Monday, October 19, 2009

The Power of a Dollar

I know it's humor/humour week, and while this was a sad and frustrating experience, I share it with you in the hopes that someone may be able to find some glimmer of joy in the face of my misfortune...

On Friday night we rented a couple of movies from RedBox. For those who are unaware, it's an automatic DVD rental system. The deal is that you pay a dollar a day for the movie, and you get to keep it until 9pm.

My initial experience with RedBox some years ago was pretty bad, but I've lightened up recently, mostly due to the fact that it's one of the few options left for people who like to rent movies.

Anyway, so Friday night, among a couple of other movies, we rented the Eddie Murphy movie - Imagine That.

Friday night, while the wife and I started watching our movie, the kids started watching this one. Kid #4 however didn't want to share a couch with Kid #3, who then irritated Kid #1, so he threw a fit, which upset Kid #2, who started to cry and throw a fit, and yada, yada, yada, I ended up shutting it all down and sending them to bed.

Saturday we didn't get home until close to midnight - me and wifey had a wee date to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and Sunday, it just didn't happen either.

So tonight, being Monday, I declared to be FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT. It started off rough. I ended up on a quick bike ride with my gym buddy, and then there was dinner, topped off with apple pie (part of the reason we missed the movie last night).

Finally at about 7pm we got things rolling. A couple of interruptions here and there, and by the time it was 8:50pm it looked like things were about to wrap up. I waited by the DVD Player with my shoes on, and car keys at the ready.

8:56pm the movie finished and as the credits started rolling, I hit eject, grabbed the disc and snapped it into the case I was holding open at the ready, and proceeded to fly downstairs, into my car and off to the Gas Station, which has a RedBox system in front of it.

8:58pm, I pulled up in front of the machine, left it running, lights on and all and ran over to the machine.

RebBox uses a touch screen to control the system. I should also point out that it was raining pretty hard, and I can now state with fair certainty that touch screens do not work when wet!

I tried drying the screen with my sleeve - which is still wet as I type, but to no avail.

Realizing I was up a creek, with less than a minute to go, I ran back to the car, slid out of the parking lot (Literally) and gunned the engine to fly over to Walmart. In case you were wondering, I drive a 95 Geo Prizm, with a 1.8 liter engine. And that little engine was squealing with all 23.3 horsepower it has.

8:59, I arrive in the Walmart parking lot, courtesy of a light which turned green right when I needed it to.

Now having to lock the doors, I lost valuable seconds, but then ran as fast as I could into the store, narrowly missing being hit by a car, and completely soaking my shoes as I ran through the big puddle in front of the store.

I flew by the Walmart greeter, "Hi, Howzit going!" and whilst trying not to slip on the floor, sprinted like Usain Bolt for the RedBox machine.

And as luck would have it, someone was there first.

Lets see, should I get this movie? Let me read the synopsis... Hmmmm... No let's look at the next page.... Oh, that one looks good... Is there someone breathing heavily behind me?

He turns and looks at me, gives me a crusty and returns to what he is doing....

Let's see, perhaps I could try searching by Genre... Oh let's look at this video... ooops, clicked the wrong one, better go back... Ooops back to far... Now, how did I get to that one again...

I'm torn... Part of me wants to strangle the guy.. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!!! MAKE A DECISION ALREADY!!! And the rest of me, is slowly accepting the fact that I'm going to have to pay another dollar ( plus tax ) for the privilege of standing here, while Mr. I Can't decide what movie to get MAKES UP HIS FREAKING MIND!!!!

Finally I think he picks a movie, slowly reaches for his wallet, scans his card and completes his transaction.

I return my movie at 9:03pm. Slowly walking out of Walmart, wishing the greeter a good night. Slowly jog through the ran, not even bothering to avoid the puddle, and commence my drive of shame home...

All because I was trying to save a lousy dollar, which apparently lost even more value on the world market today...

On the plus side, I would recommend Imagine That. Eddie Murphy does a great job, and it really makes you think about your priorities, but in a good way! I need to get me some princesses!!


  1. Right, you've made me laugh out loud, which was needed.
    As for your Dollar, I'm deeply shamed to say I'm loving its freefall, I've been going apepoo over at with my mighty Aussie $$!

  2. Also, we saw that Eddie Murphy, on the plane coming home. Ummm, not my favourite.

  3. I was going to suggest that perhaps I could send you my money and you could do my purchasing for me, but the I realized the fatal flaw in my plan...


  4. Isn't it amazing what we'll do to save a dollar? Have you ever caught yourself putting in exactly the amount of money you think you might need in the meter, and not one dime more? I always do that then think, ok, so I'm saving a quarter, and if I get a parking ticket it's FIFTY-FIVE BUCKS! Ah-hem. In goes the quarter.

  5. I wish I had your wisdom E. Although fortunately the ticket I got was only for $35...

    And Mouse - I just figured out what apepoo is!! I was reading it as a-pep-poo... Figured it was some funky french word for a spending spree.

    Now I just feel like a dumb ape!!

  6. e, don't you realize that's exactly what they want you to do:)

    Koda, great story! I feel your pain. I do this all the time. I swear, if another company came out with a DVD vending machine that had a separate module for return, which could be used simultaneously with the dispensing side, I'd ditch Red Box for good!

    We rented Imagine That last weekend too (difference is, we still have it..crap..see, that's the brilliance of Red Box. You think you'll pay a buck, you end up paying 5). By the way, did you recognize Lowell from Wings in that movie?

    I may be wrong, but I think there's grace period on the return time. There have been a number of occasions where I was a couple minutes late and was not charged.

  7. D. Sirmize!! I've missed you around here mate!

    I'm kinda hoping there is a grace period... I didn't enter my email address when we got it out - another interesting story, but I guess I could check the credit card online...

    I thought Lowell did a bang up job as White Feather! My favorite spot was him getting his kid all hopped up on Red Bull!!! I think the Koda Kids kinda liked that one too... Hopefully that doesn't lead to a clandestine raid on my RockStar cache!

  8. Yep, it's a flaw alright, nevermind, it'll bounce back I'm sure.

  9. UK, I was carefully not swearing, so you wouldn't block me ;)

  10. Ms. Mouse... I think you can safely say whatever you want here!

    Mr. Trolls mistake was using the vulgar term in conveying to another commenter feelings of intense dislike. And then he just got plain annoying... taking offense where none was intended and all of that. I just knew if I read... I knew I shouldn't have made a comment on this blog... One more time, that my head could well have exploded, and I'd hate for Mrs Koda to have to clean that up!

  11. excellent thinking there, with that many kiddies I'm sure poor Mrs Koda has more than enough cleaing up to do ;)