My tire is flat. Let me rephrase that. My tire is flat again. I have a slow leak in my back right tire on my new (to me) car. That means that for a week everything will be fine, and then I’ll park on a somewhat different angle and my tire takes a nap. But that’s all irrelevant. I generally just swing by the local Hess station and fill ‘er up when she’s feeling a little down. After two weeks of snow and sickness kept me holed up in my apartment my tire resembled …well… a flat tire. Too flat to take to drive on more than a couple feet – which makes it rather useless. I rarely drive less than 100 feet at a time. So I decide it’s time for me to pick up some sort of portable air compressor thingy that will solve my dilemma. In just a couple more sentences I will have gotten to my point …I think.
I go to NAPA. NAPA, in case you don’t know, is an auto-parts store. In Hoboken, NAPA is in a relatively small storefront – minus the garage and storage room it’s about the size of my apartment (the downstairs that is). I look around at the sparse crap they have and finally ask the guy if they carry any air compressors. He shakes his head no. I clarify that it’s for my tire, just in case he thought I wanted to compress air for some other reason – like I wanted to keep some extra in bottles for fear of running out. He continues to shake his head no. Before I trek all the way over to the Pep Boys in Jersey City, I decide to check the Ace hardware store on Washington St (the main street in Hoboken). Sure enough, they have one. So I make my purchase and merrily head home. After a few minutes, the compressor – generating enough noise to drown out 2 jackhammers – gets my tire inflated enough to satisfy my current needs. And as if this story wasn’t long enough, I still haven’t come to a point!
I went to that same NAPA store a few months ago to get jumper cables. They only had one kind. Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you, but you’ve probably never had to jump a car. The standard jumper cables that most people have are approximately as long as the car is wide. That means that it takes twenty minutes maneuvering the live car around the dead one to get the batteries close enough to reach. Those are the cables I am now stuck with. At the hardware store, they not only had 3 different air compressors to choose from, but 5 or 6 different sets of jumper cables. Why does the auto store not carry this selection? Why does the hardware store have more of a selection? Why does Rite Aid carry casserole dishes but no cooling racks? My roommate and I went to the non-Ace hardware store in town and the guy seemed shocked that we were looking for metric bolts! That’s like saying, “Well I only build with screws, so we don’t carry nails.” OK, maybe that’s not the best analogy, but it’s all I got.
I still remember years ago when I went to Radio Shack to get an audio cable for my CD-ROM drive. Of course, they didn’t have any. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but the sales clerk decided to defend this position – “Well, they normally come with the drive.” I really wanted to comment on the fact that my VCR came with all of the necessary resistors yet you morons still sell them to people separately at ridiculous prices. Instead I just left, very frustrated. What do people sell, and why do they sell it? It seems completely random to me, and I never expect to find what I want or need anymore. It’s probably why I have way more pairs of pants than I ever wear.
I’ve been writing this damn post off and on for about 2 hours now, so I will simply conclude with this quote:
“Actually I look like a can of smashed assholes” – Charlie Sheen, The Arrival