I don't have a NetFlix membership because I don't watch enough movies to make even the cheapest plan worth it. Not when there's a redbox nearby, anyway. In case you're not familiar with it, redbox is basically a vending machine for movies, usually found in supermarkets and other such places. You pay $1 per night, and you can rent the newest movies, along with a few classics. This is perfect for me, since I probably rent an average of 3 movies per month. To make the deal even sweater, there are often promo codes for free rentals. In fact, for the entire month of March, there is a free rental every Wednesday night (which you may remember, is my date night with C).
"Awesome!" I thought, "Milk comes out on March 10th; C and I can rent it and make delicious turkey burgers."
C called me from the redbox machine; they didn't have Milk. Damnit. We'd both wanted to see the movie for a long time, but hadn't gotten around to seeing it in the theatre. I guess if you're renting on a free rental night, your options are pretty limited, but they didn't really have any of the new releases left at that point. I rattled off a list of acceptable replacements, and we ended up with The Changeling, which was pretty good although really depressing.
One of the great things about redbox is that you can return the movie at any location. So, yesterday after work, I went to the Shaw's downtown. This wasn't where C rented the movie, but it was more convenient than going to the location closer to my apartment. I went up to the machine and pressed the 'return a dvd' button, only to get a message that said "Sorry, this machine is full. Please come back later or go to another location." I was annoyed, but thought I could wait a few minutes until someone rented a movie and then return mine. Unfortunately, no one seemed to be interested in renting a movie -- sure, a few people scrolled through the choices as I eagerly waited nearby to jump in line behind them, but no one rented anything except for the girl who approached the machine when I was in line buying a granola bar, and another dude jumped on the chance to return his movie. I was in the store for over a half hour at that point, when another frustrated customer trying to return a movie started hanging around as well, and I decided to get out of there and go to the location in the town where I live.
After a half hour ride on the subway and another ten minute walk to the grocery store, I finally (and easily) returned the movie there without a problem, picked up a half gallon of milk, and headed home. I was rather irritated, and couldn't stop thinking about how time I had wasted and how stupid it was that the machine could reject my dvd return. Come on! That's crazy. I got home, immediately took out my smelly trash, and did some exercise to calm down.
I was in bed around 11:30 reading my book before I realized that the milk I'd bought earlier had been sitting in my grocery bag on the kitchen table for the last five hours.