McGee: Magic box 1, Grant 0

A vacation in Florida a couple of weeks ago gave The Lady of the House and I the opportunity to catch up on watching movies.

Being out-of-towners we rented our DVDs from the red vending machine called "Red Box" inside the Southern Supermarket. We have a few of these contraptions sprinkled around here on the High Plains. The super-duper automated machine displays what DVDs are for rent, you make a choice, slide your credit card through the credit card reader thingy and your DVD pops out.

Returning the DVD became a minor adventure for me.

The morning after we finished watching I walked into the Southern Supermarket, moseyed over to the "Red Box" and stuck my DVD into the slot.

It wouldn't go in.

I pushed it this way and that. I got out my pocket flashlight and examined the slot. It was closed. I stood there, DVD in hand, wondering what to do.

I called the customer service number on the machine. I was cheerfully welcomed to customer service by a recording and put on hold.

I walked around the supermarket, phone to my ear, waiting on hold, when it occurred to me I could go on the Internet with my super-duper 21st century phone and ask my Facebook friends how to return a Red Box DVD.

I posted my problem to The Facebook and within a minute I had an answer: "Instructions are on the screen on the Red Box."

"Oh," I said out loud.

I walked back to the Red Box and looked at the front of the machine.

There was a little square that read "RETURN." I touched it and the return slot opened as if by magic.

"TAA-DAA," I said out loud.

I then turned around to see the checkout clerks and customers staring at me. I smiled and waved.

They didn't know why I was so excited.

At least I hope they didn't.

Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.

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