M. Giant's
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Thursday, August 13, 2009  

Movie Malfunction

Last week, M. Edium and I walked to the video store and rented Ice Age. While Trash was out at a social librarian thing, M. Edium and I watched it on a portable DVD player. He enjoyed it very much. In between gales of laughter, he told me -- and this may not be an exact quote, mind you -- "Dad, this cracks my shit up."

Sunday morning, while Trash was at the farmers market, M. Edium and I attempted to watch some of the extras on the bonus disk. Except the bonus disk wouldn't play on his portable DVD player, no matter how well I cleaned it. It also wouldn't play on the big one hooked up to the TV downstairs. Instead I got a big error message on the TV screen, complete with a long, zero-heavy string of digits. The problem was clearly not with the players, but with the disk itself, as I discovered when I held it up to the light a certain way. Irregular areas of the silver reading surface had been stained with a shimmery orange. I may not be an electronics genius, but I know a virus when I see one.

Later, when M. Edium and I were going out for errands, it occurred to me that maybe we could stop by the video store and exchange the defective disk for a good one. I mentioned this to him in the car on the way, and he said, "Yay!" That is an exact quote.

But then, when we got back to the shelves, I realized that the only 2-disk Ice Age set was the one I had in my hand. I was glad the store was Sunday-morning abandoned so I could talk to the one cashier while M. Edium wandered around, staying as far from the horror shelves as I could telekinetically keep him.

The cashier didn't understand me, at first. She looked at the scratches on the back of the feature disk and said they might be the problem. I said, no, it was the bonus disk. She seemed confused. Why would anyone care about the bonus disk, let alone come back to get one that worked? It's like going back through the Burger King drive-through, wondering why your order of onion rings is missing the one French fry that's always in there. Or storming back to IKEA because your dresser kit only had three extra bolts that you didn't need. She literally said, "Nobody has ever tried to watch the bonus disk before."

I'm not sure how she could say that with such authority. I do believe that nobody ever told her they'd tried to watch the bonus disk before. Or, more accurately, confessed to having watched the bonus disk before. Clearly it had at least been out of the case some time in the past, at least long enough for someone to have sneezed rust on it and caused that virus.

And I freely admit that it was my fault for making it an issue in the first place. I'd been the one to ask M. Edium if he wanted to watch the short film about Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel who provided his biggest laughs. If it hadn't been for me, he never would have been let down at discovering that the Scrat extras had been eaten by malware. This is one of the dangers of having a parent who used to review DVD extras, I suppose.

In the end, though I couldn't have been happier with the customer service I got at the store. The clerk swapped the half-defective Ice Age two-disk set for a DVD of its first sequel, at no charge and to M. Edium's enthusiastic approval. When I put this option to him, he said, and again this is not an exact quote, "Hell, yeah." Instead of a few more minutes of frozen wackiness, he got a whole other feature's worth. Now he's all up to speed to catch the second sequel, although that won't fit into our schedule until this weekend at the earliest, probably after it has already left theaters. Oh, well, he hates 3-D glasses anyway.

In related news, Squirrel Goodnut is now known as Scrat. As are all neighborhood squirrels. He wanted to change Exie's name too, but I put my foot down.

posted by M. Giant 8:17 PM 1 comments


"It's like going back through the Burger King drive-through, wondering why your order of onion rings is missing the one French fry that's always in there."

Is that sad when it isn't in there?? I commented on this phenomenon to my BF and he has never noticed it! A man who worked at BK at a teen!

By Anonymous Sarah, at August 17, 2009 at 6:58 AM  

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