austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

For a small rental fee you can set yourself free

We took an unusual path to get to the mall for the Chinese New Year event. I wasn't driving, so I noticed something: there was a video store in a strip mall along the way. It had signs for its going-out-of-business clearance sale. I hadn't realized there was another video store in the area. We'd just lost Video To Go a couple months ago, and now this?

When I had reason to go out, myself, I popped in. It was well advanced in the clearance sale, and had reached the point more than half the shelves were bare and they were getting ready to sell off shelving and such. I did find some interesting stuff. By that I mean DVDs of the 2004 political convention coverage from The Daily Show, back when the show was first getting its clear commentary voice and Stephen Colbert had just turned fourteen. That was when bunny_hugger first started watching the show and I'm happy to give this touch of a fandom's start.

I also did some scrounging to find other stuff because they didn't have much stock left, but if you bought ten DVDs then the price dropped to like a dollar each, and at that point if you've bought six you might as well go to ten. So this is why I have one disc of He-Man cartoons. I know the show wasn't any good, but at least it's not expensive to own.

Some of the customers there talked about what a shame the town was losing the video shop. The guy working the shop said yeah, it was. Apparently the original owner had sold out about six months ago, and this guy was trying to make a go of it and just found he couldn't make it work. He did mention his other shop, in Okemos, and I admitted I didn't know there was a video shop in Okemos. It's a township without much of a retail district. He didn't have another video shop; his other place was ... I forget now. I think a crafts store.

But apparently the place had been there for years. Some of the customers talked about how it was the only place to get unusual or rare videos. Could they have never known about Video To Go? On the other hand, bunny_hugger had lived six miles from this place for two decades without knowing it was there.

The clock on the wall was a promotional item showing off the logo for Another 48 Hours, the buddy-cop movie you'll remember as oh yeah, a thing I guess existed, didn't it?

Video To Go, meanwhile, had moved out of its location but kept open a storefront, in a smaller, less accessible part of the nearby shopping mall, drizzling off the last bits of its inventory. If there is a third indie video shop in the Lansing area I don't know of it.

Trivia: Sweden and Holland ran large tea-smuggling trades to the American colonies in the 1760s. Source: Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire, Roy Moxham.

Currently Reading: Michigan History, January/February 2016. Editor Patricia Majher.


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