When you think Star Trek Original Series VHS, you probably think back to your local video store or mail-order offers. While I worked in a video store and obsessed about mail-order, it is not what I think about when I think of Star Trek the Original Series on VHS. No, I think about supermarkets.
In the eighties, not only did a lot of supermarkets begin to rent videotapes, they also sold them. This added a wrinkle to my family’s monthly shopping experience. Now instead of just fixating on breakfast cereal, soda, candy and everything else with sugar, I also needed to linger in the video section of the store. It was a magical time. Every trip morphing into a fantasy of on demand video entertainment.
The ShopRite supermarket was my favorite to visit. Because they carried the Star Trek Original Series VHS.
Star Trek was, and still is, one of my favorite TV shows. So I would plead with my Mother every time we went to get at least one tape. Often I would press my luck and put a bunch of tapes in the cart. Hoping that seeing them might entice her to make a terrible financial decision. It never worked.
Then one day my luck changed. The store decided to phase out selling VHS tapes. The price plummeted. Every month they would have fewer tapes, but the price kept dropping until they were $1.88. This was the magic number, an amount I could save by myself. From that point on I bought as many as a could and eventually I acquired almost 30 episodes of the original series. Later I would increase that number from garage sales and flea markets, but no acquisition was as sweet as those first few.
Getting home and helping unpack the groceries was torture, but when I was through, it was Trek Time! I would make myself a sandwich, pour myself a drink with lots of ice and plop down on the couch and immerse myself in an episode of one of the greatest TV series ever made. That sort of happiness is great at most prices, but it was a real steal at $1.88.
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