Looks like its time to return to the scene of the crime. I had decided to take a day or two off from blogging to kind of catch my breath and somehow that had turned into a ten-day hiatus. Don’t blame me for not being able to count, I went to public school. But, I have decided to return to my daily exercise of inane babbling and histrionic rants. I am sure my absence from the blogosphere has left huge  gaping holes in everyone’s lives because despite what Galileo said, the world does revolve around me. However, I am sure some of you are saying,”What? You were gone? I thought the world felt smarter for a couple of days there.” Yes I am sure that me taking a few days off elicited the same response that the herbivorous dinosaurs had when the last T Rex died off. They noticed the absence but didn’t really miss it. I have one more similarity with the T. Rex. My arms don’t work the way I want them too either.

There are some things that the last couple of days have taught me so here is the “make-up work” version of “the things I have learned”:

We develop a really strange relationship with the computers in our homes. No, it is  not “creepy” strange like the movie “Short Circuit”(No disassemble Stephanie!). Rather, it is just a far more complex relationship than that which we have with most of our other appliances. If we mess up a meal, rarely do we get pissed off at the stove. However, if you are in the middle of , oh I don’t know, say a blog that you having been writing on for a couple of weeks and the damn computer just freezes up and then starts just making a buzzing noise and then it just deletes the whole thing, you feel the need to  let the computer know how much it has disappointed you. I know there has always been the desire to make computers that are capable of free thought and the full range of human emotions, but the reality is that I only want the computer to have one emotion, SHAME. I want it to feel bad for making me waste the past hour by having to type the whole thing over again. Our computers are more than just appliances, they are family. Except, unlike family, we actually enjoy spending time with them.

Well, our computerized family member passed away last week. We had tried to find some sort of Microsoft Hospice to put it in but there are none in our area. So in a solemn ceremony(sniff), I took it our back a la Old Yellar and buried it behind the garage. It was a good computer. I remember when we brought it home from the breeder at Circuit City and let it sleep by the bed and wrapped an alarm clock and put it in its box so it wouldn’t be lonely. I  am sorry, this is just really painful right now, but I will try to carry on. I loved the way it would bring me the online version of the newspaper each morning and when I was down, it would always bring me a funny cat video or one of those special “videos” that that one friend keeps sending me. But we have decided to move  on and get a new computer.If I knew what  hell that shopping for a new computer was, I would have just jumped in that hole with it.

As a rule, I don’t like making big item purchases online. No, I am not scared of getting ripped off. And the fact is that if somebody stole my identity, my FICO score would actually go up a couple of points. No, I just like the hands on approach to obtaining things that are going to be with me for a couple of years. Not to Spammers: The preceding sentence explains why iIcontinue to refuse your offers for a Russian mail order bride, but thanks for the offer anyway.

So off we head on the quest for a new computer. I have been told by friends, and by friends I mean the other people in Rehab, that Wal-mart has some great deals on Computers. Yeah right. I don’t trust the Wal-mart in my neighborhood enough to buy meat there, so dropping a couple of hundred of bucks on one of their crappy computers is a leap of faith that frankly I just can’t make. Besides that, if my local purveyor of cheap plastic crap feels the need to put razor blades in a locked display case, the odds of them actually letting me try out a computer seem to be slim and none and slim just left town.

Since Wal-mart is out of the question, we decide to go to HHGregg. Now I have heard great things about this chain and they have some sort of guaranteed lowest prices so we check it out. First of all, it seems that anytime we devote an entire day to going out and shopping, one thing is assured. It will rain in proportions usually associated with a monsoon and the only available parking place will be  somewhere on the outer ring of Saturn. So lets just say that by time we got to the store that I was in less  than a jovial mood. The guys who worked there looked like they slept in their clothes and apparently did so for several days in a row. When we went to look at the display of computers, I was surprised. I didn’t know that Eastern Europe had that many different brands of computers that were available for purchase in the U.S. I was also less than impressed at the fact that the displayed model was missing two keys and the Sales-bum explained to me that he could knock 10% off the price . Remind me to never buy a puppy from this guy.

When i comes to electronics, the biggest of the big box stores is Best Buy. Therefore, it is with hopeful optimism that we packed up the Family Truckster and headed to the store. The recent economic survey of America has put the unemployment rate at 8.3%. Based on the amount of salespeople that harassed me from the moment I entered the Best Buy, all we need to do is open 3 new Best Buys and that number would be cut in half. This isn’t a store, its a cult where everything is bathed in that creepy neon yellow light. The blue poloed goons wouldn’t even give me enough time to look at the first computer on the aisle without constantly asking if they could help me. I will tell you what would help me, being left the hell alone. And if I was given enough time to actually choose an item, it is impossible to check out of that store. The line starts in one direction then goes around a blind corner through two tunnels and though even more labyrinths of displays and kiosks. The last time I had to find my way through something this confusing, there was a Minotaur at the center of it. So sorry Best Buy but I am going to say Good Bye.

The list of available places from which to select a computer was dwindling faster thnt my bank account. Finally we decided to check out the office supply stores. You know, the stores whose ads you skip every Sunday. Office supply stores are the pathetic friends of the retail world. They have these ridiculous offers like paper for a penny and they have all these confusing rewards programs but the reality is, they are just not exciting enough to hang out with. “Ooo look! Thumbtacks.” They don’t greet you at the door because they are so shocked you actually came in that they are speechless. I normally wouldn’t try this place but I sure that  anyplace that can stock 251 types of ball point pens should be able to sell a decent computer. As we walked in, it caught my eye. There off on the distance like a beacon of hope it stood. It beckoned to me like an oasis does so to a wary desert traveler. It had the combination of the two most beautiful words in the english language. No, not “Krispy” and “Kreme” but rather “on” and “sale”. It was a clearance sale for computers. It was like Christmas and my birthday combined . I selected a delightful little laptop and saved hundreds of dollars. We took it home and immediately set it in a position of honor on the computer desk. The whole family gathered around and smiled in contentment. Once again our family was whole.

Now, if we only knew how to turn it on.


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