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Ode to Ingmar Bergman, On the Occasion of His Death
  • Derek Nikitas, Eastern Kentucky University

Some weeks ago I stopped by the major American video rental store to pick up a copy of Pan’s Labyrinth, which I’d heard much buzz about but hadn’t yet seen. While I was waiting in line, another customer ahead of me was also in the process of renting the movie. As per the policy of this store, a clerk informed the customer ahead of time that Pan’s Labyrinth is in Spanish, whereupon he groaned and decided to rent something else. Incensed, and next in line, I cut off the clerk before she delivered the same spiel to me. I said, “Don’t bother, I know how to read,” attempting to speak loud enough for the previous customer to hear me and feel ashamed. I know—I shouldn’t have been so much of an ass because a) that philistine customer would probably not have been ashamed anyhow, b) the clerk has to take that kind of crap all day, and c) I’d be on higher moral ground only if I had said, “don’t bother, I know Spanish.”

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Derek Nikitas. "Ode to Ingmar Bergman, On the Occasion of His Death" (2006)
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