I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Labor Day – interview with the porn man

Hey guys how’s it goin sorry about last week’s column. SOMEBODY woke up on the wrong side of the bed, huh? Jesus.

This week I thought I would do something kinda special in honor of the Labor Day holiday. In honor of the people. You see, there are many individuals in the world, but the ones I feel the strongest for are the working men and women. The people who bust their ass muscles every day, usually for some asshole in a tie or for some soulless corporation. Or even better, there are the people who work hard and don’t get much respect and don’t get paid shit, but in a field they are passionate about. And not working for a chain, or for the man. For some ma an pa type business is what they call it, a small locally owned place.

To me it is very important to support these type of businesses because they aren’t part of this bigger is better, let’s control the world type attitude. I don’t want some fucker in indiana or some place telling his people to tell their people to tell their district managers to tell their general managers to tell their assistant managers to tell their employees that they’ll get fired if they don’t wear the right color of slacks for now on. And I DEFINITELY don’t want that same fucknut making creative type decisions about what foods I want to eat, what movies I want to see in a theater or rent at home. Because chances are that individual didn’t count on a motherfucker like Vern ever coming along.

Well I’m here asshole. Look out.

You know who I’m talking about. Individuals like Blockbuster Entertainment. Like Hollywood videos. And etc. These are the ones that stroll in like the mob and cut the balls off of every small time video slinger they can sniff out. These fuckers would be willing to lose money just to put somebody out of business. If there was a video store in the middle of the desert with one customer per month, they’d move in and shut em down. These are people who quite clearly don’t believe in the karma.

How many locally owned video stores can you even name in your neighborhood? And how long do you think they’ll last without your constant support? They might be a little more expensive – they have to be. But chances are they are better. More personal. They stock weirder and smaller titles. They have old dusty shit from the ’80s that’s long out of print and comes in a huge box with a bad painting or blurry photo for the cover. They give away their posters, or if they’re real outlaws, sell em. They don’t have cut versions of videos. They get the unrated when available. And they got some pothead working behind the counter that talks kind of slow but has been working there long enough that he knows his shit when it comes to the films of home video.

So today I went into a small place across the street from two blockbusters. And it was very fucking slow. I felt sorry for this dude who has to work on Labor Day, and because a small business doesn’t have as much money to toss around as the blockbusters of the world, he wasn’t even getting holiday pay.

I was trying to figure out what I could do to make him feel better. Maybe make him feel more important. Because these are people who are putting themselves on the line in the name of unrated. (Does Blockbuster carry the unrated Beyond the Mat? No. Does this place? Yes. And not the r-rated.)

So I figured, what better than to introduce this individual to the world through the medium of the interactive computing. So the dude agreed to a one-on-one interview. Mano a mano.

VERN: Uh, hi. Hahem. Name’s Vern. Hello. This is the, uh, the video store interview. Let’s go.

JERRY: I… I don’t… what is this for, again?

V: I’m a Writer, I have a web sight, movie web sight.

J: Oh yeah.

V: Name’s Vern.

J: Yeah.

V: I was… I was just wondering what it’s like, you know, in the video industry here, as far as, you know, mom and pop stores versus, uh, versus uh… (incoherent)

J: Yeah, basically we’re barely hanging on here. We have alot of regular customers who are really cool. It’s really laid back here. We don’t have as many copies of Runaway Bride or whatever, but we have more copies of Princess Mononoke and Ghost Dog.

V: Yeah. What’s the popular title right now?

J: Uh, alot of people rent The Wall. Pink Floyd.

V: Yeah.

J: Mainly porn, though.

V: Yeah. What kind of stuff you got?

J: Uh, alot.

V: Radley Metzger?

J: Um, I don’t know. We got a lot of More Dirty Debutantes. And the Eighteen series. Eighteen & Anal. Eighteen and Anxious. Eighteen &… Eighteen and Over-Anxious. What else. Eighteen & D.P.d. Eighteen Again starring George Burns.

V: Yeah.

J: Ha ha ha no, I’m only kidding about the last one. Ha ha ha. That’s in comedy. Totally kidding, man.

V: Debbie Does Dallas?

J: The Next Generation, yes. The original, not anymore.

V: Edward Penishands?

J: Sorry.

V: What’s the sickest shit you got?

J: Uh, Ready To Drop is about pregnant women. In fact, REALLY pregnant women. It should be called Ready To Explode. They look like those mutant pumpkins some farmer grows to try to break the world record. Let’s see. There’s one called Lactomania. First time someone brought up the box I was like, what is that? I couldn’t make out the picture. Then I’m staring at it, I realize it’s a closeup of nipples spraying milk on the camera lens.

V: Jesus.

J: I know.

V: Let’s change gears a little. In today’s Cinema, do–

J: Wait a minute, I didn’t finish the sickest shit question.

V: Oh, sorry bud.

J: Yeah, then there’s, you know, the fat ladies. And the midget porn. There’s one with Long Dong Silver where he has his dick tied in a knot. Because it’s really long. Also some of the gay stuff is pretty fucking sick. Guys sucking their own dicks and shit like that.

V: Are you serious?

J: Let me… hold on. (Leaves counter. Comes back.) Can you, can you watch the register for a second?

V: Oh Jesus.

(Jerry leaves. Comes back with box.)

V: Oh Jesus.

J: I know.

V: Man, if every man was that flexible…

J: We’d never leave our fucking bedrooms.

V: You took the words right out of my mouth.

J: Ha ha, I thought you were gonna say took the dick right out of my mouth.

V: Uh, hold on, this is making me uncomfortable there pal.

J: Sorry.

V: Okay so, uh, moving on. You got a lesbian erotica section I see.

J: Yeah.

V: Do lesbians ever rent it?

J: Almost never.

V: Just straight guys.

J: I’m– yes, I’m assuming they’re straight. Yes.

V: Do you ever tell them they can’t rent it? “I’m sorry, but there are genuine lesbians who need access to these films.”

J: No, I haven’t said that yet.

V: Do you ever ask them to prove they’re a lesbian? Or maybe, they have to bring in a note from a lesbian. “Please let Vern rent two lesbian porn videos for me, I could not make it in because I am having oral sex with other women.”

J: We would lose a lot of money. But it’s a good idea.

V: What about the midget porn. Who rents that?

J: Not midgets, I don’t think.

V: Ever have a real tall guy rent midget porn? Like, 7 feet tall? Patrick Ewing or somebody?

J: Not Patrick Ewing.

V: That would be weird though wouldn’t it, a tall guy that gets off on short ladies.

J: I guess so.

V: I mean there are dudes with the weirdest fucking fetishes. I was reading a while back about the crush videos, they like to watch a gal’s feet stepping on a little mouse or something and squashing it. Or a bug. Imagine jerkin off to that.

J: That’s not legal. We don’t carry that.

V: So midgets never rent midget porn?

J: Not to my, uh, not to my recollection. No. I do not remember that.

V: Who does?

J: Who remembers that?

V: Would you– smartass. Would you answer the question? Who rents midget porn?

J: I don’t know, different people. I don’t know. Sometimes what they call white trash types. Usually when they bring the box up it’s like, “Ha ha, totally kidding man. Only as a joke.” Or like, “Yeah, I know you’re about to close, just picked up a random box. Ha ha, what the hell man. I’ll bite. Ha ha.”

But one time this young guy came in with his girlfriend, and was renting Bridget the Midget’s Gang Bang. And his girlfriend is on a cell phone. And she’s saying, “Yeah, we have Bridget the Midget’s Gang Bang. You should come over.” But she wasn’t smiling or anything, it wasn’t like she was trying to be outrageous. I couldn’t figure these people out.

Then the guy goes, “I have a couple other videos checked out. Could you check and find out when those are due back?” So I open his account in the computer, and the other two movies are Itsy Bitsy Gang Bang and Leprechaun In the Hood. Swear to god.

(to other customer)

Can I help you?

CUSTOMER: Python. Holy Grail. Point me to it.

JERRY: There’s a Terry Gilliam section over there, under G.

CUSTOMER: (Gives thumbs up sign)

VERN: Holy shit, these are cartoons here.

J: Yeah, that’s the– that’s called Animated-X.

V: Sextoons. Gonad the Barbarian? What the fuck?

J: The good adult animation is in a different section. This is just the cheesy sex stuff.

V: You ever see Mickey Mouse come in and pick up a few titles from the Animated-X section? Or Roger Rabbit? Any of those guys?

J: No, I don’t think so.

V: Bullwinkle?

J: No.

V: You probaly wouldn’t say if you did.

J: (laughs)

V: What about Casper? Not even Casper?

J: (joke has worn thin.)

V: So how do people act when they rent porn usuallY? They act nervous?

JERRY: Not usually. Usually they have no shame. But sometimes they’re all shifty, sweaty foreheads and stuff. Or they do weird things, like there’s one guy who won’t bring up the box. He just gives you the number. And you’re like look buddy, bring me the box. And he says there’s no box, it’s lost. But he’s lying.

V: Hmm.

J: Sometimes they give you a big stack of porn and then they’re like, “Have you seen that Decalogue? Yeah, I gotta see that, I love Kieslowski.”

Or they have this oversized porn box, people getting their dicks sucked all over it, and then they put the little normal box on top of it. The Insider or something. Like it’s gonna hide it.

Or, yeah, alot of times they have a huge stack of like asian bondage porn or something, and then they go, “Hold on, let me get one more thing.” They run upstairs and then they come back with There’s Something About Mary.

V: For the wife.

J: Yeah. “Yeah honey, this was all I could find. Um, I’ll be in the bedroom for seven hours now with the door locked. See ya.”

Also, there’s the respectable porn guys. They never go into the porn room. But they rent anything porn-related at all that’s in the new releases. Lesbian vampires, erotic thrillers, playboy videos. I don’t know why they don’t just take the plunge.

And there was this one prick who came in the other day looking for World’s Biggest Gang Bang. It’s the one where this one girl fucks like 200 guys or something. We only have part 2, where some other girl fucks even more guys. Anywhere there’s a documentary that just came out about the one from part one, it’s called Sex: The Annabell Chong Story. So the guy is acting all academic about it. “Yeah, like I said, there’s the documentary playing down the street. So alot of people will be looking for part one. So you better get that in. When do you think you’ll get that in?”

The next day he comes back to return part 2. “Yeah, like a said, there’s this documentary. Yeah, a lot of people… blah blah blah.”

V: You shoulda said, “What number did you get to? Yeah, I really thought I was gonna squirt on 15. Made it all the way to 27 though. It was awesome.”

J: (laughs)

V: Jesus, World’s Biggest Gang Bang? Yeah, that’s pretty sexy there pal. Especially when you read about how she was gang raped as a kid. It’s all about art, though, right? Her being molested has NOTHING to do with it.

J: Total coincidence.

You know what? Here’s a story. One time this guy, like a frat guy came in and he said, “Look, I just rented this movie like 20 minutes ago. But it’s really, really bad. Can I have my money back?”

And the girl that was working of course says, “Is something wrong with the tape?”

“No, it’s not damaged or anything, it’s just a really bad movie.”

“Well, no. Sorry. There are alot of bad movies out there. And people have different tastes. We can’t just give people their money back every time they say they don’t like something. That’s the chance you take when you watch a movie.”

And the guy keeps pushing it. “Come on, this movie is HORRIBLE.” But we didn’t give him the refund. So finally, after like five minutes, he drops the movie in the return slot and storms out of there.

And we look at the video. It’s called Once Upon a Squirt.

Anyway, yeah, some people try to act like there’s some other reason to rent porn than to jerk off. So many excuses. We got this one porn title, Belle De Jour. I want to see some guy rent it and bring it home to his wife. “Oh geez, sorry honey. I thought it was Belle DU Jour. I feel so stupid. Oh what the heck, let’s watch it anyway.” (makes jerkin off gesture)

V: Does it creep you out, taking money from these people and knowing they’re about to go home and jerk off?

J: I try not to think about it. Although sometimes when a DVD comes back with something sticky on it, or whatever…

V: Oh Jesus. That’s just not right. You have to wash that off.

J: Exactly. Exactly. But yeah, uh, sometimes it’s weird. Just about everybody that works here has some old high school teacher or neighbor or somebody that comes in and rents a bunch of gay porn or bondage or whatever.

Or you’re having a conversation with somebody about a movie or something, and you’re hitting it off, and then they hand you a box with some chick tied up getting cummed on or something.

Or sometimes you’re carrying a big stack of boxes to put back on the shelf, and some nice old lady starts asking you about Ginger Rogers or something, and you have this conversation with her. And then you’re walking away and you realize that that whole time you were holding all these pictures of chicks suckin guys dicks.

V: Are you happy here? Is this the industry for you?

J: I mean, I like movies alot. And porn’s not that bad.

V: People treat you like shit?

J: Actually, the porn people aren’t as bad. They’re creepier, but most of them don’t give you shit because they don’t want to call attention to what they’re renting. It’s the non porn people that will cause a big scene about late fees or whatever. “I didn’t know you would charge me that much just for keeping 8 videos out for three weeks. I’m never renting here again!”

V: I got this one title on my web sight, it’s something about biker chicks or something. Anyway, wondering if it was good. You have that one?

J: I’m not sure which one that is.

V: Oh.

J: You don’t know the title? I don’t know, maybe. (garbled)

V: Anyway, I’m sorry, we really got off track there. I think we will edit some of this porn shit out, I wanted to ask you about the

(tape ends)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 4th, 2000 at 1:21 pm and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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