My DVD collection is way out of hand. I now have over 2,000 individual discs, making up some 1,300 separate pieces of entertainment. I also have a small house, in which far too many people live. Space is something we prize, and so gradually we have compromised and compromised, donating priceless heirlooms to charity, and telling the children that their many toys had gone to heaven. Finally though, the day came when I was told that enough was enough. The DVDs would have to go.
I fought, dear reader, like a rabid lion. Surely, I said, the children could all fit into one bed? Is a refrigerator really necessary? I even offered to make the ultimate sacrifice, and get rid of all the pictures of my wife’s family. We know what they look like, after all? But broken, bruised and defeated, I finally accepted defeat.
But then, we had a brainwave. If we could find a receptacle large enough to house the discs only, then they could be kept. Right? And so, only two days later, we found the container of my dreams, a large, imposing flight case, capable of holding 1,000 discs. When this proved to be too small, we bought another.
Reader, they are horrifically ugly, their corners sharper than a vinegar Mojito. One sits atop t’other, and so if access to the bottom box is required, three burly Irish labourers must be called upon to lift N-to-Z box to the floor so that A-to-M may be opened. The discs themselves are hardly visible, and so a Magoo like expression must be worn as you squint through every leafed disc wallet, trying myopically to discover the whereabouts of The Aristocats.
Oh, but what thrills await the intrepid explorer! Did my daughter replace Finding Nemo under F, or was it N? Or did she not even bother to try and alphabetize, and jam it between Irreversible and It Happened One Night? You can often find me weeping into a convenient waste paper basket at the sheer futility of it all. Nary a day goes by when the box does not spew forth an unwelcome surprise.
There are upsides. One of the most pleasurable experiences I have ever had was taking thirty boxes of DVD cases to the recycling centre and scattering them mournfully into the appropriate skip, trying to ignore the incredulous looks of horror from all around, as they watched me supposedly send a world’s worth of movies to landfill.
I malevolently crept back minutes later to find a ‘recycling operative’ up to his knees in dumped cases, opening them in desperation, only to find them empty, a bit like Charlie Bucket but without the luck. And what excuse did he stammeringly give when I frowned at him reproachfully? Why, apparently, his “friend” is in the exact opposite situation to my own! This mythical beast is in fact the owner of thousands upon thousands of discs with no cases! What luck, reader!
Of course, I immediately and gallantly helped him retrieve five hundred or so of the cases as he muttered, stacking them haphazardly around his makeshift office of washing machines and his lunch of eggs and brandy or whatever it is they eat.
And so, by a roundabout way, I finally arrive at the point of my sad tale of woe.
The Random Box is a new feature, starting tomorrow, and running weekly. I will pluck from the midst of either box, a disc at random and review it. Doesn’t matter what it is, it shall be reviewed, and how! And let me tell you, I have got some crap in there. How about an in-depth analysis of Murder By Television starring Bela Lugosi? Or how about Roger Corman’s never released 80’s version of The Fantastic Four? (And by God, there are reasons it was never released, be sure of that).
I admit it, as well as some true classics, I have somehow, perhaps in the drug-addled twilight of here and thereafter, accumulated some complete bobbins. I’d rather be caught reading Gary Glitter’s spam folder than watch most of them.
Return tomorrow, won’t you? We might be lucky?
We probably won’t be.