Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rated M

Kyle has been buying rated M games from the Hock Shop in town. Not that it does him much good - once I find them I confiscate them, but a boy's gotta try. Worse than that, the Hock Shop has been selling the rated M games to Kyle.
When I asked the manager about their policy regarding the sale of rated M games, she started with, "You mean, like to minors?" (She's not young, there's no excuse.) "Sure, let's go with that." Then follows a long litany of excuses, protestations and evasions that revolve around "trying" and "impressions".
She tried to deny that she had sold any of them to Kyle, that it must have been her staff. Yes, she's the manager, but takes no responsibility. Yet. Then she tried to turn it on me!! "I'm sure that you were here when he bought some of them?" Kyle had the presence of mind to look at his feet and by sheer force of will teleport out of range. "NO. Not ever. I have been with Kyle when he buys these games. I only get dragged into this hellhole store when he wants to sell them," I denied adamantly, unequivocally & uncategorically! They won't allow anyone under 18 to hock anything, but they don't care what they buy apparently.
Desperation sets in and Kim goes for the classic diversion. "It's not just the Hock Shop - my 11 year old son bought an M rated game at WalMart. I couldn't even get his money back." I know - doesn't your heart just bleed for her?
"I guess that's your issue with WalMart. The thing is is that Kyle didn't buy these games at WalMart, he bought them here. And I'm not here asking for any refund - Kyle is bringing these back for whatever you're going to give him for them. My issue is that you are selling rated M games to children."
"We try, but some games are 18+ and some are 17+ ... we try but there's not much we can do." Again, I'm just aching for her itty, bitty problems!!!
I'm all about the helping. "Well, the LCBO cards customers if they don't look 25 as does any store that sells cigarettes. Did you ask Kyle for ID?"
You'd think that the expression "blank slate" initially stemmed from an actual blank slate but you'd be wrong. It came from the look on Kim's face at that very moment.
"You know what - you just don't seem to be understanding my concern and really don't seem to be interested in taking any responsibility here so if you can just give me a card and let me know how I can contact the owner. I'm sure that he'll be more interested given that any criminal repercussions will be directed to him." "Oh, well, we've had meetings and talked about this, and I guess that we could put up a sign or something that says they have to be 17 or 18 and show ID if that would make you feel better. We could put them in all of the Hock Shops." Kim stammers, the effort that she's putting into back-peddling making me sweat!
"Again, this isn't about me Kim. If I could just get the owners name please."
Too little too late sweetheart! And did you catch how all of a sudden she can gets signs put up in all of the Hock Shops? She's got quite some influence all of a sudden.
She brings out a card and says, "If you call the Bayfield store and ask for the owners they'll be able to help you." As if I can be brushed off so easily. Homey don't play dat!!!
I take the card, put my Tom Bihn bag on the counter and find a pen. Then I look up at her and wait for her to stop inputting the games into her computer and look at me. "The owners names?" I ask expectantly.
"Jeff & Al."
I sigh impatiently and write that down. "Last names?" I query, with a tone that implies that I'm speaking to a child or village idiot. Personally I'm leaning towards the latter.
She answers as if she's a POW and I've tortured the location of her troops' base out of her. "Hockley. But that's not Al's last name. If you ask for Jeff Hockley he'll usually get back to you within the day."
"I'm sure that he will," I reply with certainty and a smile.

It occurred to me that maybe this was one of those things that would make sense to the average Joe but was not enforced. À la peanut butter sandwiches!!
Google to my rescue!
Ontario Film Review Board
I wonder is Jeff is aware of the amendments to the Theatres Act made under the recently passed Ministry of Consumer and Business Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2004. I'm sure that he is and that the Hock Shop does have a strict policy regarding selling rated M games to children and that he will have an apologetic and pro-active attitude when I speak to him.
Otherwise, I will have to step it up and contact the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. Apparently the penalties are quite steep. I wonder if they're used often?

And no, Kyle's willpower is insufficient to teleport so I'm quite certain that he's probably sufficiently mortified to stay out of that den of iniquity for a little while. My work here is done.

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