Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Seedy Underbelly

 Lately, I have been delving into the seedy underbelly of society.  Now, I am not interested, in the least, in the REAL seedy underbelly (been there, done that, as a social worker),  I am just interested in dramatized versions of the wrong side of the tracks.

For instance, I cannot watch any reality shows related to addiction, like Hoarders or Intervention, or even The Biggest Loser!  I am not exaggerating.  But, give me Carmela from Sopranos, waving her long manicured nails in the air as she makes some beleagered, twisted point, or some crackhead in the wire gettin' his ass beat cause he be "shawt" on his payments - now, that, THAT, I can watch all day long - and I DO.

I also exhibit addictive behavior when acquiring my beloved past seasons of these shows from the library.  My two obsessions at the moment are Shameless and Breaking Bad.  I have been meaning to investigate Breaking Bad for a while, when I noticed a post on Facebook, from a sorority sister of mine, (we'll just call her Elizabeth Stovall because she has been dying to get her name in my blog. Ha!), who introduced me to David Lynch movies.  Apparently, Elizabeth was "jonesing" for the next season and it had been postponed.  I shoulda' known then, how priceless this show is, because everybody knows that if dramatizations centering around addiction cause you to actually develop a physical need for them, then they are exceptional.

Anyway, so I rent the first season of Breaking Bad, after visiting two libraries in the area, and at the Main Library, where I finally was able to locate the package of discs, they had upgraded to this Self-Checkout system, that I was not aware of, because I had just recently paid a bill sent to me from a Collections Bureau (Arlington Libraries don't mess around, y'all) and I had been actively avoiding the Library for many months.

On this occasion, however, I had actually come across one of the books I unwillingly purchased and was turning it in, as I rented Breaking Bad.  The lovely Librarian lady, then asked me if I would like a check in the mail or cash on the spot, and being in my "addict mode" I opted for the cash, natch.

I, then, nearly skipped out of the Library, with crumpled up cash in my left hand, and my Breaking Bad videos in the other.  To complete the mental picture, I am pretty sure that I had not showered all day.  The only thing that was missing was the shakes and bad Meth teeth.

So, the BEST part is that I get the video home and apparently the new "Self Checkout Kiosk", also had a swipe thingy that enables a patron to "open" their locked videos.  In my euphoria, I completely missed this.

MY EFFING BREAKING BAD VIDEO WAS LOCKED AND IT WAS NINE O'CLOCK AT NIGHT AND THE LIBRARY WAS CLOSED AND NOW WHAT WAS I GONNA DO?  I'll tell you what I did, I did what any crack or meth head would do, I got out my pocketknife and tried to jimmy the lock open.  To no avail.

SOOOO, fast forward, I'm at the Library again, yes, the next morning when it opened, and I am looking the same lovely Librarian in the face and telling her that the video case was "that way when I tried to open it."  I had, apparently, disfigured the lock mechanism to such a degree, as to disable it, and now the case wouldn't unlock at all, even as I watched them swipe every lock thingy in the Library.

I was sweating now.  Day two.  No shower.  Forgot to brush my teeth. Five year-old baby on my hip in her pajamas.

"Are you SURE that the case was like this when you got it home?

"Yes."  I did not waiver.  I was speaking to a younger male, now.  They were doing their good cop/bad cop thing.  Amateurs.  Bitch, please.

"You're gonna have to go back to AV."

"EEEEWWWWW," I was wiggling all ten fingers at him, as if casting a spell, "Not AV."

So, I go back to AV (that' Audio Visual, peeps) where I find two exact replicas, sitting side by side, of the lead singer of the Blues Traveler, John Popper - mutton chops, nappy hat,  toothpick sticking out of the sides of their mouths... glorious.  I'd clearly met my match. Or matches, as it may be. This was not going to be easy.

"Hey" I said, as non-chalantly as I could muster.  "They sent me back here because they could not open this."

Popper #1 looks at the effed up lock and passes it to Popper #2.  Popper #2 swipes it through the thingy, and peers up at me over his spectacles.

"So, it was like this when you got it home, huh?"

"Yes," my big baby was starting to whine now.  I broke his gaze and looked down at my bright pink fuzzy slippers.  I love those freaking things, but at that moment they were mocking me.

"Ummm Hmmm,"  Popper #1 was not having it.

He sauntered off into some back room and came back with a new case sans lock.  He was smirking at me as he handed over my new crack rock, I mean, video.

I was skipping again, out into the new morning.  And that is exactly what it felt like... a new morning.

So, Brad and I tear through the first two discs and we have one more episode left in the series.  I gingerly load it into the CD player downstairs in my basement.  I am not even drinking.  Not a drop.  THAT is how serious I am about my addiction.  I do not want to "taint" it with any other drugs.

The effing DVD keeps spitting it out and flashing "eject".  This happened with the machine on my last disc of Shameless and I taught it a lesson and now it was bucking back.

Ok.  Seriously.  I don't have a bra on and look at my hair!

Brad posts this picture of me on Facebook, unbeknownst to me, trying to punish the "VCR" for not playing my Breaking Bad video.  He got a ton of heat for that.  Let that be a lesson, y'all, don't drink and Facebook.  And Brad, if you think that is the final round of the game, "Take pictures of your family members without their knowledge or permission and then publish them to Facebook," then you are sadly mistaken.

I digress.  We finally give up after an hour of messing with the DVD player and watch it upstairs in our bedroom.  Apparently, there are four more seasons.  I truly hesitate to recommend this to you, because of the supply vs. demand issue, but I have already rented the last three seasons so get in line BEEAAATTTCCCHHHESSS.

Malcolm in the Middle.  WHHHAAAATTT?

Let me just say that I worship Brian Cranston as a false deity.  He is amazing and deserves his Golden Globes for his performance in this series.  He just keeps piling on layer after layer to his character, just true genius.  The rest of the actors are full of surprises, as well, and my second favorite character is "Hank", Cranston's DEA agent, brother-in law.  Seriously, enjoy!

He's so awesome.  His laugh, alone. 

I look forward to seeing all you disheveled crackho's at the Library payin' down your fines!


  1. So, ah, not to open any cans of worms, but if you have Netflix streaming, Breaking Bad is on that. (And Mad Men, too. If you don't already love it, you will soon.)

    $8/month, lots of movies/TV. Whether it's information you can use or not, perhaps it's information folks who read the comment can use.

    (I'm a friend of Julie P's, FWIW)

  2. Hey, thanks! Is that through your Wii? Had an account for our ipad and never used it, so cancelled it. Loves me some Don Draper action! He is also dreamy in real life. One of the funniest hosts on SNL EVER! Let me know about streaming. Totally interested now that I have broken my cd player downstairs!!!