Saturday, November 24, 2007

Of Presumption in Consumption

I didn't believe in Black Friday. I thought only lemmings did what the papers say we'll do. So I drove to Circuit City in the early afternoon to buy a computer I picked out weeks ahead, though the significant outlay may render our Christmas commercially skimpy; call it a "Victoria's Secret" Christmas.

When I arrived at Circuit City what did I find but a parking lot full of mad lemmings! I went down a parking aisle; two cars stopped in front of me, three locked in behind me, and we began to wait for some blue hair in a Cadillac to back out of her space. I freaked. "I can't do this!" As soon as could, I extricated myself from that consumer madhouse to breathe freely again on the blessed freeway. I did not go near a store entrance.

Afterwards I said to my sister: "I can't believe that people actually behave the way retailers want them to, like sheep to fodder!" She stared at me as if I were a Kindergartner. Hey, I was never very good with practical reality. Like most fools I assumed others were like me. No. Others were in line at Best Buy by 4 AM.

Later, driving home from the Bay Area, I stopped at the Circuit City in Santa Rosa in the late afternoon. No rush, no hassle, instant service, they had it in stock, I got my $105 rebate--it went like clockwork. Until I got my new Acer Aspire 5520 5912 home--only to discover it had Vista but no Word program! All my former documents were now useless! The ecstasy of my new purchase had been plunged into the agony of its uselessness. Mr. Gates wants $265 for Microsoft Office and I can't spend any more right now. So keep those cards and bootlegs coming.

What's funny is that I did not discover the fact until I was deep into the information transfer protocol. Talk about stupid! Why won't my documents open? Word Pad, which was included, did open them but lost all their formatting. I plead stupid. To buy a computer loaded with Vista but not Word never occurred to this little trout brain of mine. I should have bought a new brain.

Kathleen had also purchased new sheets at a Costco nearby, but while drying them somehow a pen burst and spotted everything, including my stepson's clothes. Now I call him "Dalmation Boy." (Perhaps "spotted dog," that famous greasy English pudding of the O'Brien novels, might suit him better.)

Kathleen also purchased another layer of memory foam to add to our present layer. Unfortunately the increased foam makes us sink towards the middle of the bed even faster--the very thing she sought to prevent. It's simple physics. I weigh 270, she weighs at least 100 lbs. less. I make a deeper hole in the memory foam, she rolls into it. "He who digs a pit will fall into it," wrote Solomon. He should have added: "And his bedmate, too." What a pisser! New sheets stained, new mattress addition worthless, new computer impossible to use.

No matter. There's a super low tide for abalone picking today and Kathleen also wants me to gather wild mushrooms for her pot roast, which I am more than happy to do. To obtain mushrooms for a pot roast is much more tangibly satisfying than fooling with software. And mushrooms are fungible whereas computer files are not.

Another perfect day!

2 kilobunnies,



  1. There's no way of transferring Word from your old computer to the new one?

    Although if there was, I suppose you would have done it... I don't know enough about these things.

    I am fed up with the Christmas rush already, and it's still a week away from Advent. I saw a house with decorations and tinsel on its windows this afternoon. What gets into people?

  2. It's scary. Orwellian automatons. Or consumer tradition? Must we rely on consumer patterns for future traditions? Know that in the U.S. we have trashed Lincoln's birthday and Washington's birthday to make sure they result in three-day weekends. No respect for history, only the bottom line.

  3. Anonymous6:05 AM PST

    black friday, for many folks, has become their very own running of the bulls. my wife loves it. she literally shopped until she dropped. left at four in the morning, came back at 2 in the afternoon and immediately went back to bed having spent plenty.

    as for microsoft word, you could always purchase the student/teacher edition for much less. or perhaps an open source alternative might work for you. for example:

    good luck with your new computer.



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