untitled

on location in Northern California…

One of my parents' friends bought me a region-free DVD player for graduation, but the box said —This DVD Player is designed and manufactured to play Region 1 DVD discs.

I wanted to make sure the DVD player was in fact region-free before lugging it back to Los Angeles.

Problem was, I didn't know where around Mountain View I could obtain foreign region-specific DVDs. Blockbuster wouldn't have them and my parents and their friends only watch imported VCDs. I knew I could buy them at Amoeba, but I didn't feel like driving all the way up to San Francisco or Berkeley.

My brother referred me to Videoscope, a local mom-and-pop video store with a wide selection, but all the DVDs in the foreign section were either region one or all-region. The manager looked at me funny when I asked if the store had any discs that wouldn't play in DVD players in America.

Exiting the Videoscope parking lot, I decided to stop by the Tower down the street. Tower stocks less mainstream fare, I thought. Maybe it has some foreign region-specific DVDs.

As I approached the counter in the video section of Tower, this teenage scenester greeted me from behind it.

—'Suuuuup dude?

I couldn't figure out how this kid managed to fit into the clothes he was wearing.

—Hi. Do you guys have any non-region one DVDs?
—Hold on.

He went over to an inventory computer and started typing. I found it odd that an inventory computer would list DVDs by region encoding.

A minute later, the kid looked up from the computer and asked —Are those skateboarding DVDs?

[pause]

Tower sure knows how to hire employees.

This kid had what looked like one of those metal rings used to hold index cards together fixed off-center in his lower lip.

I wanted to yank it so badly.

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