Growing up, my family dubbed me the Movie Queen. This title, which I proudly wear, came about from the fact that I love movies …. like a lot. My favorite movie when I was a little kid was The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation. I remember curling up on the couch and watching that movie on repeat like it was my job. And when you’re under the age of 10, that pretty much is your job.
I watched it so much so, in fact, that I memorized all the words and would recite them with the characters. My favorite part was when the Care Bears sing to pump themselves up while they go to defeat Dark Heart at the summer camp. I would boisterously sing with them, “CARE A LOT, WE CARE A LOT (insert clapping here!)” I imagine anyone who was a child of the 80s has seen this movie and likely loves it as much as I do. I mean what’s not to love when you have a group of charming Care Bears making an evil boy find that he cares, he really cares.
As I got older, my love of movies carried on. I lived for school breaks when my mom would take us to rent movies at Price Chopper or Blockbuster. Those movies may have been a rip-off at around $5 a pop, but the joy they gave me was insurmountable, and those movies defined my youth.
I can still remember renting Scream when it came out on VHS in 1997. My sisters really wanted to see it and although I was a wee bit scared, I figured, meh, how bad can it be? Turns out, it actually was that bad and that movie literally terrified the crap outta me. But one good thing did come out of that experience, it made me realize that I don’t like scary movies.
Throughout the years, movie rental stores opened and closed all around me (Hollywood Video, anyone), but I like to think that the ones that stayed in business have me to thank. So you can imagine my delight when Redbox kiosks started springing up in my hometown. $1.29 a rental, don’t mind if I do (please note, I love that they already increased their price from the original 99 cents, ah the economy never fails to disappoint).
I pretty much rent a movie (or five) every time I go home. Watching movies relaxes me, or so it did until that fateful day February 17th, 2013. I was home for my mom’s birthday, and we decided to rent a movie to watch after our celebratory dinner.
I strolled up to the kiosk as I always did, with a bounce in my step and a grin from ear to ear. I just love the anticipation of not knowing what magical world I will be in that night …. Narnia with the Pevensie siblings or Hogwarts with HP …. ahhhh the possibilities. What movie would my mom and I be watching that night, why, the Redbox gods would be deciding in a few moments. As the movies starting dancing across the screen, I realized that I had already seen about 75% of them. With limited options, I ended up deciding on Rock of Ages. I have seen the Broadway show multiple times and loved it, so figured, why not see Tom Cruise slip into Stacee Jaxx’s tight leather pants.
But boy was I in for a rude awakening when this popped out of that kiosk o’ delight.
It was so dirty, at first I was hesitant to even take it out. I contemplated just pushing it back in there and hoping the Redbox gods would hear my internal cries and spit out a cleaner version of the case. After a solid minute of reflection, I realized I may have been a bit OCD in my thoughts and I decided I was overreacting, so I grabbed the edges of the case and pulled it out for dear life. But the thought of putting the dirtiness into my Blu-ray player was still plaguing my OCD thoughts.
OCD Thoughts: “Kelly, you can’t do it, that thing is all sorts of nasty! Do you even know what those marks are? I’ll tell you, they’re probably puke, dirt, or spit, or a combination of all of them …. do you really want that in your room?”
Me: “Damn you, OCD thoughts, back off, I am trying really hard to be less cray!”
When I got back into the car I showed my mom the disc:
Me: “Look at how nasty this case is, isn't it so gross!”
Mom: “Eww that's disgusting.”
Me: “I KNOW! I don’t even want to bring it into my room!”
(OCD Thoughts: “Haha, gotcha!”)
Me: “Well I guess I can just take the disc out and leave the case in the kitchen.”
(OCD Thoughts: “Damnit!”)
Mom: “Gross, I don’t even want that thing in my kitchen!”
WHAT! My fears were confirmed! I was not overreacting when I considered not even touching the thing in the first place.
The most ironic part of this whole story is that my mom and I ended up hating the movie and stopped watching it about 30 minutes in. Julianne Hough may be a force in the ballroom but girl can’t sing a note. So I took the disc down to the kitchen where the case was deftly positioned on a napkin so as to not touch anything, and while putting it away, I noticed that the box says “Questions or Problems,” give us a call. I considered calling them and saying “Oh hello, Redbox, or shall I say Dirtybox, not only did I not enjoy Rock of Ages as it is a lackluster take on the amazing Broadway show and Julianne Hough is a terrible singer, I was also not pleased that it looked like someone ran over the case with a garbage truck! It’s called quality control people, you may want to learn to employ it!” My better judgment led me to not make this call.
We returned the movie the next day on my way to the train station. I didn't want to have dirty hands my whole train ride back to the city, so I held the movie with a napkin when I returned it, which made this Redbox experience a bit different from the others. My bounce in my step and grin were gone and this time I strolled into Price Chopper with my head down hoping that no one would notice that I was holding the movie with a napkin. I may or may not have gotten a perplexed and judgmental stare from the cart boy, but hey, I had to do what needed to be done. No way was I going to sit on Amtrak for hours with a dirty Redbox scum hand. I quickly shoved the movie into the slot, threw the napkin and cursed the day that I wanted to see Stacee Jaxx singing Pour Some Sugar on Me. The only thing I wanted to pour was Purell …. all over my body.