Keeping it reel

I was very sad to see that my favourite video store, Just4View, went out of business this past week. It was a small business that has been a fixture in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood for years. The owners were a quirky couple who were very knowledgeable about their large selection of old and foreign films, and who always had a cookie or two behind the counter for visiting dogs. Jake, my border collie, was a shameless beggar; the minute we walked through the door he’d station himself in front of the counter, sitting motionless and staring at the owner in his silent but demanding way. If it was a busy night and it took too long to get service, he’d rear up on his hind legs and slam his front paws down on the counter, like a drunk pounding his fist on the bar for a drink. It never failed to produce a grin and the desired results.

In mid-December, Rogers Video moved in almost directly across the street. A big glitzy chain with lots of capital, they immediately made their mark by undercutting prices. Now that the competition has been annihilated, I have no doubt they’ll raise prices to market levels, if only to afford the legions of poorly-paid pimply part-time teenagers behind the counter. Well, I’m taking my dog in, but this time it’s gonna be his hind leg that he lifts against the counter.

Fortunately, the competitive environment is not nearly so bleak in the orchid community here in Toronto…