You Wouldn't Call It An Earthquake Exactly
By sean mcnulty
--Ye wouldn’t call it an earthquake exactly, says McGurk. It’s just a video shop.
--I would call it an earthquake. De town will never survive if Easy Weir’s closes down.
--Well...ye heard it here first.
--Whut am I goin ta do?
--Dere’s anudder video shop.
--But I hate Flannery’s. I like Easy’s.
--Look on de bright side, hay. If he’s shuttin down, he might be givin all de tapes away.
--Ya tink so?
--Well, we should go dere directly and find out.
It’s just me and McGurk on dis Sunday afternoon. We haven’t seen Dixon in ages. Wit his fadder in jail now fur a lock of months and his mudder off gallivanting wit Sammy, de drummer in de band, Dixon and his sister and two wee brudders are stayin wit der auntie in Greenacres. It’s a world away from der normal life cause his auntie apparently has a nice house. Dey’re used to livin in a dirty house.
McGurk says: Dixon will be steamin, so he will, if it turns out Easy’s givin away all his videos and he doesn’t get anny.
--Nah, I don’t tink so. Shur Dixon doesn’t really care about owning videos. Even de ones he robbed he doesn’t watch much.
--All de more fur us den.
When we get to Easy Weir’s on Bridge Street, dere’s a shadow over de building. Cause of a big cloud. Sad vibes. Dere’s always a shadow and a cloud but today dey give off even sadder vibes cause de shopfront looks bare and all de cool posters have bin pulled down from de window. I hope Easy hasn’t trown dose old posters out yet – he might give us some of dem too. Inside, dere are still some tapes on de shelves but some are empty and dere are cardboard boxes on de floor. De place looks like it’s bin hit by an earthquake.
On our way in de door, we hear a voice behind us--Alright boys. It’s Easy. He’s packin stuff into a big blue van out de front. He follows us into de shop and goes to de counter where all his motorbike magazines are stacked in a pile. It must be ten years wort of magazines. I always suspected dere had to be hundreds of dose magazines under de counter. I wus right.
--Yiz like motorbikes? he says. Load a mags dere if yiz wunt.
--Nah, says McGurk.
--Why are ye closing down, Easy? I ask him. I tink me voice is almost breakin as I say it so I cough a bit to hide all me emotions.
--Ah boys, yeah, I didn’t wunt to make a big deal out of it but it’s bin in de making all year. I’m gettin out of de business. Time fur a change.
--Whut’ll ye do? asks McGurk. Will ye ride yer motorbike across America?
--Christ, I’d love to, son. But I’m afraid I don’t have a motorbike. I just like to read about dem. I might buy one now though. Who knows? Shur I’ve me whole life ahead of me.
I tink dat’s a very strange ting fur Easy to say cause dat’s whut ye’d normally say to one of us – de young fellas. Not an oul fella. Easy looks about forty-odd. Maybe older. Older dan my fadder – ye’d never see him on a motorbike, dat’s fur sure.
--Whut are ye goin to do wit all de videos? I ask.
--Yeah. Can we have some free ones? says McGurk.
--Sorry, lads. I’ve already made arrangements wit Flannery’s. So yiz’ll have to go dere from now on.
McGurk and me: our faces drop. De cloud outside has made its way indoors.
But den de bastid grins a big grin and says: Shur I’m oweny coddin wit yiz. I had a feeling yooz would be in at some stage so I put away a wee box wit a few tings in it. Nutting too special now. Flannery paid fur all de best ones. But I’m sure yiz will find someting dere.
--Ah tanks, Easy.
Easy Weir is such a great man. He’s yer oweny man really.
--Anny posters? I ask him.
--Nope. All gone.
Ah, ye bast....well, he’s still yer oweny man. I won’t hold de posters against him cause he goes down de back fur a bit and comes out wit dis large cardboard box dat looks full to de top wit tapes.
Dere’s a rake of dem in dere. McGurk and me are all over it – we’re near climbin into de cardboard box.
Unfortunately, and we can’t say it outright in case Easy hears us, but de box appears ta be filled wit crap – well, fillums neither of us have ever heard of. Not one single Ninja fillum. But we look troo each of dem annyway, inspecting der covers:
Just Ask For Diamond (CBS/FOX, U)
The Legend of Billie Jean (RCA, 15)
The Go-Kids (Show Channel, PG)
The Wizard of Speed and Time (Medusa, PG)
Black Moon Rising (Cannon, 18)
Summer Rental (CIC, PG)
The Violent Breed (Hokushin, 15)
Neil Diamond: Love at the Greek (Vestron, U)
The Human Factor (Guild, 18)
Flowers in the Attic (New World Video, 15)
Worzel Gummidge Down Under (Lollipop Video, PG)
Slipstream (Entertainment In Video, PG)
Of Unknown Origin (Warners, 18)
McGurk claims Of Unknown Origin. And I absolutely know why. Cause on de front, dere’s a naked lady lyin down and a rat crawlin across her arse.
--Dis one looks good, he says, grabbing it. It’s mine, hay.
--We should hold on to one or two fur Dixon.
--Why? Shur he’ll never watch dem. Ye said yerself.
Dere’s one udder video in de box dat catches my eye in amongst all de crap. Someting about de face on de cover.
Giulietta Masina wins hearts as the love starved hooker in Federico Fellini’s
Nights of Cabiria (Thorn EMI, PG)
It takes about a minute of me lookin at de face on de cover, a drawing of a woman wit a cigarette in her mout, to recognise it as de gerl clown I once saw in a foreign fillum on TV late at night. It’s definitely de same gerl. She’s just not a clown in dis one. She’s a hooker. Why does it oweny have a PG sticker on it if it says she’s a hooker?
--I wunt dis one, I say.
--Whut de hell’s dat? says McGurk. Well, yer welcome to it.
--And dis one, I tell him, holding up Summer Rental wit John Candy.
--Ye bastid! I wunted dat one.
When we say goodbye to Easy Weir, he’s up a ladder at de shelves unplugging TV sets, and he looks over his shoulder and says, Right boys, good luck.
--Good luck, Easy, I say to him.
When we go outside, de shadow has lifted. McGurk and I walk up Bridge Street holding de box up from either side. It’s not dat heavy but it’s heavy enough dat we hafta be careful as we walk and I’m glad of de labour to take me mind off de fact dat Easy Weir’s is closing down. As we get to de corner of Bridge Street, I turn to have one last look at de shop but in doing dat I nearly drop my end of de box and McGurk starts giving out –HERE, WILL YE WATCH WHUT YER DOIN! And so in focusing on carrying de box again, I don’t get a last look at de shop. I suppose it’ll still be dere tomorrow. But it won’t be de same. Wit no videos inside, it’ll just be anudder building on Bridge Street. De vibe will be sadder tomorrow I bet.
I know I’ll be down wit sadness whenever I walk past dat building whut used to be Easy Weir’s in de future. But a small sadness when all’s said and done. Not exactly an earthquake, as McGurk said. And I’ll always have dese videos to remember it by. And a teary gerl clown wit a smile.