The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Notes from Errands run during Halloween

So Spring and I were running around doing some last minute Halloween shopping, preparing for a gathering of friends later in the evening.

After lunch, we stopped off at Blockbuster to rent the movie for our Halloween party where we planned to MST3K a carefully choosen film—in this case, Hardware (in the imortal words of my friend Bill when we saw this in the theater when it came out—“This was so bad it was well worth the six bucks!”).

But Blockbuster was rather Lackluster in their selection of videos (they didn't even have a Science Fiction section!) we decided to try another store—Hollywood Video. A bigger selection, more sections (including a Science Fiction section) and cheaper prices. Since we weren't members, I started filling out the membership form while Spring went shopping for videos.

Why a video store needs my Social Security number I don't know (neither did I give it to them, nor did they seem to make a fuss over my non-compliance) nor why it requires me to give my zip code twice or phone number twice who knows? It was a rather silly form. When I added Spring to my account, I allowed her to rent NR (not rated), R, PG-13 and PG films, but not G. Can't have her renting G films (“I'm sorry Ms. Dew, but we can't let you rent that copy of `Marry Poppins.' You're not allowed to!”).

Video in hand, we were off. “Hey, Spring. See that car in front of us?”

“Yes, it's kind of hard to miss.”

I do love her so. “See those Chinese characters on the bumper?”


“I hope he didn't pay a lot for those—they're upside down!” One of the benefits of taking Chinese calligraphy in college—I can pick these things out, even if I can't read the actual characters.

Our next stop was Wal★Mart but to our surprise, the store down the street from us was no longer there! Abandoned! Gone! We drove around the parking lot wondering what to do when we asked a few ped-xings what happened.

“Oh, they moved across the street! Next to the Lowe's.”

“Thanks,” Spring said, and we drove off.

To the largest Wal★Mart store I've ever seen. It's one of those Wal★Mart Superstores that are the size of small Latin American countries. Walking in I felt I had reached Conspicuous Consumer Consumption Mecca. Isles and isles of merchandizing. Satelite stores lining the edge. Thousands of people dashing about buying last minute Halloween supplies. We didn't feel like spending the next few hours trying to track down the few items we needed, so we left.

Next was the supermarket to pick up some food and lovely beverages. Home. Then back to the supermarket to pick up some lovely alcoholic beverages (“I knew we were missing something when we left,” said Spring).

Then relax a bit before the evening plans start.

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