From Chapter: Mellon Love

(reformatted for website)

One day while I was working at the video store, corporate came up with a promotional idea in a stupid attempt to make a profit. Since most of our customers rented new releases only, the company wanted to increase the amount of older movies rented which we had a much bigger collection of. So they had all us employees write down our suggestions for older movies on a big white piece of paper.

This was not the best task for me because I wasn't into movies very much. I haven't even seen many of the classics everybody knows. Obviously when customers used to ask me for suggestions or what specific titles were about, I did a lot of Why I even worked at a video store is a question that remains to be answered.

However, there was a movie that had recently come out that I actually watched and thought was hilarious. It was a black comedy called Watermelon Heist, about a watermelon farmer who disliked his neighbors because they lived off welfare for generations. He stole their welfare checks; and in retaliation, they stole his watermelons.

Now that I had an opportunity to suggest a movie, I went with that title. I grabbed a marker with gusto and started to write the word "Watermelon" on our suggestion sheet. But before I could finish writing the title Tyler said, "Dude, it's supposed to be an older movie! Watermelon Heist is still a new release!"

Fortunately, I hadn't written out the full title yet, just the first word. So we looked up the store database to see all the older titles that began the word "Watermelon. There was only one, an obscure movie none of us had ever heard of called Watermelon Woman. I didn't know if it would help our profits any; but as far as I was concerned, that was the solution to my problem. Therefore, I added the word "Woman" to the "Watermelon" I had already written out.

Thus customers walked into the store seeing our older movie recommendations, a list consisting of some classic titles like Dances with Wolves, Scarface, School Ties, and My Cousin Vinny, and of course my suggestion Watermelon Woman prompting them to ask, "What the heck is that!?"

Tyler and I finally decided to see just what kind of movie it was that I was endorsing. We went to find the DVD from our old movie section. When we found it, we saw a picture of a black lady on the front. I turned it around and read out loud the description on the back: "Watermelon Woman, the journey of a black lesbian... " Hey, at least I was open-minded.