Well, over the weekend, during a visit with my mother on the other side of town, we started watching Gone with the Wind on VHS. I know, I know...you are thinking, "What? VHS? Really?" She has owned it for forever; though, and refuses to buy DVD versions of movies she already owns. Anyway, I somehow had neglected to watch the movie until now, and was really looking forward to it, as I am a huge enthusiast of the old classics (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wizard of Oz, The Blue Bird, and Fiddler on the Roof are a couple of my old favorites).
Unfortunately, as we got about three-fourths of the way through the movie, I noticed that it was about 8:15 p.m. and we had to stop the movie, as it was getting late and I needed to get home in time for my husband to leave for work. My mom asked if I wanted to take her VHS tape home and finish watching it, but I told her that since we don't have a working VHS player (courtesy of our dear little Logi monster - he broke it a few months ago by shoving random crap into the tape slot. He jammed it so badly that you can't even insert a VHS tape anymore. <<sigh>>), I would just finish watching it next week when we come back for our weekly visit. She then offered to let me borrow her extra VHS/DVD combo player that she keeps in the play room for the grandkids. She knew that I had really gotten into the film and was anxious to see how it ended, and since she was so willing to be so accommodating (hehe), I accepted her offer and took the VHS tapes and the player home with me.
So, that brings me to this morning. I got up pretty early and the babies were still asleep, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to finish the movie. A few minutes in; however, Little Mister (my two-year-old son) woke up and came out into the living room with me...not a big deal, right? He could just sit on my lap and watch it with me. Ha! After a few minutes, he started whining that he wanted something to eat, so I stopped the movie and went into the kitchen to make us a quick fruit smoothie to share for breakfast. Not five minutes into my preparations, I heard this loud whirring sound coming from the living room. My first thought was, "What in the heck did that kid do now?" Sure enough, in the few minutes that I had left him to his own devices, he had managed to get his hands on a DVD and then proceeded to stick it into the tape slot of the VHS player while the tape was still engaged in the machine.
I quickly slid my fingers into the tape slot and grabbed hold of the DVD, then carefully removed it, trying to avoid causing any further damage to the DVD or tape player. I hoped that once the DVD was removed, the player would continue functioning properly and I'd be able to continue watching the movie...and then it would be a beautiful, sunny day with puppy dogs, butterflies, and rainbows. Yeah...it is never that easy. The stinkin' VHS player powered off and I couldn't get the VHS tape to even eject. I tried turning the power back on, but the machine just made a low whirring sound and turned off again within seconds. I tried shining a flash light in through the slot opening to see what was happening, but all I could see was that the tape was stuck with the film flap open. I went ahead and unscrewed the top cover of the player to get a better look at what was going on inside, and this is what I saw:
I don't know if you can tell from the picture or not, but the VHS film was still actively engaged in the machine so I couldn't eject the tape, but when I'd turn the darn machine on, it would just make that soft, whirring sound and shut itself off again. It wouldn't stay on long enough for me to push the eject button.
I tried calling my dad to see if he coud talk me through a quick solution (there seriously is nothing that he can't fix), but he wasn't answering either of his phones, which just frustrated me further. Not only was I right in the middle of some serious drama in the film and wanted to find out how it ended, but they were my mom's VHS tapes and player, and I didn't want to have to tell her that her precious little "angel" had broken them. haha.
So, I called both of my brothers and finally got ahold of my older brother. He said it sounded like something was jammed but that it was hard for him to know what was wrong since he couldn't see it to assess the damage...great. My husband worked graveyard last night, so I knew he wouldn't be up still for several hours. At that point, I was seriously so frustrated that I wanted to strangle my son. I literally had to muster every ounce of self control NOT to bend him over my knee. Then, he came over to me with his big, beautiful, hazel eyes, and his sweet, innocent smile, and I couldn't help but hug him. It was better than beating him anyway. haha.
After a few minutes, I decided to concede defeat and turned the tv to PBS for my son so I could start cleaning the kitchen to get my mind off of everything (something that needed to get done anyway). A while later, my brother-in-law walked into the living room and we got to talking about what happened. Apparently, we own the movie on DVD and we had it in our DVD case the entire time. Doh! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The whole thing could have been avoided had I just known that one, small detail. The upside to this story; though, is that I got to finish watching the movie after all...even though the ending was UBER lame and I was so disappointed. I found out, though, that there is a sequel, so maybe this isn't entirely a sob story - I'll have to keep you posted. My mom lent me the sequel on VHS too, so maybe if we are able to fix the machine, then I will have a happy ending to this story after all. :)
Anyway, I finally got ahold of my dad (hours later) and he told me that I can bring the player over to his house. He's going to take the player apart and get the tape out for me. So yeah...I am sure that when all is said and done, my mom will get her VHS tapes and player back, and the world will be at peace once again. :)