Friday, April 11, 2014

Work Stories: Episode 69: Wow, Perfect Number Much



Previously in the Work Stories, I wrote about a child with a wad of money.  But that money wasn’t any normal money that you would find laying around.  It was Canadian Tire money.  A big, old wad of Canadian Tire money.  And she showed it to me for no reason at all.  Yeah, that was an exciting story wasn’t it?  This week’s story is definitely going to be more exciting.  Get ready for that.

There was one time when I wrote about a coworker who caught some people having sex in the bathroom.  Which post was it… Let me check.  The 29th Work Story was the one that covered that one.  Well, this week I have my own story about catching people having sex in the bathroom.  I now have a personal experience with that kind of thing happening and it’s one that I am going to share with you.  Are you ready for it?

I was at work getting ready to have my break and eat something.  I went to the washroom before I ate.  Not only did I want to wash my hands, but I wanted to eat with an empty bladder.  It would make me feel a whole lot more comfortable.  So I go to the washroom, relieve myself and wash my hands.  I walked out of the washroom and opened the door to the hallway leading to the staff room only to find two people jump up from making out.  They acted like they weren’t doing anything.  The guy went back into the museum and the woman went into the washrooms.  I knew something was up.

When I walked through the door into the staff room, I noticed something.  The door didn’t close.  I turned around and looked, only to find a shoe propping it open.  I walked back to the door and opened it.  The guy was standing at the door looking at me.  He said “Oh, wrong room.”  Then he opened the door to the bathrooms and went in.  Something fishy was definitely going on.

I inflated a few balloons and went to the front of the museum to put them out for people to take while my food was warming up in the microwave.  When I got back, I went into the washrooms one more time to wash my hands.  I heard the sound of zippers and buckles so I cautiously stood against the wall beside the one-person men’s bathroom.  I put my hand out against the door and pushed.  It opened a few inches before I felt a push back and heard the door lock.  So these people hadn’t even locked the door when they decided to get freaky in a public washroom.

When the door locked, I walked to the other side of the hallway and leaned against the wall.  After a few second, I heard “I think he’s out there waiting.”  Then I decided to walk in and out of the bathroom hallway a few times before going to the front to tell my supervisor what was going on.  When she asked who was in the bathroom, they walked out of the museum looking embarrassed and ashamed.  My job was done.

Then, jerk that I am, I got my supervisor to go into the bathroom and make sure it was clean.  I had awkwarded the deviants out of there before they could do anything crazy, but I still don’t want to be the person to clean up the potential mess.  She came back from the washroom and told me that they had cleaned it up themselves.  I went to the staff room and ate.

Oh, did I mention that all of this happened around 7pm on a Sunday?  Yeah.  It wasn’t even a late night thing.  There were children in the museum.  These people were having sex in our public washroom while children were visiting the museum at 7pm on a Sunday.  The things that some people will do, eh?

That’s it for the Work Story this week.  It was a story about me finding people having sex in the bathroom.  Hopefully it’s the last time that it happens.  Who knows?  Anyway, next week I will have another story for you to read and it may or may not be better or worse than this one.  I never know until I am actually writing the Work Stories.  See you next week.

Until then, this doesn't look like the welcome wagon.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Work Stories: Episode 68: Kids Do the Darndest Things



Previously on Work Stories, I wrote about the time that I got yelled at because a woman didn’t agree with my definition of all day parking.  It was a moment that broke the omphaloskepsis that every day of working in the parking lot brought along.  It was also one of the worst times that I had ever been yelled at by a customer.  If I could relive that day, I wouldn’t.  Why would I?  I don’t want to relive that time I got yelled at about parking.  What would be the point?  Anyway…

This week I’ll bring you a Work Story from this past week because it happened this past week and I want to write about it.  That seems like a good enough idea to me.  It’s not too much of a story but I’ll try to make it entertaining enough to read.  If I didn’t do that, it would be a failure to all of the people who are actually reading this.  These posts are supposed to be about me, for me, and for you.  I shouldn’t be writing them for the sole purpose of writing them (though, to be honest, I am).  I should be writing them so that people can read them and learn a little bit about me and what makes me into me.  Without further ado, the Work Story.

The past week was a fairly nice week around here, weather wise.  The temperature went up, the snow melted away, and we got some sun.  It was a nice break from the monotony of winter.  It also meant that when I went to work, there would be more people than I have become accustomed to over the winter months.  There wasn’t a moment without being able to see somebody walking the streets.  They didn’t necessarily come inside our museum, but they were out there having a good time on some nice days.

What is even more notable about the people walking about, other than the abundance of them is that the warm weather also meant that they let their kids walk around without strollers.  I guess the lack of snow makes it easier for the kids to maneuver and less likely for them to slip and fall and injure themselves.  There were more people out, and more kids out of strollers.

Like usual, I was sitting in our cash booth charging people to go inside.  They didn’t always walk up to me, though.   Most of the time they came into the lobby, looked at the stuff in there, and then left the museum.  They’d rather look at a few things for free than pay money and see everything.  So I’m sitting there minding my own business when I hear a noise coming from the other side of the counter.  I look over and see a little girl looking at me from below the edge.  She said something that I couldn’t understand and I looked at her and smiled.  She said another thing I couldn’t understand.  If you think I have trouble understanding people on the internet, you’ve never seen me around children.  I don’t understand a single thing they say.  The second time she said something, I smiled again.  She looked at me.

Now, this is the part of the story where I would normally go off on a tangent to tell you a little something more that seems relevant.  In this case it would seem way out of left field and give away what was about to happen.  That’s why I’m going to just tell you what happened and fill you in after that.  Oh, I guess I should say the little girl was about two years old.  That is actually important at this point because you’re probably sitting there thinking “You don’t understand children?  They talk fairly normally, you know.”  Two year olds don’t usually talk fluently.

The third time she said something that I didn’t understand, she lifted her hand.  In the hand was a wad of Canadian Tire money.  Where did she get all of that Canadian Tire money?  I don’t know.  Maybe she found it.  Maybe her parents gave it to her.  Maybe she liked the colour, so her parents let her hold onto it for her.  I have no idea.  All I know is that she had a giant wad of the money and she was showing it off to me.  Then she lowered her hand and ran away.  I was left in a stunned state for a few moments trying to figure out what had just happened and why it had happened.

Now to explain the Canadian Tire money thing before I close out this Work Story.  Canadian Tire is a Canadian hardware store chain.  It sells tools, sporting goods, garden stuff, and gasoline but it’s mostly the hardware store things you would go there for.  Sometimes they’ll give you some bills for Canadian Tire when you purchase stuff there.  The bills are five cents, ten cents, twenty five cents, whatever.  If you get enough of it, you can get discounts on the things you buy.  That can be a really good thing if you’re spending a lot of money.  Oh, and like Canadian money, each denomination is a different colour.  I thought I’d let you know about this Canadian Tire money so you’d understand what I’m writing about a little bit more.

And that brings this week’s Work Story to a close.  It was a little choppy because of the jump I had to do.  I’m sorry about that.  I felt it needed to be that way to get the full effect of the reveal.  I’m sorry if that didn’t work out.  Next week, I’ll have another Work Story for you.  Come back and check it out when it happens.

Until then, with the things I've done in my life, oh I know I'm going to burn in hell. So I sure as shit ain't afraid to burn here on earth.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Direct to Video Sequels and the Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008, 2011, 2012) Series



There are many different ways for someone to make money off the release of a movie.  The main one, and the one that people pay the most attention to, is the theatrical release.  The movies are put into theaters where the public coalesces.  Individual tickets cost around ten dollars.  That’s a lot of money being made per head.  Another way to make money is through video-on-demand.  This is the main method for getting the people who want to see a movie from the comfort of home without using a physical medium.  Netflix, pay-per-view, hulu, Amazon Prime... These are the methods I’m talking about.  It’s a convenient way for someone to watch a movie and one that can make a good amount of money.  A third way is to sell the physical media.  By this, I mean DVDs, blu-rays, and other home video of that kind.  At this point, that’s mainly for collectors or people who refuse to adapt to a digital world.  These people can have a copy to hold in their hands.  They can show off their collection and make it look nice.  The last way I’m going to bring up here is cable and network licensing.  A channel like TNT can pay to have the rights to air a movie.  They hope that people who are flicking through the channels will stumble across the movie and be interested enough to watch it, thus boosting their ratings.

For the sake of this week’s post, I want to specifically focus on two of the methods: video-on-demand and physical media.  More specifically, I want to cover direct-to-video films.  Even more specifically, I want to get into the idea of direct-to-video sequels to theatrical films.  This is something that has come to light multiple times in the history of the Sunday “Bad” Movies.  The sequels to Death Race and The Marine were direct-to-video.  Dorm Daze 2 was direct-to-video.  Likewise, this week’s series of movies, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, includes two direct-to-video sequels to a theatrical film.

As with many of the topics I’ve written about for the Sunday “Bad” Movies, the direct-to-video sequels have a lot to do with money that the studios want to earn.  There are a few minor things that have to happen for the movies to go in this direction, however.  There needs to be a reason for the sequels to be direct-to-video instead of being released theatrically as the first film in the franchise was.  Let us start with the theatrical success of the film.  In order to get a sequel at all, a movie needs to be financially successful.  It needs to make back the amount that it cost to make the movie, and it needs to exceed that to get a profit.  Whether or not the movie gets a sequel depends upon how high the profit is.  A lower budget film does not need to make as much money to be considered a success as a bigger budget movie.  The bigger the profit, the more likely that a theatrical sequel will be made.  The smaller the profit, the less likely.  But there is a middle ground.

Somewhere in between the amount of profit that makes a theatrical sequel happen and makes nothing at all happen, there’s a percentage that makes the producers hopeful.  With a few tweaks, there could be a way to make a lot of money off of franchising the movie.  That is where direct-to-video comes into play.  One of the main reasons that direct-to-video sequels exist is to make more money from a marginally financially successful film.  There are two big reasons.  One is that it did well on home video and the studio decides that using home video would be the way to make successful sequels.  The other reason is that direct-to-video films are usually cheaper to make because they won’t be theatrical.  The smaller budget might not make it good enough to go theatrical, but it could still make money through sales and rentals on home video and video on demand.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua was a major success in theaters.  It was number one in the domestic box office for two weeks in a row, and earned $145 million worldwide on a $12 million budget.  So it wasn’t a monetary influence in going to home video for the sequels.  Perhaps it was because the lackluster critical reception of the first made the producers wary of the theatrical turnout of a sequel.  Perhaps it was the fact that hardly any of the original cast returned for the sequel.  Either way, two direct-to-video sequels were made.  They looked cheaper, they felt cheaper, and the movies made less money than the first.

The idea behind making direct-to-video Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies makes sense.  Regardless of the reasons behind not producing another theatrical release, the direct-to-video market is a perfect way to release the movies.  Parents who are browsing their streaming service (Netflix, hulu, Amazon) might stumble upon it.  They could see it for a cheap price in a store.  They could go to Redbox and find a copy of Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta! in stock.  They’ll plop their children in front of the television, turn on the movie, and go into the other room to do adult stuff.  It’s an easy distraction for kids when their parents have other things to do.  Instead of spending time taking their children to the theater and chaperoning while the children watch a new movie, they can find something new for children to watch at home.  It’s a market that is ripe for business.  Clearly, Beverly Hills Chihuahua wasn’t the movie series to cash in on it, but it isn’t hard to imagine that there is a series that could.

That’s basically what the direct-to-video market is about.  It is about giving home viewers something new to watch that they don’t have to go to the theater, or wait three months to see.  In the days of brick and mortar stores, it was about the viewer finding it on the shelf at the local Blockbuster.  Now, it’s about Netflix.  The idea is still the same, though.  It’s about catching someone’s eye, giving them something they want.  If they liked the original, they’ll likely be interested in a sequel.  That’s direct-to-video sequels for you.
There are a few notes I’m going to make before this post is done:

  • George Lopez is the only actor to have a role in all three Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies.
  • Loretta Devine was in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.
  • Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo was in Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3.
  • There were a handful of actors in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3.  They were Marcus Coloma, Erin Cahill, Odette Annable, Ernie Hudson, Emily Osment, Madison Pettis, Delaney Jones, Tom Kenny, and Miguel Ferrer.
  • French Stewart was in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.  He was also in 30 Nights of ParanormalActivity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Rise of theZombies.
  • Christine Lakin was in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.  She was also in Parental Guidance and NewYear’s Eve.
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua featured Lombardo Boyar.  He showed up in Big Ass Spider!
  • In Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Manny Sosa had a role.  He was in Baby’s Day Out as well.
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 also featured Alyssa Milano, who was in New Year’s Eve.
  • Finally, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 had Sancho Martin in it.  Sancho Martin was also in Hansel and Gretel Get Baked.
  • I mentioned Death Race, The Marine, and Dorm Daze in the post, so I’m linking to them too.
  • If you have any movies that you think would make good Sunday “Bad” Movies, tell me.  I’m always looking for more movies to include.  You can do that by either commenting below, or telling me on Twitter.