Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Open Letter to Disrepectful DVD Renters

Dear Prior DVD Renter from Netflix:

After having a movie from Netflix waiting by my TV ever so patiently for a few weeks, I finally had an afternoon to watch it. Uninterrupted. Being that it's about 28 degrees all day long (that's roughly -2* C for my international friends), I decided I'd cuddle with Miss Harriet (my cat for my new followers) under three blankets, and watch my movie.

I have my old Toshiba DVD player, which I got probably ten years ago now, and I can tell it's on its last legs because it makes all kinds of noise. Last year for my birthday, my parents bought me a Blu-Ray DVD player. I use that one most often as it doesn't make the odd sounds the old one does. However, I keep the Toshiba handy and ready to use in case I have a DVD that has a minor scratch and the Blu-Ray can't handle the pressure. More often than not, the Toshiba can save the day and get me through my movie.

Not today, Prior DVD Renter, not today.

The Toshiba fought the good fight. The Blu-Ray couldn't even load the DVD. The Toshiba, though it kept stopping, got me just over half way through my movie. And then I got the gray screen of death. I knew the disc was scratched, and that's why I switched from new to old DVD player. I'm not mad at either disc player - please make note of that.

I'm mad at every other Netflix user (aka YOU) who can't handle a DVD properly to save their own lives. And it's not just those who use Netflix. I once had a DVD I rented from a Blockbuster down the street from me in Sacramento. I didn't check the disc until after the fact, but about 3/4 through a movie, it just stopped playing. When I check the back of the disc it looked like someone had taken said disc to a rough surface (read: sandpaper) and tried the whole "wax on wax off" trick. I had to go to Blockbuster and show them the disc and suggested that maybe they check the condition of each disc once returned (I was agitated, but civil. Mostly agitated.).

I know minor scratches happen over time. Even some of my own DVD's that I'm very careful with manage to get something. But I take care of my discs. And yes, I'm aware that things happen during shipment and sometimes, maybe (just maybe), that's where some of the damage is from. What is it about renting something that makes people (like you, Prior DVD Renter) think they can do whatever the hell they want with the stupid thing? What, just leave that huge 3 inch scratch for the next sucker?

If you're old enough - if you remember VHS, do you remember that old corny logo that was stickered onto to every rented video? "Be Kind, Please Rewind". Yeah, that one. How badly did it irk you when you rented a movie and were all ready to watch it (all comfy on your couch or recliner with the popcorn ready and lights out) only to find out that the jerk who rented it before you "forgot" to be kind and rewind? And I'll age myself here, but did you have one of those VCR's that did not have a remote you had to pry yourself out of your comfy pose, cursing the whole way to the VCR to press "rewind", and then wait (still cursing, of course) until it stopped so you could hit "play". Or you had a remote, but it had to be plugged into the VCR and the cord was only 3 feet long, and your living room was 10 feet long? Yeah. How much did you love the previous renter of that movie, then?

Seriously. You're not the only one renting these movies. Netflix, as much as I've enjoyed it, doesn't allow you to watch just any movie online. And not all of us are so fortunate enough to have those really expensive game consoles (that we'd never use because we don't play video games), just for the purpose of streaming movies directly to our TV's.

Just in case, Prior DVD Renter, that you are unsure, here is a list of what the discs should not be used for:

~ Frisbee
~ Coasters
~ Litter box cleaning
~ Cat toys
~ Dog toys
~ Cutting boards
~ Cat scratching post
~ It should not come anywhere near sandpaper
~ Getting things from high places
~ Nail file
~ Ice skates
~ Dartboard
~ A place to test your pens to see if they still have ink
~ Smacking people or other objects
~ A TV tray
~ An ash try
~ Ninja style fighting tool

So, if you're one of those precious few who still has to rent the physical DVD (which I'm guessing you are by the shape of the innocent DVD), please, for the love of all things Holy, please be kind and treat the DVD's with some respect. Have some mercy on the next poor soul who has to rent the physical DVD (like me).

Because let me tell you, there is nothing more aggravating than thinking, "Yay! Movie time!" and finding out two and a half hours later when you're only an hour and a half into said movie that you've received the gray screen of death and your DVD player is flashing "ERROR". And you're forced to wonder if the Decepticons finally won, or if the Autobots kicked their robotic asses again (I'm quite sure it's the latter, but hey, you never know).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go pick from my own collection that I've seen hundreds of times for something to watch because the snow has blocked out my satellite dish and I can barely reach it with a broom and jumping like an idiot. Oh and because some rude DVD renter prior to me had the audacity to treat the disc like crap.

Thanks a lot Pior DVD Renter. You suck.




  1. Oh there is nothing worse than having your movie ruined by someone else's inconsiderance!! Shame on that Prior DVD Renter!

  2. Yes, I can empathize. My DVD player will freeze the picture and then advance slowly. Ugh! So frustrating.

  3. Cat - I know. I was shouting at the TV/DVD player worse than a sports fan during a game. It's just so unbelievable.

    Queen Bee - Sometimes they can work through the glitches, but sometimes the damage is just too much and you can't even fast forward or skip chapters. So annoying.

  4. Ahhhh yes I know what you mean. Did you see that Jack Black movie "be kind rewind" or something like that. So funny, not sure it had anything to do with rewinding the tapes other than that he worked in a rental place! Sorry for the bad luck! Stay warm!


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