Back in March, the crew made the trek to Bend, Oregon for a little corporate retreat. Now, there's a lot to see and do in Bend, but there was one treasure in particular that I had my sights set on. A truly endangered species, Bend is home to the very last Blockbuster in existence. I'd been in a Blockbuster probably a few hundred times during my youth, so surely this was nothing special, right? Wrong.
First off, the memories that walking into a Blockbuster brought back were the same as watching old home movies. The smell, the sights, the feeling of urgency to get that movie or game before they were sold out on a Friday night. These were all staples in the lives of the middle-class family in the '90s. I suddenly had the urge to hide popular VHS tapes behind the less popular ones until my Mom finished grocery shopping next door. You think the fact Blockbusters were always next to grocery stores was a coincidence? Nope, just a strategy as perfect as selling Girl Scout Cookies outside of dispensaries.
During our short visit, the phone never stopped ringing. People were calling from all over the world to buy DVDs and merchandise from the last Blockbuster. The shelves were filled with movies I'd never even heard of. Did you know there's a new Nic Cage movie out? Costumes and movies props were on display from movies you forgot you already owned on DVD but watched that one time, only to get pushed to the back of the shelf.
Actually, to be fair, it was exactly like I remembered Blockbuster. The plastic cases, the smell (still not sure what that smell was), the lack of an "adult section" and lastly the candy by the checkout that mom never let you have, even though you did all your homework and went to church last Sunday without complaining. But most importantly, the visit spawned the idea for our new "Cockblocker" Morale Patch.