January 08, 2007

So, for the REST of Saturday...

Got all cleaned up (though still reeking of gasoline) and decided I'd see if Best Buy could go ahead and install the new CD player we got Ashley for Christmas. Called them up and spoke with someone whom I believe might have had a pulse.


Turns out the earliest they could get to it would be Wednesday. Which means the earliest I could get there was going to be next Saturday. After much more discussion, we arrived at an appointment time of 4:00 p.m.

"Uhhhm, do you, like, have the harness and dash kit already?"


"Uhhm, well, you know, it might be, uhhhhm, good to, like, go ahead maybe, and get that, because you know, we've got, like, a buttload of harnesses and junk, but the dash kits, we only have a few of them, and maybe we'll still have them by Saturday, and I'd hate for you to show up, and, uhhhhh, you know, not have one? But they might still have them."

Hey, give 'em credit for going ahead and letting customers know they're a bunch of screw-ups and that something might go wrong. Because heaven knows how difficult it would be to set aside a harness and dash kit for this customer who's coming in on Saturday to get his stereo installed.

Anyway, I thanked him and told him I'd come get one right then, just to be sure.

Off to Best Buy, where I whisked by the surly greeter leaving a fragrant trail of hydrocarbons behind me. Made my way to car stereos, and found a likely-looking open-mawed kid leaning against a display.

"Hi--I need to pick up a dash kit and wiring harness."

"Uhhhhm, okay. Uhh, go around here?, and, uhhh, then go down to your left?, and then there's a door to your right?"

Sure enough, the door was there. Locked. A BUNCH of people were in there, and all of them looked at the door. One guy was on the phone. He wouldn't look at me. The other guy was jumping around in an animated conversation. He would look, but whenever I tried to motion that I needed something, he would act distracted. Finally, I saw him reaching for his shiny keyring. And then he left. Then he came back. Then he talked to someone. Then he made a move toward the door. Then he left. Then he came back and opened the door and walked away.

I took it I was supposed to come in and possibly stand in line, although "line" was something of an abstract concept. Two swarthy guys in jogging suits had a shopping cart full of stereo equipment, and the guy who'd been on the phone got off long enough to tell them they needed to buy the repair insurance. "IF IT GOES BAD, WE FIX IT!"

They nodded.

The peripatetic guy who'd let me in finally decided I might need something, since I was just standing there looking hopeful. "Yneesuhelp?"

"Yes, I need a dash kit and wiring harness for an Oh-one Ford Focus."


"A Two-thousand-one Ford Focus."

He looked around and called out to some other guy, "HEY!Gethatmanadashkitnharness!"

"What kind of car?"

The gopher looked at me--"An '01 Ford Focus."

Jumpy Guy told him the same thing.

He wandered off, chatting amiably with all the other installer guys who were wandering around. He looked and looked at the stuff on the wall. Finally found a small package and took it down. "Here."

Harness and plug. "I also need the dash kit."

"Dash kit, too?"



"Yes, I needed the dash kit AND the harness."

He wandered back to the wall of plastic parts, and having successfully retrieved the proper thing, finished up his conversation with his buddy before handing me the package. "Here."

Thanks. No, really, thank you for being so indifferent. Makes me feel all warm and tingly.

And then, to go pay, itself another layer of unnecessary frustration as you're herded through a cattle chute, not knowing exactly where to stand or stop or to whom you should take your goods. Two cashiers got finished with their customers at the same time, and both turned around and looked at me. Not with that look that says, "HI! Come check out here!" but with the dull-eyed gaze equivalent to the snowy static on an unused television channel. I made a half step, not sure still of which drone would be quicker, and gave them both a questioning glance to try to determine which was more conscious. "I can take you here."


No, I don't have the Hhvbrhsfk rhelckfj Membership Card. No I don't want one today. "Phone number?" I dutifully gave her my work number. Or someone's work number. Not sure, really.

Paid, and gone. If I can help it, this weekend's installation visit will be the last time I ever go there again.

Home, played with the kitten for a while, rested, and began to notice the creeping soreness in my shoulders already acting up. Stupid car.

I went in and saw Reba and Cat and Oldest off as they went to the cousin's birthday party--it turns out it ran from 6 to 8:30 p.m. rather than being up during the day. When you would expect a birthday party to be. That's what happens when you book it for the Land of Giant Inflatable Bouncy Things (With Added Upchuckabilty) rather than just having it at home.

SO, I finally got around to taking my shower and washing off the gasoline, and afterwards got Boy and Middle Girl to do their hair washing and stuff while I did some laundry and reading.

The girls?

They didn't get back until after 10. Seems after the birthday party, a certain wife of mine decided to go to Target for a few things, then ran into two different sets of people she knew, and had to talk to them.

A lot.

ANYway, so that was the rest of Saturday.


Restful, for once. Although from what I heard on the television, there was a storm sometime during the night. Which was fine--at least the OUTside of the house no longer smelled like a Chevron station.

We loaded up, went to church, made a stop at the grocery store on the way back (to pick up a few small things NOT picked up at Target the night before), got home, and I enjoyed a nice read of the newspaper while Reba fixed lunch. And obviously, since everyone is a mind-reader, we all instantly knew we should go and help fix things. Thank HEAVENS we don't have to be asked for help, and just KNOW when we should be doing it!

ME!? BEING SARCASTIC!? NEVER!! Anyway, about halfway through the Parade magazine, Rebecca came and sat down on the couch, and soon thereafter, I hear cutlery being placed EVER SO DELIBERATELY, with EXTREME PREJUDICE, on the table.

"Uh, Rebecca, is Mom okay?"

She shrugged her shoulders.


WHOP! WHOP! Table knives hit the tabletop.

"Did you help her cook lunch?"

She gave me the sad look and said that she tried but Mom said that no one ever helped and that we shouldn't have to be asked.

Oh, sweet Jiminy Cricket. I was so glad to get home and relax and rest my aching shoulders and bruised back that I had forgotten that someone in the house was doing stuff and would much rather stew silently and feel put out than ever ask anyone for help!!


::sigh even more heavily::

Do I go and try to salvage this? Try to see if there's anything to do?




I got up and walked around the corner just in time to see the last table knife go walloping down onto the table. It all looked very nice, though, and smelled great. I didn't say anything but just started getting ice in the glasses and trying not to make any sudden moves. They can smell fear, you know.

Called the kids down and got them to sit quietly while the final plate was put out, and then we had a very, very quiet lunch. Except for Catherine, who simply can't be put upon to be properly full of remorse and guilt about anything, much less when it's about helping in the kitchen. There was, after all, a video game to be played while all that stuff was going on. "LOOK!! MY PORK CHOP BONE LOOKS LIKE A 'Y'! Or maybe an R. A little r. MAMA? Is this fat? Should I cut this off? WHAT'S IN THIS BREAD!? It's hot!"


"IT'S HOT! Do we have anymore?"

On and on. After a sufficient amount of compliments about the high quality and delicious nature of the foods from all parties, Mama seemed to be a bit less put out, and to make it better, the boys got all the dishes unloaded from the dishwasher and the dirty plates put back in, and got the machine running again, and cleaned up the gigantic mess that was left on the range top. Not that there are any messy cooks in our house, and not that she doesn't clean up after herself. I would never say such a thing. I'm sure the grime that builds up after spattering grease everywhere by cooking pork chops in a skillet without using a lid is probably the result of someone else in the house. In fact, it's probably me. Yeah, that's it. I'm probably the one who did it, and just can't remember it. So it's only right that I clean it up. Not that I'm stewing silently--I have absolutely no desire to be a martyr and not ask for help. That bottle of cleaner under the cabinet? I had someone get me that! And a paper towel, too!

Anyway, harmony was restored, and the remaining clothes were hung up, and Miss Reba even decided to come sit with me on the couch.

Where I soon dropped off into an uncomfortable drooling slumber.

Time later to get up and go to church, did that, came back toward home, and I made what I thought was a very wise decision. We ate out--just to keep anyone from having to fix anything.

SO, thus ends another weekend, full of potential disaster narrowly averted!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 8, 2007 02:47 PM

Well, I just had gotten to the point of thinking I should resort to Best Buy for a new stereo for the stolen&recovered Intrepid, since there's a distinct lack of interest on the part of the insurance c0mpany for finishing up the repair list (and Kathie's getting quite impatient at having no CD player). Guess I should look elsewhere.

[had to edit the comment so it didn't look like spam]

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at January 8, 2007 03:12 PM

Well, as with everything, your mileage may vary.

Possibly, in your neck of the woods there is some sort of parallel-universe Best Buy where the salespeople are friendly, knowledgeable, alert, helpful, neat, clean, and have a more than tenuous grasp of the basic skills of interacting in society.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 8, 2007 03:38 PM

I'm pretty certain one of Dantes' Circles of Hell is actually a Best Buy. Or any Best Buy. There is nothing in that store that I can't buy for the same $$ and far less aggravation at Circuit City. Or Radio Shack or Wal-Mart or Office Max or Sears or Office Depot or CompUSA.

Posted by: Nate at January 8, 2007 03:51 PM

I blame myself. This one is just on the other hill from my house, and they do installation. The only other one on your list that does is Circuit City, but I would have had to drive a few miles away to get the radio, and then would have had to go back to get it put in.


Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 8, 2007 04:02 PM

It's bad enough when you get PA behavior out side your house, it's even more hurtful coming from those that love you. BTW I've never found any of the simians at any car audio store to have much of a clue. I think the bass they love drive out the ability to act in a sentinent fashion.

Posted by: Chef Tony at January 8, 2007 05:21 PM

Sir? Mr. Possum? Stupid question from the rear?

If you can take out an entire gas tank (and get it back in the right place, working), why are you depending on the Neanderthals at BB to install a car stereo? Your mad moronskillz don't apply to audio work?

Posted by: skinnydan at January 9, 2007 07:36 AM

That is correct. I generally understand mechanical things, but electrical circuits give me fits. This is why the taillights on the Volvo are still giving me fits.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 9, 2007 07:57 AM

And also why I haven't fixed the lights on my dashboard.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 9, 2007 07:57 AM

I blame the bobby pin I stuck in the outlet when I was a small child.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 9, 2007 07:58 AM

I might try high end first: http://www.tweeterm0bile.com/company/store_locations.aspx.

We've got a couple of these near us, and they're OK to deal with.

[if you actually want to use the link, change the zero back to an 'o']

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at January 9, 2007 09:58 AM