Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Grand Theft Uh-Oh!

I'm not what anyone would call a "smart" man. I mean, I know my way around a Trivial Pursuit board and, every now and again, I can be called upon to make astute observations on movies, music and the occasional bull-riding competition, but, by and large, I've not ever been mistaken for the drawer's sharpest knife. Truthfully, I'm fine with this. People seem to like me anyway (I give them money) and I'm told that the ladies really dig a guy who reminds them of Curly from The Three Stooges.

However, there are times when I do wish that I possessed just a few ounces more of the brainy stuff. Times when I do things so crossways with common sense and intelligent behavior that it actually makes the people around me slap their foreheads in disbelief. This is the story of one such moment:

So my girlfriend and I were having a pleasant afternoon in the West Village; wandering from quaint shop to quaint shop, smelling candles, looking at overpriced records, etc. As we were heading back to the subway, we happened upon a street vendor hawking a table-full of books, incense and assorted DVDs. We stopped to look and, during my browsing, I discovered a copy of the PS2 game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I've been actively lusting over this game for over a year now; an old roommate of mine owned it and we (the game and I) had a hot n' heavy affair for many months until said roommate moved out, cruelly taking the game with him. I asked the street vendor how much for the game and he said, "Eight dollars."

Now, here's where any right-thinking person would immediately say, "Eight dollars? For a well-liked video game? Being sold on the street? This seems too good to be true and, therefore, it is. No sir, I do not want to be cheated out of my eight dollars today. Thank you very much."

I, on the other hand, thought only, "Eight dollars!!! Whatta deal!!! I'm the luckiest man in New York Town!!! Oh happy day!!! Here sir, take my money and a million blessings on your family!!!" Now, I did give the disc a cursory look-see. No scratches, no blemishes, it wasn't a piece of baloney with the words "Grand Thetf Ahto" written on it... to me, it looked like found gold. So I handed over my cash and walked away a joyous man.

Until I got home. And the game didn't work. After pounding my PS2 and grunting at it like an ape, my girlfriend came in and offered to take a look (she's way, way smarter than I am and I'm always happy to have her watch my back; she reads books, for real). After glancing at the disc for about three-tenths of a second, she pointed to the label and said, "You know this is a sticker, right?" She then proceeded to run her fingernail across the surface of the disc, revealing the blank CD-R beneath it.

My heart dropped. My stomach sank. My brain went, "Huh?"

Yes, I paid eight dollars for a blank CD-R with a Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sticker on it. And, yes, I feel powerfully dumb for having done so. However, it did come with a genuine Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game case and all the manuals and maps therein. And no amount of stupidity can take that away from me.

Now, all this writing is making my head hurt. Need go lie down. Take nap. Nap good.


Blogger Jonathan T said...

Nap good indeed.

Maybe your girlfriend should double-check your future street vendor purchases. You know, just in case that Rolex isn't quite real and too good a deal to be true.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Nah, I'm thinkin' that Rolex I bought was a pretty sweet deal. The guy that sold it to me said it was premium "clock-nology" and was made of only the finest Rolex skins.

So I think I'm all set.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous mmyers said...

Maybe the guy was trying to get you to play some live action GTA. You should steal his car.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Scott H. said...

I have a working copy of the game.... I never play it. you can have it. Send me your address and I will mail it to you.

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Daughter points to something on the mantle*
Daughter: Whats that daddy?
ME: Thats a Clock.
Duaghter: Cock?
Me, a bit unnerved: No, no...Clock...Clock
Daughter, proudly: Cock!
Me, having heart-attack: No baby...it's very important to say the L...Lock..lets just call it a Lock
Daughter: Lock?
Me: Right! Now go to your room...

Sorry for the excerpt of a real convo I had with my daughter this weekend but that Rolex comment with the Clock-nology (a technical term that should be coined post-haste) made me think of it...

(PS. I saw that weird thing on the Hater, Zombiesharkfighter, and I have to say that got stranger and stranger and uglier and uglier. I have no idea why they decided to jump on you in particular, nor where all the sudden vehemence came from. It's as if Irony and Hipster got so Ironic and Hipstery that it congealed into some formless, evil mass that strikes out at anything and everything. And the funny thing (to me, at least) was I kept scratching my head and thinking, 'Who is David Cross again?')

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha. that is going to wind up being the most expensive cd you've ever burned.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Re: The Hater... yeah, that was bee-zarre. Never had that kind of reaction before and I've been posting on The Hater for at least a year now. I finally realized that I'm not 14, though, and that'll be the last they'll be hearing from me.

Re: CD burnin'... Not going to use it burn a CD. Going to put in on my mantel as a testement to my own dumbassesness.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

No offense, but I'm from Colorado, and I know to NEVER buy anything on the street in NYC.

Just sayin'.

Funny post though.

I, too, was going to offer Grand Theft Auto, to you,- but I have the one before San Andreas.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

The reason why I didn't really give it a second thought was this: I've bought books from the street vendors ALL the time. And not once has a book I've bought turned out to be a blank CD-R.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, my sister lives in NYC (Bed-Stuy to be exact and to pump up my own Hood-cred by extension) and her Baby daddy used to make a substantial second income selling burned CD's and DVD's...in parts of Brooklyn, apparently, it was a right of passage to be hustling on the street at the break of dawn. He gave me a couple of CD's many of which were just crap, but some of them were pretty good. It's all hit and miss...sort of like playing a ghetto merchandise lottery.


9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeez, that sounds like something a tourist would do. Not a NY citizen. For shame.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Aeshema... I totally used to live in Bed-Stuy and it was everything you've heard and more. And by that, I mean it was frightening beyond all reason. See, I'm very white. That should explain everything.

Anyway, see my post a few down called "Hood Memories" for my fondest thoughts on my time spent there.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous just passin' through... said...

Ok, having read this, I now feel better admitting that I let myself get suckered into a 3-card monte game on the street once and lost $40.

I try and console myself with the fact that I was 18 and had only lived in NYC for a few weeks at the time. But still-- the shame of knowing I was being a sucker and *still* going ahead and doing it lingers like bad B.O.

And that picture is priceless, by the way.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Thanks, dude. I've always thought I had a face that best expressed sorrow over being gyped by street vendors and now I know that's true.

Yeah, I still feel pretty dumb, but I (as well as my girlfriend) take great amusement in my stupidity and this was for sure the finest moment in a while.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's okay; 90% of the people commenting here won't admit it, but we've all been idiots at one time or another, whether it's a bootleg fake game cd or paying $20 for two ounces of alcohol with a fancy-sounding name.

As long as you don't do it again, consider it "experience". :)

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you thought of going back to confront him? He'll deny it, of course, but you'll have something to write about.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Oh god no... I recognize that it's totally my fault for buying the game from a disreputable source. Besides, I don't know how interesting a post about me getting my ass kicked by a group of large Jamacains would be.

Okay, granted, for other people it'd probably be very fascinating.

However, I don't health insurance.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous mmyers said...

I was up in NY a few years ago doing a show and we were all stupid tourists, but one of the actors bought a bootleg copy of the new Star Wars. It was filmed by a hand held in the theater. I laughed all the way through that film as people got up and talked and the camera got bumped. It was like Mystery Science Theater.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

A friend of mine has a bootleg copy of Farenheit 9/11 that's only 45 minutes long because they turned the camera off during a huge chunk in the middle.

Bootlegs are awesome!

11:54 AM  
Blogger emily said...

Fellow Texan! Glad you're (almost) surviving on the mean streets of NYC. Damn Gawker.

2:55 PM  

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