Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Why Can’t I Download Some Appliance Repair?

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The deterioration of our domicile and its contents continues. For weeks now, my wife and I have wondered aloud which system or appliance would fail next. Today the answer arrived: our stereo.

This has precedent, naturally. The reason we acquired this unit in the first place was its predecessor’s utter malfunction (as distinct from a screwed-up dairy cow, which would have udder malfunction)(you just know I’m going to milk this one for all it’s worth)(my wife, looking over my shoulder at this crucial moment in the proceedings, just wants to cream me for that one)(puns make her blood curdle)(I can’t continue this for too long; we know who the big cheese is in this house)(really, this digression merely serves to give my ideas time to ferment)(are you feta pwith this yet?), starting from the cassette decks and eventually extending to the CD trays. We searched high and low for a system that took cassettes. This was about seven years ago, and all the stores were pushing the mp3 format. We, who had accumulated several decades’ worth of taped music, remain loath even now to abandon those cherished cassettes. And now we have no illusions that we’ll find anything at all with tape decks in any electronics store. Antique shops, perhaps, but that’s for a different demographic: wealthy, with spare time to browse. Any browsing we do occurs in the cookie aisle. As it happens, antique shops have no cookie aisle (if they did they’d call them “biscuits”).

Perhaps the time has come to transfer the select elements of our collection to another format and be done with it. Some tapes have doubtless deteriorated in all this time. We’d just have to decide what stays and what goes. But from what little research we’ve done, it ain’t cheap. I know I’d love to hold on to those Vivaldi bassoon concertos; that Def Leppard mix, not so much (come to think of it, I haven’t seen that tape in more than fifteen years. Hmm.).

Alternatively, we could just trash everything and pay for downloads of the stuff we really want to keep. The quality would be better anyway. Either way, though, we’d clear a good bit of space in the media cabinet that we could then use for the kids’ toys, which seem to take up more and more space every week, even though we seldom buy a thing in that category. How does that happen? Do the stuffed animals reproduce? Do the things we discard sneak back out of the trash? Actually, I believe that not only do they sneak back out, they trade places with things we do need, such as that missing boot. And those oven mitts.

Of course we could try to get the damn thing fixed. But I suspect that, given our previous unit’s performance, the repair would last only so long, and suck up money that we’d inevitably spend on a replacement.

Next you’re going to tell me that stereo systems are obsolete; the newest thing is to have all the music you want directly implanted in your brain. Thanks, but I have enough trouble keeping old TV commercials from cluttering up my mental processes. I don’t need Rod Stewart in there, too: “Oh, the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum…”

Or is it “river”? Why don’t you go check it out? In the meantime, where the ocean meets the sky, I’ll be sailing.

Check that: I’ll be here with the scouring pads, trying to rid my brain of that scourge.


Written by Thag

August 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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