When I got back from my enforced time off due to flooding, I started wading (ha!) through my emails.
Here is a confession that will come as a surprise to absolutely none of you: I buy some weird shit. On ebay. My saved searches include the following:
"1977 New York State Field Band Championship"
"full size carousel horse"
"why don't I fit in"
Ah, Trailside. Many, many years ago, PBS aired a series by that name. It was all about trail hiking, obv. And they filmed an episode about eighty miles away from where I live, at a not-very-well-known hiking area where I had actually been many times before, because it was close to the family cottage.
What's that? Why yes, yes, I DO HAVE A POINT. I'M GETTING THERE.
So! On the Saturday afternoon when that episode was going to air, I was not going to be home, but I set my VCR to record the show. (I TOLD you it was a long time ago, OKAY?) (I still have the VCR. I still have tapes. I still play them. I am old.)
I get home later that afternoon, and I'm all excited to watch the Trailside people hike in an area where I had been, and I rewind, and I start watching the show, and it's almost to the part where they're going to be at the place where I had hiked, and
you guessed it.
The VCR had stopped recording RIGHT. THERE.
Agh! The wailing and the moaning and the gnashing of teeth. All over a stupid TV show, I know. I was inordinately upset over the whole thing. And my local PBS station soon stopped airing Trailside, so I never DID get to watch the end of the show.
Flash-forward many years later, to the internet and ebay and the saved search. And people were selling many, many copies of many, many episodes of Trailside, but never the one that I wanted. One person even listed what she said was a "complete set" of Trailside, and it did not include my episode, which made me wonder if I was going crazy or something. Maybe I dreamed it?
Until I got back from my time off, going through a week of email, and there it was, in my inbox, a saved search notification that MY EPISODE of Trailside was up for bid.
And the auction had ended several days before.
Poor me. Last night, I'm at home, stewing over my almost-found-but-once-again-lost episode of Trailside, wondering how many years it will be this time before someone puts one up for bid.
And then. I had an idea.
I got into work this morning, pulled up that ended-auction notification, and emailed the lister. I asked her if the tape had sold, and if not, did she still have it, and if so, could I possibly buy it?
Readers, SHE STILL HAD THE TAPE. And she re-listed it, just for me, and you know what she charged for it?
She had me over a barrel, and she knew it, and she STILL let me have the tape for a buck.
It restores my faith in humanity. It truly does. And now, very soon, I will get to see my long-ago episode of Trailside.
I CAN'T WAIT.