Tuesday, October 18

Fucker loves Weirdo

When my family bought Saltillo Video v 1.0, it was housed in the old Saltillo Elementary School (where I went to kindergarten and first grade, before it was closed down and we were shifted to West Hardin) fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classrooms. You entered the store from the front porch, in a side door that was to the right (if you were exiting the school) of the school's main entrance. Directly across the porch, to the left of the main entrance, sits the old first grade classroom, which is accessed by an old wooden classroom door with one of those windows with metal wires inside. The door to the store had once upon a time been the same type of classroom door, but for better security, the store's previous owners had installed a plate glass and steel door — more businesslike, you see. But the store had no easily accessible windows to use for a video drop, and they didn't want to cut a slot out of the nice new glass door. So the enterprising young man who owned Saltillo Video before the Turners also paid to lease the first grade classroom across the porch, for no other reason than to house the hundreds of movie posters that accumulated under his ownership and cut a video drop out of the wooden door.

Every day, I emptied the video drop, which was just a laundry hamper on the floor at an appropriate angle beneath the slot in the door. Most days I would have to gather tapes scattered all across the floor, because wisecracking rednecks and their children sure did love to play "Push the Fragile Video Tape as Hard as You Can Through the Slot and Watch it Fly Across the Room."

Because I felt like I was hot shit for running a video store as a 16-year-old, I decided that we could make big bucks if we gathered and sorted all the posters cluttering the floor in the video drop room. So one day, I conned Phil and some of my family into sitting in the sweltering unairconditioned classroom and sorting, numbering, and cataloguing hundreds of posters for crappy unheard-of movies (incidentally, this effort is what produced some of my most prized movie posters — Dazed and Confused, MST3k: The Movie — free posters, man!!!).

I don't remember if it was that day, or just another random day when Phil and I were messing around in the video drop room, but at some point, I wrote "Lindsey loves Philip" on the old green chalkboard with a tiny chunk of yellow chalk. Because I was 16 and I wrote that on every surface imaginable. I think I drew faces to illustrate the names, too.

Well, the story goes like this, I think: One day, after Saltillo Video had moved downtown into a different building, Jamie Sanford (I can't remember if he was still living in town or just in town to visit his parents) went to the school for whatever reason and peered in the window of the old video drop door, and saw that "Lindsey loves Philip" had been scratched out and replaced with "Fucker loves Weirdo."

And that pretty much tells you how people in Saltillo — or at least the people who got into the video drop room — felt about the girl who ran the video store and her strange boyfriend. I've always considered myself more of the weirdo of the couple, but ... I am kind of a fucker.

That story always makes me chuckle. It's so perfectly representative of my relationship with my hometown. And it's a sweet relationship story. I know things are different now and the dynamics of the Fucker/Weirdo relationship are still shifting and will keep doing so for quite some time, but I like knowing that there are so many good stories that we share. There will always be that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be stretching the weird cosmic thing I posted about on your most recent post, but yesterday I found myself chuckling about the time some guy "followed me" after school, and I got so spooked that I drove all the way to Saltillo Video and burst in on you, declaring the freak in the yellow truck had followed me all the way from Savannah. And then your Dad informed me that he knew the guy and he, heh heh, lived in Saltillo.

Thu Oct 20, 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

Wasn't that around the time that you were writing horror movie screenplays left and right? Hee hee. Too funny. That long, lonely stretch between Savannah and Saltillo is the perfect setting for a depraved murder story involving a young high school girl and a redneck in a yellow truck.

Thu Oct 20, 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. Let's pitch it to Stephen King. We can get Johnny Depp to play the disheveled redneck. And maybe we can coax Fiona Apple to play the semi-goth outcast who faces her demons and emerges wearing American Eagle and walking with a bunch of popular friends. We have to throw the last part in, or else it would just be another great story that just isn't marketable. And let's not forget the testicles.

Thu Oct 20, 05:51:00 PM  

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