Buckle up. Time for more of the same old bullshit.
Do you remember a post I made a few weeks ago about how I went to Victoria to do five errands, and I either failed or struggled to complete each of those errands? One of those errands was buying a vintage home stereo amp from a guy. He had an amp that he said worked great and had no problems. But when I showed up there, none of the lights on it worked. He acted like that wasn’t a big deal but I passed on it because I’m one of those crazy people who actually like the shit I buy to work. He showed me some other units he had for sale but I wasn’t interested in any of them so that was that.
That was weeks ago, maybe a month ago. Fast forward to today, when I found another vintage home stereo amp for sale on usedvictoria that I liked. It turned out to be the same seller so I was a little nervous — I didn’t want to make the drive down there again for another piece of shit that didn’t work. I specifically said to him, “if this unit all works properly, I’ll gladly come get it.” He said yup, it’s all good.
I showed up and got him to hook the unit for me. What do you know, the left channel was totally fucked. All that came out of the speaker on that side was a little ‘brap’ sound every now and then. Perplexed, he said, “it might be that speaker, hang on.” He switched it with another speaker — same problem. He admitted now that he hadn’t thoroughly tested it before, that he just hooked some speakers up and it made sound so he figured it was fine. “Well, huh huh, how embarrassing, that’s twice now for ya, jeez I feel bad about this…” He took the lid off of the unit and found one of the fuses on the circuit board was blown so he replaced it and tried again. It started fine but as soon as he adjusted the treble, a different fuse blew. Now both speakers only made the occasional ‘brap.’ At that point, I left, absolutely fucking furious with this loser, and with myself as well.
The essential details I’ve already recounted are bad enough obviously but there are many other little details that make it much more irritating, and I want to document them. Here they are.
- The seller is a guy is in his late 50’s, short, pot-bellied, poor posture, and he has absolutely no ass to speak of. In fact, it looks like his ass is actually concave, sort of like his butt was amputated. Like this, but far worse.
- The guy’s name is Rod. As in, ‘Hot Rod.’ That’s what I think of when I meet guys named Rod — 50-something yr old losers who retain their retarded elementary school nickname throughout their whole lives because they still think it sounds cool, 50-odd years later. This guy acts just like you’d expect a Rod to, too — old, lame, and sad but still somehow thinks he’s a badass cool dude.
- He worked at a pawn shop for years and acted like this experience made him knowledgeable about all manners of consumer goods, like this makes him a connoisseur of all things. He’s in denial that people who work at pawn shops are white trash shit rats who are just trying to take advantage of the white trash shit rat customers.
- With an air of great pride, he told me that he likes to fix all kinds of old stuff and keep it working indefinitely, like all the old stereos he was selling. But with the first stereo, he couldn’t fix the burnt out lights, and the second stereo, he didn’t even notice one speaker wasn’t working, and when he did notice it, he had a hell of a time just getting the cover off of the unit and said some things that made it apparent he actually had no idea what he was looking at, that burnt out fuses were the one and only thing he could fix. It became evident he doesn’t actually know how to fix old stuff, he just likes to buy cheap old stuff at thrift shops and jack the price up to resell it at a profit. What a benevolent, gracious human being, what an unsung hero.
- Before we realized the second stereo was fucked yesterday, I asked him where he got these things from, because he had lots of them. In typical Rod fashion, he played it super cool and vaguely responded, “oh, you know, here and there. I come across so many, it’s hard to keep track.” But after 10 minutes of unsuccessful fucking around with the unit yesterday, he started talking more just to fill the uncomfortable silence and mentioned that he picked this unit up from a Bibles For Missions thrift store. Why would he not mention that to me in the first place, why be coy about it? Did he think I was going to start following him, picking over the same thrift stores as him and copying his ‘selling busted stereo equipment’ side business?
- Another thing he mentioned to fill the uncomfortable silence while he fumbled with the stereo was that he had a full time job, and just did this on the side for fun and didn’t make much money off of it. He said this as if that was some sort of extenuating factor, like maybe I was expecting too much by wanting these stereos to actually work.
- The first time I met Rod, he showed me his personal stereo, his pride and joy, and told me in his patented ‘cool guy’ voice how loud it got and how many house parties he used it at over the years and how you could hear the music clearly all the way down the street and how the cops came numerous times. Wow, that’s awesome, Rod.
- Both the first time and this time when he was showing me the stereos, he played the same Tragically Hip song. I think it was Blow At High Dough. I fucking hate The Tragically Hip, and I hate that song. Shitty Canadian bar rock with a pretentious “I’m such an artist” twist. Garbage.
- On that note, today while he was fucking around, I saw some terrible CDs lying around. There was a ‘Best of Classic Rock’ compilation (that was its actual name), Big Shiny Tunes 4, and a band or artist I can’t remember now but it was John Mellencamp or The Eagles or some equally bland radio rock. This detail seemed perfectly fitting to me — of course this lame old ex-pawn shop dude named Rod who looks somewhat like a prawn and sells garbage stereo stuff online would own a bunch of CDs in the year 2019 of terrible bands, and compilations of many terrible bands.
That’s my character sketch of Ron. I wish I had a photo of him to post here. Maybe I should go back there just to snap a pic for the blog. Nah, no point. I’m sure everyone who has ever been to a pawn shop can picture the little troll quite clearly now.