This Oil Change Is Not Approved By The MPAA

So, being a responsible guy, I took my car in for it’s 3,000 mile oil change. Being a cheap guy, I took it took it to Jiffy Lube instead of the dealership. One of the great parts about getting your oil changed is sitting in the little waiting room and flipping through car magazines while either a talk show or reality court show plays on a tiny TV in the corner. It’s really the only time I ever pick up Car and Driver, and I secretly look forward to it.

Today, instead of either a talk show or reality court show, there was a movie playing. I was very heartened to have something better to watch, but also a little sad, knowing I would be watching that instead of reading about 0-60 times and braking distances.

The sadness quickly went away when I saw this was a Jet Li movie. How many chances do you get to sit in a waiting room and watch something you’re actually interested in? This was the first time for me. As I watched the movie, I knew I should be able to figure out what is was, but I just couldn’t place it. The sets and costumes all made it look pretty recent, but the quality of the DVD was pretty bad- way too much contrast, the picture wavered at times, and the sound was really echoey. I thought maybe it was dubbed from a VHS tape. The quality and the fact that everyone was speaking Chinese led me to believe that it must be one of his older Hong Kong movies I’d never seen. A real treat indeed.

But then I noticed something a little weird. Looking closer, under the big yellow English subtitles were tiny subtitles of some language I didn’t recogonize. Then Brendan Fraser popped up on the screen. Jet Li? Brendan Fraser? Hey, this is The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Then it hit me. Crap quality, weird subtitles- this was a bootleg someone recorded in a theater. How many times do you walk into a legitimate business to find them publicly displaying an illegally recorded movie?

What a great concept, showing first-run movies while your customers wait. I’m going back there as soon as I can. This time I’ll get the coolant flush, A/C recharge, and the whole shebang so I can see the rest of the movie. If only they got together with Les Schwab and had a popcorn machine.

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