I Dropped a VCR on My Head and Kicked a Nurse

You kids today, with your Netflixin’ and your iPhonin’ and your Amazonin’, have no idea how hard it used to be to watch a movie!  When I was a child, your choices of movies were whatever was playing in the theater, and whatever was on TV.  Once a year we got to watch Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, and never on a day that was convenient!  Sure, things got a little better with the advent of the VCR, but it was still not easy!

VCRs were a huge step forward, but you still had to go to to the Blockbuster to rent whatever they happened to have.  And many, many movies were just not available.  “Out of print” was a thing back in the day, before you could download the Star Wars Holiday Special and Song of the South illegally online.  In fact, I once suffered great injury in an attempt to obtain a movie, using methods that would be unheard of today!

It all started when I decided that I wanted to give my then girlfriend (current wife) a copy of her favorite movie for her birthday.  Unfortunately, back in 1996, her favorite movie was not available for purchase.  The Princess Bride was more cult back then, and less mainstream.  I mean, everyone good knew about it and loved it, but America’s retailers had not caught on.  It was impossible to find this movie.  I spent days and weeks on the slow and annoying internet, searching for video stores that were going out of business in hopes that I could snag a copy.  Remember, there was no eBay.  There was no Amazon.  There was just a skinny college student with a dial-up modem, a phone book, and a dream.  Man, I miss those days.  Of being skinny I mean.  The rest of it sucked.

Well, I never found a copy, so, like most good people, I had to turn to crime to solve my problems.  I went to Radio Shack and bought some connecting cables, and I called up my best friend Sictoria Voyeur, and I asked her if I could borrow her VCR.  Sictoria agreed, and while she gathered up her gigantic heavy box of a VCR (Those things were huge!  Not like DVD players!), I went to the video store and rented a copy of The Princess Bride.  Now, I know what you are thinking.  What I was about to do was wrong, and surely fate would provide me with some sort of comeuppance.  But see, logically I couldn’t see that I was doing anything immoral.  I had tried every conceivable means to purchase a copy of this film, and it just wasn’t possible.  I was not depriving anyone of any money, since they weren’t selling it, and I wasn’t going to sell it and make any money for myself.  And since it was available to rent it wasn’t like they were trying to keep the film under wraps.  No, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me hooking up two VCRs together and making a copy of the movie.

My VCR was sitting underneath my small television in my dorm room, atop a mini-fridge at the foot of my bed, and it did not occur to me to alter this setup in anyway.  I decided to just add the second VCR to the top of the pile, resting precariously on the very roundly curved top of the TV.  I hooked the cables up, and now I just had to plug it in.  The plug was on the wall behind my bed, and I lay down on the mattress, grabbed the long cord from the second VCR and plugged it in.  Unfortunately the cord had gotten wrapped around something, so when I gave it that final yank to the outlet, the VCR slid off of the TV, down past the cords and cables and electronic equipment, down further past the mini-fridge, and directly onto my head, the hard, sharp corner slamming me directly in a possibly important area of brains.

My friends tell me that they laughed very hard at this hilarious turn of events until they realized that I was no longer conscious.  They woke me up and I, in a daze, told them that I was fine and we should start watching the movie.  So we did.  And it eventually became apparent to them, although not really to me because my brain was broken, that my brain was broken.  That was how I wound up, under protest, in the emergency room.

I don’t know how much of my memory is completely clear about the rest of this evening, but I do recall a lot of people snickering when they were told the reason for my visit.  “He dropped a VCR on his head,” my friends would telling them, in a tone that tried to apologize to everyone around them for having such a stupid friend.  They finally let me in to see a doctor, who confirmed that I had a pretty bad concussion, and I should not go to sleep for a while.  Then I was told that my head was bleeding quite a bit and I needed a tetanus shot.  Ha!  Well, that was not what I wanted to hear, so I decided to leave.  Apparently, however, once you have signed that paper at the hospital, you are not allowed to leave.  I found this out as I tried to escape and was captured by security guards who dragged me back to my holding cell cot.

To the nurse that I kicked, I am very sorry, wherever you are.  When you combine my deep fear of needles with a concussed brain, apparently I do not act on my best behavior.  Just know that I was not specifically trying to kick you, per se.  I was only trying to writhe and wiggle my way to freedom, and you were an innocent victim, caught in the crossfire of my flailing legs.

You will all be happy to know that I did manage to get the movie copied, one for my girlfriend, one for myself, and one for Sictoria, who stayed with me all night, making sure I did not fall asleep, and who helped me watch the movie over and over again, because back then we did not have 64x copying capacity.  We copied things in real time, as they were playing.  And despite immediately breaking up with me when I got home for the summer, I do think Tenor Mom appreciated her present a few weeks later on her birthday.  And of course you will be thrilled to know that, just a few months after that, they re-released The Princess Bride for purchase, and everything I did was completely for nothing.  But on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to worry about getting tetanus.

Posted in College, Concussion, Hospital, Misadventures, Movies, Needles, The Princess Bride, Throwback Thursday, VCR, VHS.

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