Friday, June 23, 2006


The inevitable finally happened today. The VCR ate my copy of Star Wars. About five minutes into the To The 5 Boroughs experiment, the movie froze on a close-up of Darth Vader. It took me a moment to realize what was happening. In a slight panic, I leapt from the bed and ejected the cassette. A mile of ribbon trailed out behind it. The tape had snapped somewhere, so winding it back into its plastic casing was out. Believe me, I tried, frantically spinning those clunky white wheels around and around, but it was no use. Star Wars was dead.

Initially, I swore revenge on the machine, but then I thought about just how faithful my VCR has been for the decade I have owned it. Aside this incident, the only other movie it ever wrecked beyond repair was Tommy Boy. Oh sure, she's nibbled on tapes before, including this copy of Star Wars, but rarely has she sent a tape to Davey Jones' locker. She's been a good friend. Perhaps I was pushing her too hard, watching the same tape every day with no head cleaning inbetween viewings. Luckily, I have another newer VCR I can utilize for the duration of this project (and I'll be sure to take much better care of that one).

In another turn of luck, it just so happens that I have another VHS copy of Star Wars on its way to my home. Amazingly, I've never owned a widescreen edition of the trilogy, and about two weeks ago I decided I really needed one (not seeing that Tusken Raider Luke sees right before the other one attacks him was really starting to piss me off). So I went on eBay and bought a set that was supposedly only watched once or twice. It was mailed a few days ago, and if my calculations are correct, I should be receiving it today or tomorrow.

For a split second there, I thought about the new DVDs. Admittedly, a major bonus to purchasing them when they come out would be the elimination of magnectic tape-related accidents. However, I cannot go back on my principles. I paid ten bucks for the set I just bought. That includes all three films. The DVDs are going to retail at triple that amount per film, and the original versions included are only going to look and sound a little bit better than their VHS incarnations. When Lucasfilm decides to stop dicking the hardcore fans around and gives us a reason to stop clinging to our VCRs and/or producing laserdisc bootlegs, then I'll gladly pay whatever exorbitant amount they're asking for.

But I digress. If I get the new VHS tapes in the mail today, I'll complete the 5 Boroughs experiment after work and have it up by tonight (based on what little I did see, this one was shaping up to be totally off the hook). If they show up tomorrow, I'll do it tomorrow night and slap it up Sunday morning. If they don't arrive until Monday, well shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I guess I'll extend the Beastie Boys into next week and try a few albums I haven't already tried with the still-functioning movies I currently possess (Empire and Jedi). When I get the new ones, I'll finish what was supposed to be today's experiment and drop it on your unsuspecting asses.

As for Big Bertha (that's what I call my old VCR), she'll still have her spot under the bedroom T.V. for now. She just won't see much action in the coming years. Maybe I'll give her a good cleaning one weekend when I have nothing else to do. We'll sit and chat as I take a toothbrush to her cold metal parts, talking up the price of gas and that new skateboarding chimp picture.


Post a Comment

<< Home