Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention… on second thought, there is one regret worth talking about.
One of my biggest regrets came on Thanksgiving day 2001. I was a couple of months into my VTG stint, and I had volunteered to work on Thanksgiving day. That same day, all my friends got together at Laneit’s house for a friendly game of football. This was kind of surprising, since none of us had ever played any sports outside of maybe recess.
Knowing that I had to work later in the day, I decided to pass on the football festivities and instead spent the morning at home reading The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen trades I had just purchased. Little did I know that I would be missing out on one of the greatest football moments of all time.
I went into work around 3 that afternoon, and was bored out of my mind. There wasn’t much to do that day, and I was working with Colleen, who didn’t like me very much. And every phone call we got was just to find out if we were open. After several of these calls I finally had enough, and when the next guy asked me “Are you guys open?”, I replied “No sir, I’m just here to answer the phones.” And he bought it! I think this was the first time I saw Colleen smile.
When the phone rang again, it was Laneit asking if I wanted to see “Spy Game” that night. For those who don’t remember, “Spy Game” starred Robert Redford and Brad Pitt and was a decent movie. As I said “yes” Laneit said something along the lines of: “We want to see it before John’s meds kick in” that didn’t make sense to me as I had never seen John take meds. I asked what he meant by that and Laneit explained John had broken his collar-bone in the football game and they had to take him to the ER that afternoon.
From what I learned later, John was playing wide receiver that day, and he was good because he was so fast. I guess he had a height advantage on the person defending him or something. Not that it mattered once Laneit’s dad took over. Talk about an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
Laneit’s then girlfriend described that after getting tackled, John looked like “A tumbleweed racing across the sky.” Another friend later told me John flew through the air upside down almost in slow motion. He didn’t even realize he’d broken anything, and he may have kept playing after the injury. Despite his epic day, John really wanted to go to the movies that night.
Colleen and I closed Video To Go at 9, and the movie was at the General Cinema in Braintree at 9:55. I didn’t know if I’d make it, but since it was a slow day, the paperwork didn’t take as long as usual. I left VTG around 9:25 which should have been more than enough time to get there, but…
… I got pulled over as I passed the Weymouth police station. I was going a tad fast heading for the highway. The officer was nice about it because he knew me from the store, and let me go with a warning. I had hoped to change shirts in the car, but time was running out and I ended up going to the movie in my work clothes. I still made it before the movie, although I think we missed some trailers.
I don’t know how John made it through the movie, I know he had to be in pain. When I first saw him, I thought he was posing for a camera. Turned out his vogue pose was due to the injury. We even asked him again if he was sure about sitting through a movie, and he still said yes. By the time Robert Redford sent helicopters to rescue Brad Pitt, John was in la-la land perhaps dreaming of his football glory.
As we left the theater I saw someone who looked familiar… it was Colleen, also in her work clothes getting out of another movie with her boyfriend.