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Friday, August 5, 2011

Live From Best Buy

This post is coming to you from the service bay at Best Buy, where I am having a new Sirius/XM radio installed in my car.  
There is a totally polite and knowledgable young man doing the installation.  He is short and somewhat slight, has black curly hair, a stud in his lower lip and one in his tongue.  A radio hangs from a lanyard around his neck, and he sports a black button earring in his left lobe. He is wearing drab gray shorts and shirt and black Adidas sport shoes with 3 white stripes on the sides.  His socks are white and short.
I like him.
He wants to know if I like Country Music, and I say “Yes,” so there is popular Country blaring from two speakers mounted on the wall above the racks of parts and gadgets.  It is just loud enough to be good.
I like it. (I like most music).
Now.  To the back story.  Why do I need a new satellite radio?  Fair question.  Let me explain.
I drive a 1997 Lincoln Town Car which was my husband, Clint’s.  I call it The Land Yacht.  It never went many places, mostly just to the Idle Hour Golf and Country Club.  So, when he passed away, it had only 63,000 miles on it, and I hated the Honda Odyssey I was forced to buy because it would accommodate his wheelchair.  It is a long step down from owning a series of GMC Yukons to driving a freaking minivan.  I hated it from the beginning, never could figure out why the front of the car ran off in a curve, making it impossible to judge distances.  I’m rambling.
So, I decided to keep the Lincoln and sell the van.  
Remember that my car is 13 years old.  When I took it to a trusted mechanic to have it evaluated, he beamingly reported that it needed only two things - spark plugs and tires!  The engine is in perfect condition.  (He also wanted to know if I were interested in selling it).  I had the plugs and tires installed and had it painted.  It had stood un-garaged for several years and needed to be shined up.
Engine in good shape notwithstanding, my car has a few little things wrong.  Recently, the washer on the driver’s side door wore out, and the door would not close properly.  So, I went and bought the washers - or whatever they are called - and my step-son fixed the door.  Trouble was, the door was extremely hard to close and open.  Back to AutoZone I went for different size washers, and he put one of them in.  Better.  Just a little difficult to open and close - needed to be broken in.
To the radio.  It clearly was not factory installed.  No XM radio in 1997.  I bought it at Best Buy, and they installed it.  It was mounted onto the windshield with a suction cup device and everything was just wonderful.  Eventually, the suction cup lost it’s suckage, and I bought another mounting device a couple of months ago.  It worked great - for a while.  Then it began losing suction fairly frequently.  I blamed it on these sweltering days of temperatures in the upper 90’s and all the way up to 104º.
So, periodically, I have been forced to re-stick it to the windshield.  The problem got worse but I persevered, determined not to spend any more money on it.  I am in saving mode, like every other regular person in the world.
Two weeks ago, I parked my car at the hospital pharmacy and went inside to pick up a prescription.  I slammed the door hard, as usual, to make sure the latch caught.
Returning to the car, I noticed that the mount had disconnected itself once more from the windshield and that the whole business, radio and all, was dangling down by the door.
Exasperated and hotter than the hinges of hell, I got into the car, cranked it for some air conditioning, reached down and swiped radio and mount toward me.  I leaned out, took the heavy door (Old cars are made out of real metal), and gave it a hefty tug.  No go.  I reached out again and gave it another, more enthusiastic pull.  No go.  
Aside:  My rear end is throbbing from sitting in this hard plastic chair, and the back seat of my car is still lying on the floor.  I still like the kid.
I looked down into the door jamb to see if something were blocking it.  You see where this is going?  There it was, my radio, cracked bigger than hell.  After all, I had slammed it into the door twice.
I took a deep breath and chanted my mantra for dumb accidents: “It’s not cancer.  It’s not child abuse.  It’s not poverty or homelessness.  It’s a fucking thing, just a thing.”
Having adjusted my attitude, I drove off, leaving the radio hanging down beside the door, resigned to the fact that I would have to buy another if I were to continue listening to “Classic Vinyl.”  (So much for saving money).  
A few yards down the street, the radio began to play!  No shit, it started playing.  I pulled into a parking place and went through the drill of remounting it. And it played just fine until day-before-yesterday.  I had all my favorite channels programmed in, so I could play them when I wanted.  The face of the radio, however, looked as though it were on LSD.  It looked kind of cool, as a matter of fact, reminded me of the 70’s.
The new one will not be mounted to the windshield but rather to the dashboard.  By the time I pay for the radio and all the stuff to get it installed where I can’t slam it in the door, and have it programmed so it will read the signal off the satellite instead going through the radio tuner, I will have invested $231.46, compared to the $30.00 or so I would have paid for a new mounting kit.

Yes, Ma’am, Miz cj, you sure know how to pinch those pennies.

(Total time in hard plastic chair: 1 hour, 50 minutes.  I may not be thrifty, but I know how to use my time wisely).
© cj Schlottman
Friday, August 5, 2011


BECKY said...

Oh, CJ! What a story! I'm happy that you got a Sirius radio! I SO want one, myself! When the day comes that I'm driving across the country, peddling my memoir, you can be sure I'll have one then! :)

Amanda said...

I like your prose as much as I like your poems. :)

Must say that reading about your patients has helped me adjust my attitude a little easier lately.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

It's not cancer, it's not child abuse...things to remember when I break a perfectly good item and then have to replace it! LOL...thanks cj!

The Bipolar Diva said...

I loved this post! I also love my sirius radio :)

Daydreamertoo said...

Oh that would've peed me off big time, to slam the door and have that happen. I hope you fall in love with your new radio and it lasts as long as your car does.

bj said...

Thanks for showing us...
XO bj

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

You cracked me up, CJ! "hotter than the hinges of hell" - love it! That the radio was caught in the doorjamb sounds like something that would happen to me. That it actually began playing? HILARIOUS! Nice piece.

injaynesworld said...

Your radio may have been broken, but your attitude is in tip top shape. I love that you still drive your classic Lincoln and now you can cruise the boulevard blaring your tunes again. I really need Sirius because Tea Party radio is all we get here. Hannity, Limbaugh and the like. To hear any sanity you have to listen to NPR. So you just might have inspired me.

Sue said...

I feel like you took us on this journey with you!


PS. Glad you got the new radio. Now that you've had to spring for it, enjoy the dang thing!

phyllis free said...

"...lost its suckage..." Great word, suckage. I may need to use that sometime!