In the span of just a few days, I heard about a man in Iowa who turned his basement into a video rental store (remember those days? Going to the video store?) and I also stumbled on a reason that Video Treats should probably have had the collections agency after me. Was I the reason that Video Treats went out of business?

In my basement, which does not look anything like a video rental store, but more like a hopefully normal basement that has a bunch of empty boxes, two freezers and about 10 years of things that I just wasn't sure what to do with, so I stuck them in the basement, kind of basement. I decided to go through a box that probably hasn't been unsealed in 15 or 20 years. What do I find? A VHS tape that I rented from Video Treats, Hyde Park (that particular location is now an antique store) probably in 1994? What was the movie? I feel zero shame in saying that it was Karate Kid. The first one, which was a 'new movie' in 1985.

Holy cow. Was I the reason that Video Treats went bankrupt? They couldn't reach me to let me know that this video was way over due, they couldn't rent it to other people, thus they couldn't cover their overhead, pay their employees or even buy new videos to rent to other people? What?

Of course all of that went through my thoughts in less than 30 seconds. Does anyone even remember how much a late fee was? We all remember "Be Kind Rewind" but how much would it have been for a late fee? Say it was 50 cents per day and I borrowed the movie on May 1, 1995.

Thanks in part to an online date calendar, I know that 5/1/95 to today is just about 9500 days. So I would owe Video Treats $4750. If the fees were $1 per day, then $9500. Would they have just let me pay for a new copy of the VHS version? If they would, I have discovered a new copy, factory sealed, on Amazon for $7.33, which looks like it includes shipping.

What was the highest fee you ever had to pay when you brought a video back? Did you rent from Blockbuster? Video Treats or the place in Red Hook next to Holy Cow?

I have to admit I have used the RedBox video (DVD) rentals a few times. It is convenient and I don't have to return it to the same place, but to any location which is sometimes better for my schedule.

But you know what I miss? Getting a recommendation from the person at the video store. The one who has not only watched all of the videos, but has also listened to other people rave or rant about the movies when they returned them. Yes, streaming has made movies super accessible, but the human review process is something that streaming cannot replace.

Will Video Treats becoming after me soon? I am not sure about that, but would be willing to purchase a brand new version of Karate Kid for them on VHS. It is the least I can do for having borrowed this one and forgetting to return it.

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