Here's a visual image for you: Alex and I have just returned home from An Inconvenient Musical (which I highly recommend--it's hilarious!) and a quick dinner at 751. I'm wearing a dress with a high slit and heels, and Alex's face is about to explode from roughly two tonnes of atmospheric pressure caused by allergy build-up in his sinuses.
And there on the street, directly in front of my house, is 5 huge boxes of VHS tapes, discarded by the movie store downstairs for being obselete technology. Well, guess what? Being a luddite finally got me somewhere, because I am apparently one of the last Queen West Torontonians who owns a VCR.
While Alex runs upstairs in mad search of tissues, I eagerly start to sort through the dusty boxes. It's not until a bum (there's no need to be politically correct here) walks over and starts slurring something obscene that I realize that it's nearly midnight and I'm squatting on the sidewalk exposing myself in a dress and heels, completely alone. Another dude, this one looking like he has somewhere to sleep, walks by me with a creepy grin on his face. I run upstairs, a few select tapes in hand, and tell Alex about the scene below.
Alex tries to convince me that we should just haul all the boxes upstairs, go through them, and then take them out next Thursday. (Which is the next recycling day.) Then we hear the clattering of tapes. The bum has come back, and he's pouring the biggest of the boxes ALL OVER the sidewalk. There's literally a pile of about 100 VHS tapes in the middle of the sidewalk. He leaves, but by the time I walk Alex down to catch the streetcar, a scene is developing. People are taking pictures with their cell phones, and a group of about six are digging in. Others pass by, each one looking excitedly at the tapes before realizing, "I don't own a VCR."
In the end, it's just me and another guy. "This is like Christmas!" he tells me, "My girl is going to be so happy." After seeing one two many copies of Riding in Cars with Boys, I call it quits.
My Haul: E. T., The Salton Sea, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, and, quite shamefully, What a Girl Wants. And I'm not going to lie--I also had a hard time passing up my very own copy of Britney Spears' Crossroads.