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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snoopy and the Red Box

Stupid fights I have gotten into lately-

A few days ago, trying to return two movies at the local "Red Box" kiosk.( Are you familiar with these yet? They are skinny red vending machines located in front of mc Donalds that dispense DVDs for a dollar a day. The theory is that after you swipe your credit card the machine spits a movie out, which you then easily insert back into the slot the following day-post movie watching. Sounds easy,right?)
I double parked the truck, leaving Ruby inside, and ran over to the red Box to return the two movies we watched a week ago but I continue to forget to return. A woman in her fifties wearing a Snoopy themed hoodie was slowly pecking away at the screen. She glared at me as i tried to inch to the side of her and push my DVDs into the slot as she worked.
"You gotta wait til I'm done." She growled.
"No I don't." I said as I forced the movies into the slot, catching them each time they were spit out at me. Godamn it she's right, I thought.
I hate that.
I stood there next to her as she made her excruciating progress typing in the name of what seemed like twenty or thirty movies, her index finger moving somewhere between the pace of a glacier and a tree sloth.
Poke, then pause, then poking the screen again and again.

I could hear Ruby yelling from the car window behind me.
poke poke Then she stopped completely and sighed. She was doing this to me on purpose.
"You're killing me. Hurry up." I said, moving an inch closer to her. If she's going to torture me I'm going to invade her personal space bubble, I thought. She smelled powdery, like Avon.
"I can take all the time I want!" She yelled." I'm getting my movies and you need to wait Godammit!"
"Do you see my toddler in the car? Can you please just finish what you're doing so I can return these? For christs sake lady."
"I don't have to do a Goddamn thing." she said, and took a long, close look at the display of titles to decide what else she wanted.
Why couldn't she just die already?
Just be the Buddha, I thought. Take this time to meditate. Breathe in, breathe out.
Jesus Christ.
When she finally finished and turned from the machine clutching a fistful of romantic comedies, she gloated at me in triumph.
"Some people just need to learn to wait"
"Some people need to shut up and go back to their retirement home!"
"Go to hell!" she shot back as she walked away.
"I will!" I yelled, not the most clever comeback, but I was frustrated.
Then I spent ten minutes trying to insert two DVDs into the mouth of the evil box. No matter what I did, they were spat back to me. Push in, wait, spit back out.
"MOTHERFUCKER!"yelled Ruby from the still running car.
She was a witch, I thought. This is some kind of Harry Potter bullshit, I thought. The Red Box is just some joke she is playing on the Muggles.
I left, in frustration. Let Jeff deal with this, I thought.
The next day, after he'd already gone to work, I realised that the movies were still in my purse. I loaded Ruby back into the car and headed for mcDonalds. This time I went through the drive thru first so she could occupy herself eating some bleached chicken "nuggets" and french fires.
No one was in front of me this time. With a renewed sense of purpose I pushed the skinny boxes into the mouth of the devil box.
It spit them back out again.
Why? Why is life so easy for other people and I can't get this machine to just take my DVDs back? What is wrong with me?
"Take them!" I yelled as I tried to force them in the slot, each time the machine paused, as if to think it over and smoothly slid them out again.
"I hate you!" I cried.
A young man heard me and came over. He turned one of the movies over and opened the box. There, where there should have been "Tinkerbells Big Adventure" lay our netflicks copy of "The Wire".
I'd put the wrong movie in the box.
Somewhere, from far away, the strains of Snoopy lady's laughter reached my ears as she flew off on her broomstick. I would have to wait until tommorow and come back again.