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Wednesday, 25 July 2012


You might say that my copy of Wanderlust went a-wanderin'.

And by "my copy" I mean the copy I picked up at a Redbox in Van Nuys, California, and returned to a Redbox in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I've long known that you can allegedly return a Redbox rental to "any kiosk," and I decided my business trip to Albuquerque was the perfect time to put that to the test.

Any kiosk? Not just "any kiosk in the greater metropolitan area where you live"? We'll see. 

And what more perfect movie than a movie about the yearning to find yourself through travel?

Wanderlust is not actually so much about that as about finding yourself in a different living scenario, so the title is a bit of a misnomer. But nevertheless.

I watched all but 15 minutes of it on my brief 90-minute flight, sitting comfortable alone on my half of the aisle. (I had no choice but to be alone -- on this tiny American Eagle jet, there was only one seat per row on the left side of the plane.) Then I finished the remaining 15 minutes in my hotel after dinner before striking out to see Ted in the theater.

After Ted -- a screening that was nearly twice nixed by the GPS giving me bad directions -- I survived a dead-battery-in-my-rental-car scare at just after midnight, and returned Wanderlust to a Walgreens whose address I had specifically looked up earlier in order to accomplish this very feat.

Upon inserting the DVD, I thought I had caught Redbox in a lie. It balked at the insertion, claiming I did not have it properly oriented. I thought, "This is how they get out of their 'any kiosk' guarantee. Give you some other error until you finally give up and bring it back home to where you rented it."

But upon my second insertion, in I swear the exact same orientation, it accepted my return with the usual amount of politeness and gratitude. "Hah!" I exclaimed, and got back into my rental car in the desolate Walgreens parking lot.

As for the movies I watched on this business trip, which has not quite ended yet as I sit in the Albuquerque airport, drinking a much-deserved beer after having to delay my return six hours as a result of a very stressful crisis that ultimately got resolved?

I didn't so much care for Ted, but Wanderlust! David Wain, you've finally connected with me.

Happy trails on your way back to Los Angeles, Wanderlust -- or wherever you may find yourself next. 

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