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RAB MCNEIL: I’m in awe of my DVD collection – whole worlds between the covers

It amazes Rab how much many different worlds his DVD collection holds.
It amazes Rab how much many different worlds his DVD collection holds.

Do you know what amazes me? Reader’s tired voice: “Everything, Rab. You’re in awe of everything. You’re like a big bairn, wandering aboot with its mooth open, just wonder-struck by everything you encounter, ken?”

Well, I wouldn’t have put it quite like that. But you have a point. However, I don’t want to talk about everything, as that would take up a lot of space and I don’t want you banging your heid on the page.

No, its just one phenomenon I want to discuss this week. In a surprise development, it’s a bit daft. But here it is anyway. It’s my collection of DVDs. It’s the fact that whole worlds lie within each of these cases, and wildly different worlds at that.

Different worlds just waiting to be brought into existence by me at the press of a remote (well, several presses, not to mention a search party to find the remote in the first place)

They’re all in there, sitting on the shelves of a heavy, dark wooden bookcase, right next to where I sit: all these vastly different worlds just waiting to be brought into existence by me at the press of a remote (well, several presses, not to mention a search party to find the remote in the first place; what is it about down the side of a seat that they love so much?).

There’s the Wild West, for a start, and various wars, turn of the century Sweden, the 24th century, ooter space, ancient Egypt, the Yorkshire Dales, Middle Earth, Dickensian England, American trailer parks (My Name is Earl), the Old Bailey (Rumpole!), Narnia, Arendelle and, of course, The Twilight Zone (all together now: doo-doo doo-doo).

Never cared for Westerns when I was a boy: not enough spaceships.

You can be at the helm of the Starship Enterprise one minute and changing gears on a Roman chariot the next. As for Westerns, you may think these an acquired taste. I certainly did. Never cared for them when I was a boy: not enough spaceships.

Later, when I was in my forties and still desperately looking for instructions on how an honourable man ought to behave, I started watching them, John Wayne and everything. Basically, I learned that you just shoot everything, call everybody Jake, and walk as if you’ve no particular place to go and need to be there right away.

However, Westerns evolved. Clint Eastwood brought us spaghetti versions and, soon, we were squinting at folk, while our spurs clinked on the floor of the shopping mall. I may haven’t taken it too far with the poncho.

Well, I told you this was going to be a bit daft, pardner

I’m also a huge Robert Duvall fan, and count Broken Trail and Open Range as among, like, my favourite films ever. Same goes for Apaloosa and 3:10 to Yuma (with Russell Crowe).

They’re emotionally involving tales that also take us to a different time and place when life really was lived on the edge (and not so long ago either). These various lives and tales are sitting dormant right next to me as I write, just waiting for me to bring them to life again.

Well, I told you this was going to be a bit daft, pardner. But maybe you ken what I mean. If so, let’s saddle up and head to ooter space together. We’ll go via Narnia, take in a case at the Old Bailey and get into a wrestling match with a lion at the Colosseum. Awesome

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