Archive for May 4th, 2011

The Captain Cleans Out His Wallet

Today I spent my lunch break closing a bank account.  When Southwest Bank switched its name to M&I
Bank this year, they decided to start charging me $12 a month for my free checking account.  I was pretty surprised.  I mean, who in their right mind would pay $144 a year for free checking?  It took a few months to get all of my accounts transferred to my new bank, but it was worth it.

When I went to remove the now useless bank card from my wallet, I decided it would be a good time to remove any other cards I no longer use.  It sounded easy enough, and it was for the most part.  I still had Lumiere and Harrahs Casino cards from back when they made you get a card to enter into St. Louis casinos.  Gone.  I also had a punch card for a restaurant that went out of business last year.  Way gone.

But I stopped in my tracks when I got to this guy.

My original Blockbuster Video card.  It was almost 15 years ago when I registered for it during my first semester of college.  The address listed on the back is for Blair-Shannon, my freshman dorm in Springfield.  It’s by far the oldest thing in my wallet.  Back in college it was probably the third most useful card in my wallet next to my student id and my drivers license. 

But it’s not nostalgia that wrapped me up in thought today, it was thinking about why I don’t need this card anymore. It used to be so important.  Like most college kids back then, I rented a ton of vhs tapes.  Granted, I would usually swing by Hastings first to see if they had a cheaper rental copy.  But Blockbuster always had more new copies of the latest releases.  I remember making a point to get to Blockbuster before 6pm on Fridays to ensure that they had a copy of whatever I was seeking.  Arriving late would result in Chasing Amy being sold out and me being forced to take the walk of shame down the new release isle, looking for whatever scraps were left.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t miss fighting through crowds of idiots just to pay $4 for a new release.  Switching over to Netflix a few years ago was much better, as was switching over to free downloads two years ago.  And even if I wanted to go to a Blockbuster for old time’s sake, I’d have a hard time finding one still open.  Every location I can think of near me has closed in the past month.

Still having a Blockbuster card in my wallet made me feel really old.  Getting my own rental card when I turned 18 was awesome; it meant I could watch any movie I wanted!  One of my younger brothers turns 18 on Friday, but he’d never get a movie rental card.  He’s had the ability to see anything he wants for years now.

It’s just so strange to think that after renting hundreds and hundreds of films over the last 15 years, I will probably never need to do so again.  Wow what a difference!  Blockbuster has followed in the footsteps of Best Buy or Cd Warehouse; it’s been replaced by my computer.  The King is dead.  Long live the King.


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