Tuesday, April 08, 2008

So, I finally got around to returning to the library the VHS cassette trapped in my VCR. Returning it still entombed, of course. I hoped maybe it came up enough that the librarians might have some pointers as to how to remove it, but no such luck. Some patrons actually had some useful information as to how the mechanism holding the cassette works, but the gears they indicated we should turn weren't going to budge. The librarian seemed concerned with not damaging my VCR, which as this point I didn't care about. But even handling it a bit rougher, he didn't have any more luck than I at removing it. So he renewed the video for me, sent me home with my VCR, and suggested I try a little more to remove it on my own. So when I got home, I took out a hammer, and tried to pry off the metal cover of the cage holding the cassette, and it popped of with almost no effort. I'd failed in previous attempts, so apparently the combined stress of various attempts finally loosened it enough that it came off without a fight. Continuing to use the claw of a hammer, I then tried to break off the plastic pieces holding the cassette in place, without damaging the cassette itself. I couldn't break the plastic bits off, but I did manage to stretch it just enough that I could work the cassette out of the VCR and to freedom. So a half-hour later, I headed back to the library, returned the cassette (no visible damage, though I wouldn't recommend watching it), and at last my library record was unencumbered.

It did occur to me, driving home, that I should have waited until today to return the cassette. I came in with the cassette stuck in my VCR, no idea what to do; they tinkered with it for awhile and sent me on my way. A half-hour later, the tape is free. That sounds suspicious, as though I had some sort of electronic Munchausen by Proxy, getting things stuck in my VCR only so I can remove them and be hailed a hero. So hopefully my library record has not been flagged for deviancy. In any event, I don't think I'll be checking out any more VHS cassettes, no point tempting fate.

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