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When DVD Is A Lifesaver

6 Apr, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

A lot of people are probably still mad at me for not returning some phone calls or e-mails from last week. Let me apologize for anyone I've not gotten back to yet. I had the first serious back problem of my life, and – under doctor's orders – I was flat on my back for a few days.

So it's not an accident that I started to muse idly on DVD's resemblance to a life preserver. Different situations to be sure. OK, my sore back felt like life and death to me – an accompanying pinched nerve had my leg in so much pain I briefly considered chewing it off and leaving it behind like a wounded coyote.

Instead I went to the doctor, got X-rays and physical therapy, then swallowed my hyperactive nature to follow instructions and lay down for a few days. To a lot of people that would sound like a welcome break, but when it's enforced you just think of all the things you could be doing instead of laying around.

Then there's DVD. Thank heaven, because I went through quite a few to take my mind off the pain and boredom. It didn't even matter that Ross McElwee's Sherman's March, a 1986 documentary that streeted on DVD for the first time this week (from First Run Features), was overlong. I had time to absorb the wry humor and social commentary of jilted McElwee's search for love in the 1986 South. But with a couple of days on my hands it was not enough. I watched plenty.

I also had time to think on how this is the perfect case for Netflix or, even better, EZ-D. The very worst thing for that evil pinched nerve was standing, so I was in no mood or condition to stand around a video store looking for a title, then stand in line to check it out. If I was an online subscriber I might have had a couple of titles waiting by coincidence, but Netflix also assures us that most orders are filled in a day, so in theory I could have requested new online rental discs one day and had them in hand the next.

That's where a product like EZ-D could come in. Rather than stand around a video store, I would have chosen the slightly higher-than-rental cost to just get a disc at a mini mart in a few minutes and be on my way. I can also see the drive-up pharmacy window as a great EZ-D location: customers pulling up to fill prescriptions for cold or flu medicines might appreciate the convenience of grabbing a movie at the same counter so they could get home fast to suffer in privacy and salve their aches with a DVD distraction.

I assure those of you who called or e-mailed that I will get caught up on the business of DVD, now that I caught up on the pleasure of it and my back is feeling better.

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