Tony and I have a relationship with Blockbuster like most people have with their drug dealers. They provide us with a product and we pay for that product before we get high off of hundreds and hundreds of alternate realities fed to us in 2-hour increments. We’ve come to know most of the employees there, and for any of you who have been to a Blockbuster store and haven’t succumbed to the tantalizing ways of Netflix, you know that it is their policy to scan your Blockbuster card when checking you out. However, because we are such VIP customers and mostly because we draw attention to ourselves EVERY TIME WE ARE THERE (i.e. Tony doing cartwheels down the aisles, me yelling, “Hey, you’ll like this one, Natalie Portman is a STRIPPER!” as if we are the only to people in the entire world, etc.), the employees know us now. And they never ask for our identification. Because we are Blockbuster celebrities.
Over the weekend we decided to have a movie marathon. Our movies of choice were “The Silence of the Lambs” trilogy plus one. Because I own a couple of the movies, we only needed to rent two, so we drove up to the store, grabbed the movies (and a US Weekly because MY GAWD, Britney is falling APART!), and headed to the counter.
The employee standing before us was unfamiliar and this was exciting to Tony like going out to eat and ordering anything I want is exciting to me (eating good food is totally the same thing as making new friends). Tony started his usual smiling and laughing and making jokes and being completely adorable and this guy was. Not. Having. It.
“Can I see your Blockbuster card or ID, Sir?” Tony showed him his credit card.
“Sorry, this is all I have on me.”
“I’m sorry, Sir. I can’t accept that.”
“Oh, well, what about my paycheck, can’t you verify that I’m me since I have my paycheck? Look, the names are the same.”
“No Sir, I need to see your Blockbuster card or ID.”
“We come in here all the time, really. Is there anyone else here? They’ll tell you; Everyone knows us here, we come in all the time.”
“I don’t know you, Sir.”
“Is there a manager I can speak with?”
“I am the store manager, Sir.”
“Are you serious?”
I agree! Seriously? Was this guy for real?? He never cracked a smile, seemed completely ingenuine, and had the social skills of a gnat after it had been splattered to death. And if he had said “Sir” one more time I was convinced that my body would hurdle the counter and claw out his left eye on its own accord.
“Yes, Sir. I’m serious.”
I will cut you, robot man.
We left the store only long enough to drive home, retrieve Tony’s ID and drive back to the store. How he did it, I don’t know, but Tony managed to approach the counter with a smile.
“Here you go (handing him his ID). See? I’m me.”
I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer.
“Okay, so he gives you his driver’s license and you can rent us the movie. And if he were to give you his Blockbuster card, you could rent him the movie, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Well, let’s just say that I brought in a Blockbuster card that was my mom’s; you would have no idea and you would rent me the movie!”
“Well, if someone gave you their card, they are authorizing you to use it.”
“But what if I just took it out of her purse? You would never know! Look, all I’m saying is that there are other ways to go about this. I understand that you have rules that you need to follow, and I respect that. But don’t you think that maybe, MAYBE, there is another way to handle a situation like this? For instance, couldn’t you have asked him to verify his address and telephone number to prove his identity?”
“I’m only authorized to accept a Blockbuster card or ID.”
Someone needed to remove and re-program this guy’s computer chip.
“Fine. But maybe next time you can TRY, just try to be a bit more flexible. And if you can’t manage that then perhaps you can work on being more social. Have a nice day.”