Two days after I thought about it, The Wolf Man came in the mail in a red and white wrapper. I opened it with little fanfare. The DVD slipcase was black and white, with just the basics typed out. I sat down with my son, and he fired up the digital video player. The sound was perfect. So was the picture: not a single blemish. There were special features, including the original movie-house trailer, and four other werewolf movies, all of which could be had at the bump of a fingertip.
The next night, we found ourselves in a Cracker Barrel, a restaurant that deals in comfort food and comfort: On the porch, they sell "adult rockers" (rocking chairs) for $130. In the lobby, they sell country music, resort wear, and DVDs. If you had told the boy hunkered down in the closet with the 8mm projector that one day he would find himself standing in front of a kiosk filled with the complete works of Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Sherlock Holmes, all for five dollars a pop, and that he would walk away without gobbling up every last one, he would have looked at you like you were from The Outer Limits.
As for The Wolf Man: My son was genuinely horrified. He buried his head in his pillow and plugged his ears whenever the wild-eyed man-wolf started tearing at his lapel. The next day, I slid the DVD back into its return envelope and popped it the mail. Once was enough.