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Searching For Fosse in Middle American
by Yves L'attrappe

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My next stop was Elliot's Gas Station and Video Mart. I wanted to know if the Video store carried anything in the way of musicals and Bob Fosse. Fumbling around through the old films, I came across copies of Anne of Green Gables and Carnal Knowledge. These certainly weren't what I had in mind for the evening. So I went up to the video counter to ask about Fosse films. At the desk was a short guy of about nineteen years who was watching one of Adam Sandler's great flicks and shooting rubber bands at a nail on the wall.

"Are you busy?", I asked. He asked me what I needed in a newly acquired manner somewhere between "I want to serve you" and "I've already gotten a verbal warning from my boss about being rude to customers". I asked him if he had All that Jazz. He gave me the look you get when you call a dog by its name. I told him it was a musical. He said that if they had it, it would be over in the musicals section, over in the corner.

It was a dim and unearthly corner, seemingly untouched for years. A layer of dust thicker than a Victorian Novel plot had accumulated on the racks, and cobwebs garnished choice areas. The boxes had changed to a faded green-grey color characteristic of neglected rental videos and mountain lakes. On the top rack were copies of Hello Dolly, Yentl, A Hard Day's Night, and La Bamba. I found Cabaret, and resigned myself to the video. I stepped out of the void and decided to peruse the comedies. I picked up Clue, and then noticed that there was something underneath Airplane. Upon closer investigation, I discovered a bootleg copy of the Liza With a 'Z' television special and snatched it up. Now I am very fond of what Fosse's output, but I am not fond of Liza Minelli, even in her good days. Be that as it may, I was standing in the middle of a small town video store with two Liza Minelli videos in my hands. To top that, I was actually treasuring these as though they were rare sapphires or rubies -- first edition Batman comic books or Marlene Dietrich's garter-- and not the pebbles they were. So I paid for the three videos and walked to the cabin...

To be continued...

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