Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 8/12/2003A nasty case of a Spaniard in the works hits the news, where a Madrid telephone box caught a teenager and wouldn't let them her go for two hours. This is the result of an anti-theft device designed to stop the time-honoured tradition of blocking up the coin return chute with a bit of carrier bag: the idea is that any returned dosh builds up until the blocker-upper returns, removes the bag and cops a shower of gold.

Monday 8/12/2003
A nasty case of a Spaniard in the works hits the news, where a Madrid telephone box caught a teenager and wouldn't let them her go for two hours. This is the result of an anti-theft device designed to stop the time-honoured tradition of blocking up the coin return chute with a bit of carrier bag: the idea is that any returned dosh builds up until the blocker-upper returns, removes the bag and cops a shower of gold. Stick your finger up one of the new improved boxes, however, and the steel jaws of justice clamp down firmly.

As the teenager in question was trying to retrieve a legitimate refund, there clearly needs to be some fine-tuning. Or does there? If you, like me, have spent some time in the distant past watching late night Channel 4 Euro-movies, you will have seen La Cabina, a very unsettling flick that scores very highly in the "I saw this weird movie I can't forget but have no idea what it was called" stakes. In it, a bloke goes into a telephone box, the door sticks and the rest of the movie details his attempts to get attention and get free. In the end, just as a local builder is about to smash his way in, the telephone company arrives. At last! Freedom! But in a twist that can only have been written by someone with deep experience of European telcos, the company hauls box and bloke onto the back of a low-loader and transports the set into the depths of a mountain tunnel where in a shocking denoument the pair of them are deposited as just the latest in a huge pile of kiosks... containing skeletons!

I have no evidence that this was commissioned as a training film for BT's broadband division. But then, none is needed.