was good friends with an executive at a former company. My service for him was sterling as he rose through the ranks. But then I made the mistake of loaning him The Great Race (that wonderful movie with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). And that was the last I saw of it.
It’s always a pain to corner someone, to trap them, to offer them a great movie they never knew about which you wish to share, to have them in your power and place it in their hands, only to have them turn the tables and lose it. Part of the point of my DVD library (I was so proud of it before streaming came along) was to loan favorites to people who’d never seen them. But like the library, I’m not happy when media doesn’t find its way home.
Got a couple of DVDs out there that I can’t pry out of cold dead fingers. Most people just take them home, put them somewhere where they won’t have to be guilted by looking at them while they don’t watch them (like inside the toilet tank or down in the crawlspace) and forget about it. And when you ask them, they don’t know what you’re talking about.
But I do know what I’m taking about. I keep an Excel file with my loaners. Right now I’ve got seven items that have been gone for more than a year.
Of course, I have my own issues – I’ve got three DVDs that I have not been able to return. They are sitting right on the shelf but the pandemic has cut down our chance to sit and watch them with the loaner. So I guess I’m as guilty as the people I’m complaining about.
The ultimate turn-about was when I stole a library book – The Further Adventures of Captain Gregory Dangerfield – I loved the book and in the 80s, you simply couldn’t find it anywhere. Loaned it to a bunch of people who liked it, until one person kept it and never gave it back (and yes, I see the irony here). Of course, with the internet these days, I could (and have) bought my own copy. The world changes. People don’t.
I will point out that a friend at work years back loaned me a DVD. I put it on the table to watch it, and then the wife put the read newspaper atop this. When the paper went into the recycling, so did the DVD. The thing was, I really hadn’t wanted to watch it. But I did replace it (I couldn’t match the cover image so I was busted and had to admit what happened). Is my face red?
So I guess the lesson is that, as a lender, you need to really see if the person you are going to loan your precious books and DVDs to have a likelihood of returning them. Of course, I shouldn’t loan any of them out but I can’t help myself – I just want to share classic books and movies with other (that’s, in part, why I even write these blogs). It’s a weakness.
And for the record, my wife finally got tired of me going on about The Great Race and told me to order another copy. And I did. Love that flick.