So it’s that time again! Time for a story for your mid-week entertainment. Quit rolling your eyes like that.
So this happened several years ago when there were still such things as movie rental stores (before Red Box took over the world). This is actually back when people still sometimes had VHS tapes. And if you don’t know what that is, Google it.
So I had rented a movie. Spirited Away, to be exact. Yes, I was big into Japanese movies way back when. It was time for me to return it, so I went to the movie store.
In order to understand the story, I have to give you a mental picture of this place. There were two doors: one to enter and one to exit and you couldn’t enter the exit door and vice versa. They only opened one way with a handle on the one side. The movie store was a single room in this building, so when you entered, you were facing a hall that led to other businesses (AKA, empty rooms) and the store was on the right. Yep, small town life at it’s finest.
I have no clue now what hours this place kept, but when I went to return the movie, it was closed. You could still go through those front doors, but the movie store door was locked. So I did what everyone did (literally) and slid it under the mile-wide gap at the bottom of the door, thus returning the movie.
I turned to leave, but the door wouldn’t budge. Having been in the store more times than I could count, I knew I was using the right door. After a couple attempts, it hit me: I was trapped. The situation rapidly escalated from a normal movie return to a national crisis in less than five seconds.
I stood there, helplessly trying to figure out those doors. All sorts of scenarios ran through my mind. What if a cop drove by and saw me stuck in the building when it’s obviously closed? What if they arrested me? Maybe if I called home, Mom could let me out. Ah, the paranoia of a teenager.
As I tried to overcome the paranoia, I looked around in hopes of finding something that would help me. And then I saw it: the beautiful, red florescent glow of an exit sign. The back door. Not thinking twice, I headed down the dark hall (good thing it wasn’t a horror movie!). I unlocked the back door, hurried to my car, and drove off. The whole way home, I was paranoid that the cops knew what I had done and would get me, but of course they didn’t and I got home safely.
It wasn’t until later that I realized what I did. I was pushing the right door, all right. But you have to pull it to get out. So I guess when the owners opened up the store, they found the backdoor mysteriously unlocked. Maybe they thought the place was haunted, in which case it would add an attraction to our little town. Either way, I was free. And the next time I had to drop off a movie, I kept the door propped open with my shoe.