after it opened. I carried my video inside and said, “I meant to get this in the drop-box before you opened so it wouldn’t be late, but you beat me by a minute.”
That’s when the manager told me I owed a late fee.
“You’re telling me if I had returned this to the drop box before you opened it would be okay, but because I brought it inside a minute after you opened I have to pay a late fee?”
“It’s late, that’s why they call it late fees,” the manager said. (The dude was as flexible as a titanium rod).
“Has a customer been in here in the past 60 seconds demanding to rent this horrible movie that’s six years old?”
The only reason I’d rented that movie is because I’d already seen everything else in the store. The manager wouldn’t budge.
So I refused to pay the late fee and told him I wouldn’t come back. He shrugged. He didn’t care. Blockbuster dominated the video rental scene back then.
Ah, how the mighty have fallen.
It’s not a spiritual thing to relish the misfortune of others, and so now, with the publishing of this Blotch post, I officially end my boycott and offer complete forgiveness to the bastards…(oops, old habits die hard)…I mean the good folks at Blockbuster.