austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Go ahead with your own life

After dinner with my brother, sister-in-law, sister, and her boyfriend, we went basically across the street to Borders, which was my first visit in a while. A quirk of moving to a continent with more than two Borders bookstores is I'm less able to get to the ones around me. My sister and her boyfriend showed up just long enough to leave; my brother and his wife and I stayed around to pick out books that might make a suitable present for my father, whose birthday is sooner than you think. My father insists regularly he doesn't want anything for his birthday or for father's day, but he always gets something anyway, often one of those books of old pictures of places he lived. He was also looking for something to get our mother, since she was several timezones away for this Mother's Day. (He got the soundtrack to Spamalot, which my mother saw on Broadway and absolutely loved, to our complete surprise since she's never shown any suggestion of finding Monty Python at all funny. She was delighted to have the CD, though.)

We ended up in the DVD section where my sister-in-law was trying to think of a British show from a while ago with a couple of stupid guys, and I knew exactly which show she meant, but neither of us could think of the title. She volunteered there was something about lentils, and I remembered a bathtub possibly going into the stairwell in an uncontrolled fashion. We both urged my brother to use his Blackberry to Google-search for this, and he refused, even as we insisted ``BBC 80s lentil bathtub'' was a viable search. He insisted his Blackberry was given to him by work and he didn't want to -- theoretically -- someday tell his supervisor why he had that search index. Fortunately, we found the DVD set of the show, which we didn't buy, but we accused him of lacking a sense of adventure.

We went on to look through many of the DVDs, establishing just how many of them feature covers with guys who look like the other guy from Bosom Buddies. There was a box of Bosom Buddies there, in fact, so we could verify that surprisingly many people on the covers of DVDs look like the other guy from Bosom Buddies. Also we got to comparing old shows -- my sister-in-law is just about the same age as me, and we have five years head start on my brother, which means there's a world of mind-blowing children's programming that we shared, like Land of the Lost or The Electric Company that he doesn't -- and I put in a good word for the modern show Higglytown Heroes. There's one Higglytown Heroes DVD out, but I'd really like to get the whole series instead.

And in the end, celebrating my good fortune at having a job where I don't actually do much, I bought the new SCTV: Best of the Early Years set, which accidentally delighted the clerk because it didn't have the proper Borders sticker on it, just a post-it note with an inventory number and price. The clerk knew it shouldn't have been put on the shelf that way, but that's how I found it. It's not hard to amuse Borders clerks at five minutes to closing, really.

Trivia: Around 1902, physicist Oliver Heaviside offered the police 150 apples from his garden if they would patrol his house against the neighborhood boys who were throwing rocks at his windows. Source: Signor Marconi's Magic Box, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: Life in a Medieval City, Joseph and Frances Gies.

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