Running the rule over my dad’s CD and DVD library

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
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My dad has some inexplicable foibles when it comes to his CD and DVD collection.

Firstly, he will only buy albums and films that have been significantly reduced in price.

If you own a music shop (and I know there’s very few of you left out there) all that’s necessary to coax my dad into buying one of your spinning discs is to slap a £3 sticker on it.

That leads me to dad’s next foible. Very few of his discs ever end up spinning. After the initial surge of adrenalin he gets from bagging a bargain, he is extremely reluctant to remove it from its packaging. Maybe he believes that by keeping his CDs and DVDs in their cellophane they’ll eventually rise in value. Perhaps in 10 years’ time his pristine copy of Ghostbusters 2 will be worth £3.50.

Such is his eye for a bargain that he’s occasionally blinded to other vital aspects of curating a DVD library. Like not buying a film you already own.

Dad’s DVD collection boasts two copies of On The Waterfront. The first copy cost £3 while he incomprehensibly parted with £4 for the second.

I suppose it’s money well spent if a time crops up when my mum and dad both take the notion to watch On The Waterfront, but neither wants to watch it in the same room as their other half. Given that my parents never watch anything in the same room it’s a situation that is more tenable than it sounds.

My dad phoned me a few weeks ago and told me that he’d watched The Boat That Rocked. I had to sit down and take a stiff drink. He’d actually opened one of his DVDs and played it from beginning to end (though I couldn’t guarantee he’d stayed awake for the duration).

The shock was short lived when dad revealed he’d watched it on ITV4. The cellophane on his pink-stickered copy remained untampered with.

On the extremely rare occasions when dad endeavours with great difficulty to unwrap one of his DVDs or CDs the contents are destined never to return to their cases. If you happen to find any of his stray discs, separated indefinitely from their housing, they will undoubtedly be in a very sorry state of repair.

Most of his CDs look like a family of field mice have used the shiny side as a skating rink.

Such is the heavily scratched nature of those chosen few CDs that get opened, their playback quality is severely diminished.

I played one of his CDs in the car last week. It jumped and skipped, speeded up, slowed down and generally left me feeling dizzy and nauseous. Had this CD been played to a record executive 15 years earlier my dad could have been credited with the invention of dubstep.

In terms of the compact discs that my dad buys, he tends to stick to Greatest Hits albums. For me, listening to a ‘Best Of’ album is like eating a burger without a bap or relish - nice and meaty but you know there’s some important bits missing.

Last week I bought the Best of Blur in Sainsbury’s for two quid. I cast my mind back to the CD I got before that - the Best of Elvis Costello in Tesco for £3. I realised I was becoming my dad.

To disprove this hereditary revelation I began taking the cellophane off the Blur CD. The process took six long and frustrating minutes and served only to compound what I’d first suspected.