Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Bootleggers In Grand Central Are Actually Time Travelers

There's no doubt that I've done quite a bit to spread the word on the variety of characters to be found in New York's Grand Central Station. I'm not saying it's a freak show, but there's really no other way for me to finish this sentence. Except by writing "there's really no other way for me to finish this sentence." Which is in a sense finishing the sentence, thereby ruining the joke and my credibility.

Anyway, you can't help but notice it. A blanket, spread out on the floor of Grand Central, carrying DVD's and CD's which everyone in New York refers to as "bootlegs." But I'll let you in on a little secret. The "bootleggers" are not bootleggers at all. They're time travelers. Their merchandise? It's not cheaply copied five dollar DVD versions of films which have not yet officially been released to DVD but were recorded in a theater using a video camera. Heh-heh, that's one wild imagination you have there.

No. These people are time travelers — TIME ADVENTURERS, if you will — and their mission is a noble one. They've traveled back in time with official DVD releases from the future to bring us New Yorkers big, big savings!

But a few questions still remain. Why, if they are official and from the future, do these DVD's feature such substandard packaging and poor video quality? I think the best guess is that the loss in quality is a result of the time traveling process itself. The flux capacitor probably uses so much energy when it rips open the space/time continuum that your copy of Hitch, starring actor, rapper, breather of air Will Smith, has slightly deteriorated by the time it has exited the wormhole.

I approached the time travelers/bootleggers a few days ago and asked if they would take some photos of their time machine the next time they went back to the future for more DVD's. They agreed. I turned around to leave and — surprise, surprise — there was the same person I was talking to just a second ago and now he had photos of the time machine in his hand.

Confused? See, the way time traveling works...



...and that's how time travel works.

But I took a look at these photos. And, sure enough, I immediately spotted the problem. It seems that these time travelers were so busy worrying about time travel and bringing us unbelievable savings that they forgot to properly store the DVD's while traveling through the wormhole. Here's one of the pictures. It really explains the whole thing...



See how they're just carelessly stacked around the flux capacitor? Just as I suspected. That can't be good for quality.

I went immediately to the time travelers/bootleggers in Grand Central to explain my findings. They couldn't believe they had been so stupid. "All this time traveling and bringing of big-time savings has caused us to forget the little things," said one. "Well, from now on, we'll store the DVD's away from the flux capacitor. Thanks, citizen."

"We should get a bin of some kind," said the leader. "Nothing too fancy. But something that looks nice. Are there any stores around here?" he asked.

"There's a Duane Reade about five feet from here," I said. "And if you're feeling adventurous, there's a larger one about six feet from that one." Suddenly, a look of shock and horror came over the man's face. "What's wrong?" I asked.

WHAT IS DUANE READE? A MOMENT TO EXPLAIN...
Duane Reade is a popular store in New York. It's similar to Walgreens. There are a lot of them, and I'm sure they will be sprouting up in a town near you very soo — oh, too late. There it is. Looks pretty nice, right? Actually it doesn't matter what you think. Look, there's another behind you. And in the time you took to turn around, the first one was demolished and built again.


"Please, citizen of this time, do not use that name in our midst," he said.

"I don't understand," I said, not understanding.

"In our time, Duane Reade is the oppressive Supreme Overlord of Earth. That's why we come here to bring you savings on DVD's, CD's, and sometimes batteries," he said. "We're slowly trying to whittle away the Supreme Overlord's power in this time, so that his reign of terror will end in our time."


So, there you have it. The bootleggers in Grand Central are actually time travelers. They come from the future to bring us savings, but also to topple Duane Reade, who apparently becomes Earth's Overlord in the future in what I can only assume is a tyrannical dictatorship of pharmaceutical, Walgreen-esque stores. And now that I've solved the problem with the DVD's and the flux capacitor, the "bootlegs" in Grand Central should be top-notch quality. So, buy away.

NECESSARY TIME TRAVEL DISCLAIMER
Since there a lot of unforeseen occurrences with time travel, it would be naïve of you to think that I, a humble intern, would have all the answers regarding the subject. Being that they're from the future, wouldn't they have known about the flux capacitor problem beforehand? And if Duane Reade is such a problem in the future, why not go back and alter the past so he's never born at all? These are all great questions. But, only a loser would ask these questions. You're not a loser, right? Of course you're not.

...

So, the Pope died, huh? Yeah, pretty crazy...



61 Comments:

At 1:33 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Now I wanna write a posting on time travel just so I can say "flux capacitor."

Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

The small things I loved: "Breather of air." and "Thanks, citizen."

This is easily my favourite posting I have read of yours.

Political without being political, some great simple things, and a really nice reading style.

Nicely done.

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

(www.thelastditch.blogspot.com)

read me and weep. (sorry for the consecutive thing. it's not an Enron inflating-numbers thing. more a dumbass thing.)

 
At 3:52 AM, Blogger cadiz12 said...

but the question is, are these people doing anything to topple walgreens? at least duane reade seems semi-contained. but there really is a walgreens on every corner and every time i turn around, someone i know has become one of its minions. who knows how little time we have before it takes over the world and tries to convince us we live in a place called Perfect.

 
At 3:54 AM, Blogger RichD said...

Quiet!

Our plans should not be revealed. Just keep buying the low quality merchandise. You love it, you whore.

 
At 4:27 AM, Blogger cry me a river said...

I found you randomly, and was highly amused by your post. I think they should topple Starbucks while their at it, and maybe Wal-mart.

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Ranex said...

Ranex the babyshampoo.
Very nice ,do you sometimes draw?

 
At 6:50 AM, Blogger girlspit said...

While I am somewhat scared by the number of Walgreens in my immediate vicinity, I am more afraid of the startling variety of items to be found at Wal-Mart. For instance: one could have the oil in one's car changed while developing the latest pictures of one's pet iguana, filling a precription for Percoset, having one's nails done, getting one's hair styled, buying new underwear, purchasing a new kitchen table, shopping for groceries, and most importantly, picking up a new high-powered hunting rifle. Someday we will all live in the Wal-Mart. And we never saw it coming...

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I read this comment quickly

should topple Starbucks while their at it

and I read 'topless Starbucks'. I think a topless Starbucks isn't a bad idea, and then maybe they could justify charging you $4 for a coffee.

Also, with all the logistical issues with time travel, I guess nobody really considered the adverse effects that a flux capacitor would have on a DVD. Maybe it's all the plutonium.

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Sarah Eliza said...

They come from farther in the future than the Wal-mart empire. Few are aware of this, but in the future we will designate centuries by whole corperate empire is suffocating us with slavery.

 
At 8:43 AM, Anonymous A Girl said...

Didn't Natalie Portman have a baby in a Walmart?

Although highly favourable of Emmett and Marty, for some reason this post also reminded me of Dragon Ball Z (time travel, stopping evilness in order to save the future). Which is also like Terminator. I think I could go on.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger omar said...

It was the time travelers who stole the New Found Glory CD.

Mystery solved.

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Christie said...

Another possible benefit of recognizing the time travelers and getting on their good side: Use your extensive show biz knowledge and experience to persuade your least favorite Hollywood executive to come with you the next time you visit the Duane Reade Destroyers. He/She may benefit from a little advance knowledge of how poorly his/her productions fare in the future and you may succeed in convincing the executive to stop making that CRAP!

If this isn't within the realm of the time traveler's abilities, then at least they're kicking ass on the Duane Reade front. Please thank them for me.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger ra said...

I once read a new theory of time travel. It goes like this.

It takes an hour to run to the shop. If you run twice as fast you will get there get there in 1/2 an hour. And if you run four times as fast you will get there when you left and if you run eight times as fast you will get there before you leave. So the faster you run, the earlier you get there before you left.

I have been trying this for years now. Haven't gone back in time yet but boy do I have big calf muscles.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger twitterpated said...

Hey, do you think the bootleggers have the Back to the Future trilogy?

Duane Reade. What a stupid name. Luckily we haven't been hit by that phenomenon in South Dakota. We are too busy posing as white trash and worshiping the WalMart gods.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger jazz said...

so i think we should all get together and storm the comedy central offices and demand they give this guy a job.

andy, they just get better and better. i don't know how you do it...

you need to stay in the city long enough to attend the mermaid parade. talk about a bunch of freaks! i mean...talk about a bunch of really interesting people...

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger rabsteen said...

too much Dr. Who for you!

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Flash said...

I LOVE this blog.
Andy, you're a star!

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger 1 said...

Toppless starbucks...I would feel kind of weird asking for extra cream. Uncomfortable situation, don't you think?

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

It was the time travelers who stole the New Found Glory CD.

Damn. Way to bring it back around. You guys pay attention. I'm impressed.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Gladys Cortez said...

It's futile, all of it, futile.

If Duane Reade is destroyed, CVS will take ascendancy as the Dark Overlord. And NOBODY wants THAT.

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im just allitle stund with ur retardedness

 
At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Kevyn with a Y said...

You are TOO funny! I was in NY a few weeks ago, and yes, there are Duane Reade stores EVERYWHERE. I was told to look for them by a local friend of mine. I think I lost count. Anyway, quality blogging here. Love it!

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Charlie said...

"im just allitle stund with ur retardedness"

Damn... don't you hate it when those with the wittiest comments remain anonymous?

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

If you haven't read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," I strongly suggest that you do so, you brilliant little Einstern you.([Eins]tein/In[tern]... get it?)

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger sherlanova said...

Hi NY Intern!

My name is sherlanova. I'm Indonesian. One day i found ur blog and it's quite interesting.

Maybe u should visit my blog sometimes. But u should learn Indonesian language first. then u could understand what i have wrote there.

Thx.

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

([Eins]tein/In[tern]... get it?)

Oh my, very clever. You and your know-how with words...

 
At 12:42 AM, Blogger Lia said...

If you're ever in Hawaii, check out the ABC stores. They could give Duane Reade (and, apparently, Walgreens, but I'm from NYC, so who's heard of Walgreens? I think I've seen one or two.) competition in the location-to-location proximity.

Actually, sometimes I call DRs ABCs.

 
At 2:38 AM, Blogger - Jimmyjay said...

Ra,
It's known as Xeno's Paradox.
(Seriously. I'm not kidding. I'm not)

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Max Loves Ally said...

Found your blog by accident. Have followed it for a few weeks. Love the skewed angle. I've never met an intern, never been to New York , never met time travellers, never been to Wal-greens. Thank you for the education and the "heads-up"!
Max

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Ali said...

I did come here with the intention of reading your journal, but then i was side tracked by the delightful fact that my item on eBay has reached over 1million Australian dollars.
Some inspiration for an entry i think.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7149492983&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger ceekay said...

Does it say something about Houston that the chain that scares me with it's frequency of locations is Starbucks? They're everywhere....they're like locusts. Do you suppose we have our own version of the time travelers here in Texas? And if we do...what are they fighting?
Mental note: look for time travelers next time I'm downtown.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger sdyoung said...

Back to the future...flux capacitor....oh yeah. :) 80s movies nostalgia.

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger CB said...

Hey, I blogged you.

Excellent posts.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Luke said...

You need a nuclear reaction, to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity you need for the Delorean, albeit that sucker is basically electrically based...

So surely some sort of EMP is given off when the vehicle rips through time, couldn't that, rather than the flux capacitor itself (or soley on its own), be the cause of distortion to these copies of films?

I gotta go, Einstein is itching at his neck again... great Scott! uhmm, disregard that... you don't know me...

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Cool! Nobody's said it yet: Doubt you could go back and unbirth Duane Reade even if you could get the flux capacitor to handle it. Version I've heard is that the first Duane Reade store was located between Duane Street and Reade Street in lower Manhattan. Of course if you could travel back to when they were naming the streets - and sell them the CDs - then invest the money and collect the proceeds in the future ... hey, we might be on to something here.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.
Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor. Flux capacitor.




Now I need plutonium. The dog's name was Einstein, remember? I wonder if he was an intern.

I bet he knew Photoshop, too.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Joy said...

so, um...can i be your intern?

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Kris said...

Great post after great post. I am adding you to my links.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Guardian_Angel1 said...

You have almost stumbled onto the secret of life.

Keep it up

:)

May Guy Bless You

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger RealityBlows said...

The pope...uuuuh I see little red shoes.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your mother naked on a popsicle stick

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Lucas said...

Hmmmm. This blog is definitely in the class of stuperfluous blogus. I'll leave it some other poor sot to actually name it--not me! (For more details go to: http://jumpinghole.blogspot.com/

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger WUSA said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger WUSA said...

I am speakless and the only word I could bring out is "WOW"!
I love your blog not only cuz it´s funny or cuz I really like your style, it´s also cuz on May 2nd I will visit New York City for the first time! Therefore is´s so cool to read your blog, it makes me feel as I am already there! Maybe meet in NYC! Cheers Wusa

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger latina marie said...

down with walgreen's! as a former walgreen's employee, this may sound blasphemous, but i live in mobile, al and the number of walgreen's here has doubled since i quit to work for my undergraduate advisor. ahh, they tried to rope me in and keep me at walgreen's by offering me a pharmacy tech position (i was lowly cashier), but i was having none of it.

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Surviving Online Dating said...

Resistance is futile....

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger ^Sunrise said...

Flux Capacitor.... Fluxing

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Newton of Psychology said...

Did you know there are actually Laws of the Psyche?

We all know Newton invented the Laws of Motion (With Galileo's Help) but now, for the first time we have the 3 laws of the psyche

They are like Newton's laws of Motion but they are for your mind (There have been no previous attempts to do this)

I only have 3 so far, but Newton only had 3, so we're even.

http://messianicaspirations.blogspot.com/

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Newton of Psychology said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:04 AM, Blogger Emily said...

I think you're ignoring an important point about the history of the thing: Duane Reed's motivation.

See, Duane was actually just a poor guy living in a poor town in Middle America. He had a vision: a vision of a store that would sell all sorts of items at convenient hours. (That's right, this vision of a vision came late one night when little Duane needed some more superglue to put the final touches on his Soapbox Racer. All the durn stores were closed. Blast!)

But little Duane was meek, too shy to carry out his convenient store dreams.

Until: One night, it happened. All the jokes added up. Duane had a terrible nightmare; all the kids from school (including Sally!) circled around him, larger than life, shouting "Duane the bathtub, it's dwowning!!"

When Duane awoke, there was new fire in his eyes. Someday, he'd have the last laugh. He'd surround us all.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger MKM said...

I have no doubt that many of NYC's street people are "time travelers." You realize the purpose behind the "Gates" exhibit was to act as a map to help set the lost ones back on track, right? - M

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger michael said...

I am the ghost of convenience past (and I have no sense of humor). So just for the record, Duane Reade was not actually a man named Duane Reade (as in Dwayne Reed who played fullback for the 49er's). The store is named because the first one was between Duane St. and Reade St. in downtown Manhattan (or New Amsterdam).

That is all.

PS I have no sense of humor so making fun of me will do you no good.

 
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Enjoyable blog. Please check out my ugliest dog blog.

 
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I was searching for australian cattle dog info and found this post. I agree totally!

Paul

 
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