' ' Cinema Romantico: The Time I Rented Superstar

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Time I Rented Superstar

On a recent episode of Ryan McNeil’s Matineecast, for reasons related directly to the podcast itself, he was forced to visit a local video store in order to obtain a copy of the robot boxing movie “Real Steel.” To offset the potential embarrassment of being seen in a video store with “Real Steel” in hand he chose to simultaneously rent a few artsy-fartsy films.

I nodded, and I nodded because oh so many movies ago when I had just returned to Iowa from my Arizona misadventure, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Nicolle, mentioned what she found to be the non-stop hilarity of Molly Shannon’s SNL-inspired comedy “Superstar.” She wondered if I had seen it. I said that I had not. She immediately determined that I needed to see it. I expressed extreme hesitation. She was unimpressed by my hesitation and explained that the forthcoming Friday I would rent “Superstar”, drive to her apartment and we would watch it. And this is how I found himself at Hollywood Video renting “Superstar.”

Yes, I rented this DVD.
But as I removed the DVD case from the shelf, I realized I was about to walk up to the counter with nothing but “Superstar.” I immediately broke out in hypothetical flop sweat. I lived down the street from this video store for nearly two years. I would be glimpsed in there who-knows-how-many times! And no matter how many Julie Christie and Alfred Hitchcock films I rented, I feared I would be seen by the staff simply as “the dude that rented ‘Superstar.’”

In a panic, I scanned the shelves. I spied “The Pledge”, the Sean Penn directed film starring Jack Nicholson. I had not seen “The Pledge.” I wanted to see “The Pledge.” I determined it had enough art & fart to potentially offset Molly’s Shannon’s armpit-grabbing opus. I took it and conscientiously placed it over top of the “Superstar” DVD so that as I walked to the register any other patrons would only see “The Pledge.”

Of course, in the midst of my predicament I had somehow forgotten that in order to rent a movie the clerk would have to, you know, scan the movie into his/her system. I set the DVDs on the counter. He scanned “The Pledge”. He set it aside, and there waiting, in all its infamousness, was “Superstar.” He scanned it. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. My fate was sealed.

I’m the dude that rented “Superstar.”


Anonymous said...

This is a amusing story however, I have found that most video store clerks are nothing more then blank-eyed high school kids looking to make some extra part-time money and have no more appreciation or knowledge of movies than the average Joe. I would be willing to bet that most video store clerks, past or present, have no idea who Julie Christie is or what movie she won the Academy Award for.

Nick Prigge said...

Ha! True, very true. Frankly, I think this all has to do more with the neurosis in my own mind than anything else.