Journal - 4 September 2000: Crappy Computer Stores are Awesome

In nature, there exists inverse relationship between the outward appearance of a computer store and the quality of the store itself. Every Best Buy is alike, a shimmering Emerald City of shiny toys, uniformed sales-people, and pre-packaged, direct-from-factory electronics. On the surface, it looks grand. However, you enter to find a twisted universe where a cable that costs a nickel to make has "gold plated" printed on it and thus costs $20. The place looks great, but the store is of low quality. Thus, what does a person do to find an electronics or computer store of impeccable quality? Look for the worst looking hellhole set upon this earth that has a picture of a disk in front, and you've hit the jackpot. How do I know this works? I've done it. Dateline: Fayetteville, Saturday, September 2, 2000.

Work on the beast had stalled due to a lack of hardware. New parts were needed. "We'll just go to Best Buy." That was Greg, a suitemate of mine, driver of the SUV, a junior. "Never! We must find a crappy computer store! The more crappy it is, the better." As you can probably guess, that's me. "Where are we going to find a crappy computer store?" That was J. T., another suitemate; he lacked a working keyboard and would do anything to replace it. I knew what to do; I had done it before. "Just drive." Living in the most powerful nation on earth has many advantages. One of these advantages is the inability to drive for more than half a mile on a large street and not see a crappy computer store. I decided to invoke this ability. After a net distance of about 100 meters, we spotted the perfection. Only one word can be used to describe this computing establishment. It was ghetto. A yellowing sign displayed some inane identifier, "Computers Plus", or some other nonsense. A "closed" sign was proudly hanging on the door, as well as a "We'll be back at:" sign, the kind that had a little red clock one set. This sign was set for two hours before the present. We could make out cases and hardware strewn across the tables. New cutting-edge hardware boxes adorned the walls. A series of computers lined the walls; and that's when we saw them. There were four guys, each looking about 25 years of age, were wearily playing games on the computers. I decided to issue forth the greatest understatement that man has ever known. "Odd." With that out of the way, I knocked on the glass door, peering intently on the possible shopkeepers. One began to saunter over, and I wondered aloud if they actually worked there, or were in the midst of simply robbing the place. What diabolical plan and seized this odd shopkeeper's strange imagination?

To be continued...


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