A woman was arrested in america for being 10 years late in returning a rented videotape of a monstrously bad movie.
THIS week the news in America reported a major victory for law enforcement – a South Carolina woman was arrested for failing to return a VHS videotape she had rented.
Yep, we can all rest easier knowing that this fiend is behind bars.
Or at least she was. Twenty-seven-year-old Kayla Michelle Finley spent a night in jail for not returning a video that she had rented in 2005! That’s almost ten years of late fees – if the video store she had rented from is actually still in business, which it isn’t.
Even worse for the poor “offender”, she’s in this mess because of her inane desire to watch the movie Monster-In-Law. Remember that one? Nope? You’re not alone.
Starring Jennifer Lopez and Michael Vartan – the latter probably best known as that guy from the TV show Alias who reacted to dialogue, murders, and even explosions by smirking and wrinkling his forehead – the film was largely decried by critics and audiences.
It received a meagre 16% “fresh rating” on Rotten Tomatoes (the website which compiles movie reviews) and generated critical reviews like, “uninspired comedy”, “utterly generic Hollywood mess” and “plays like a really bad sitcom from forty years ago”.
This is the movie she went to jail for. At least in 2005, Finley would have been just 18 and could chalk up her movie choices to her youthful inexperience. Still, it’s Monster-in
Law. Ugh. The hapless movie watcher was released on a US$2,000 (RM6,600) bond. I suppose they didn’t deny bail since Finley probably isn’t an “ongoing threat” to society, because it would be pretty hard for her to repeat her crime. Stealing a videotape? I wouldn’t even know where to steal one from.
Thinking harder about this entire news item makes it even more bizarre. A lot of stars have to align for you to get arrested and jailed for returning a video late – even if it was a decade overdue – and the stars definitely aligned for poor Kayla Michelle Finley.
First, you have to really piss off the owner of the video store bad enough that they actually report a VHS tape stolen to the police. A VHS tape probably costs less than US$10 (RM33), so in the amount of time it takes to file the report, you probably could have made that money back working the counter at a fast food chain. That’s one irate owner.
With an active warrant, you would think it would lead to a person’s arrest sooner rather than later, but it turns out the police in Pickens County really didn’t give high priorty to a missing copy of Monster-In-Law. Instead of knocking her door down with a SWAT team, the police sent certified letters asking the alleged criminal to “turn herself in”; letters Finley says she never received. And the police, rightfully, took no action.
Secondly, with a police force that takes no interest in your crime, you would pretty much have to deliver yourself for arrest, which is what Finley did. She was in the sheriff’s office on “another matter” when the Pickens County Police found an old warrant on her and made the arrest. I guess it was pretty slim “Pickens” for the cops that day (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Getting arrested and facing criminal charges for not returning a VHS copy of Monster-In
Law is just ridiculous. But what’s even more ridiculous is that the police, courts, and justice system in the United States had to dedicate any amount of time to Finley.
Surely, the police have more important targets? Murderers, drug dealers, the architects of the economic collapse of 2008 maybe? I mean, all Finley did was make a copy of
Monster-In-Law disappear – why, that’s practically a public service.
And in this age of wanton social media posting, Finley has become a joke. It doesn’t matter that she claims innocence, that her husband changed jobs, prompting a move and subsequent forgetting of where she put that coveted VHS copy of cinematic gold.
The Internet has been quick to poke fun at this beleaguered woman with one CNN commenter stating, “They should sentence her to time already served. She’ll never get back the two hours she spent watching that movie.”
Of course, Finley allegedly took to social media, voicing her innocence and calling on her Internet critics to “quit judging” and calling the charges “bogus”.
Both of which probably did nothing to help her situation.
My only suggestion to Finley is to push the already ridiculous situation into ridonkulous territory by fighting these charges and claiming the defence of justification; that she had to keep the copy of Monster-In-Law because it was so terrible that bringing it back to the video store posed a risk to the general public.
That’s a trial I’d pay money to see.
Monster-In-Law, starring Jennifer Lopez (right) and Jane Fonda, was panned as a ‘really bad sitcom’. and a woman was recently arrested for returning a rented VHS videotape of this horrible movie 10 years late. Go figure.