Monday, May 29, 2006

Conversation Over

The other day this guy came into the shop in need of an air filter and a battery. He said he had purchased his scooter from a used car dealership down the street, and within a few days the battery had failed and he had also discovered that there was no air filter. The dealer had told him to come to our store to get one.

No problem right? Wrong. We don't service gray-market brands. I politely explained to him that the reason for this policy is that the companies involved in manufacturing and importing those scooters do not have proper product liability insurance, nor parts and warranty support. Quite simply, if the scooter spontaneously combusts, we don't want to be named in any lawsuit.
"I'm sorry, but you will have to take it to the place where you bought it for any parts or repairs," I said.

The guy was a little ticked off, but not at me. He was mad at the place he bought it from. They had told him that we would take care of any problem he had, and that we had parts in stock for his machine. This is not the case. While he was on his way to yell at the used car dealer he bought the scooter from, I decided to call them on the phone. Here's how it went:

"Hello, __Auto Sales"
"Hello, this is Dave calling from The Scooter Lounge. You just sent someone up here for an air filter and I . . ."
"We've never sent anyone up there. We handle all our own parts and repairs."
"Thats funny because I get calls almost every day from people asking us to work on your scooters"
"No you don't because we never send anyone up to you guys."
"Well then I don't know how to explain all the calls we get, but that's beside the point. You would remember this guy. He's a big guy with tattoos and piercings. You sent him up here for an air filter and a battery."
"Oh, maybe G.T. sent him."
LONG PAUSE
"Yeah. We sent him because we don't stock those parts."
"Well I was just calling to let you know that we don't support gray market scooters. So don't send your customers here for parts or service."
"You wouldn't even sell them an air filter?"
"You act as if it's wrong of me not to stock an air filter for your customer. But YOU don't stock an air filter for YOUR customer."
"Well I just figured you would have it."
"If you drive a Ford do you expect the Chevy dealer to have your parts?"
"No, but I expect another Ford dealer to have them."

I began to stammer a reply, but I was so baffled by her level of ignorance I didn't know where to begin.
Just then, a male voice came on the line and said, "Conversation Over!" and the line went dead. It was apparent the boss had been listening the whole time, but was too much of a wuss to actually talk to me, so he let me politely talk his secretary into a corner. Her implication that the Junk they sell is the same as what we sell betrays the common belief that all scooters are created equal. I don't think there are very many people around who would say the same about cars, but for some reason there are a lot of idiots when it comes to scooters.

Here's the deal folks: If you wouldn't buy a car made by company you had never heard of, if you would think twice before buying that car if the price were half as much as a comparable Honda or Toyota, If a red flag would go up if the car were being sold by a florist or a beauty parlor, then the same rules should apply to a motorcycle or scooter. We are talking about Motor Vehicles. Be smart, Be safe. Don't get behind the wheel or handlebars of a dangerous machine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It is El Warmo in here. I have to put up the window AC units soon. It's nearly midnight and i'm sitting in my living room mopping sweat from my face. My allergies are kicking in too. I could really use that seminar.

(If you don't catch the Rubin and Ed references above you really need to see it. Let me know and I'll lend you a copy.)

Today Richard Guhn came back. Actually he came back on Saturday, and Monday, and Tuesday, and again today. We will probably see him tomorrow. It took him three days to wash the windows. I'm afraid he's officially back.

He asked me if I am the devil again. He said that in the past several months he worked for some lady who turned out to be the devil and so he had to come back to Utah. I asked him if he would leave and never come back if I was the devil and he said "probably". So I have the basis of a plan. The problem is, how do I inform him that I am Satan himself without coming off like a total jerk? Or worse, what if he goes nuts and stabs me in the eye or something? You never know with the homeless. You just never know.

He insists on talking to all the customers. He tells them the most outlandish things. You don't have to talk to the guy for more than 15 seconds to know he's insane.

Today he told a customer that he wrote a book in 1981 that predicted an increase in the price of diesel fuel relative to the price of gasoline due to an increase in diesel powered passenger vehicles. Don't bother looking for it on Amazon. Trust me. It isn't there.

I think that our problem is rooted in our proximity to the bus stop. All sorts of wierdos wander over from the bus stop. What is it about wierdos and the bus? It's like riding the bus is a prerequisite to being eccentric. It's true. Maybe you could extrapolate from that, and say that the vehicle you drive has a direct relationship with your mental health. Hmmm. . .

I drive a 1963 Ford Galaxie. It's kind-of the ultimate "Googie" car. (Thanks for the education on Googie, Carina. Now I know the name of the style I like so much.) Anyway, what does that say about me? Or what does riding scooters say about me?
Am I just a few steps from riding the bus? Am I likely to have a psychotic break and handcuff myself to the monorail at Disneyland? Could be. I just pulled that monorail thing off the top of my head. What does that say about me? Maybe I am the biggest wierdo of them all.

I used to wonder if everything and everyone in the world were just an elaborate put-on that God was using to test me. Kind of like Jim Carrey in the Truman Show, but I thought of it first. As a child I was pretty convinced it was true, but I just knew that if I asked someone God would step in and say, "Okay, show's over. You blew it." So I never asked anyone, and went on with the show. I should have cashed in my chips before the stakes got so high.

Is it all just staged?

Are you the devil or one of his minions?


By the way, remind me to tell you the "conversation over" story. It was pretty funny.

Friday, May 05, 2006

LOL

I hate instant message abbreviations. The one I hate the most is LOL. For those of you who don't know (as if anyone is reading this anyway), LOL stands for Laugh Out Loud.

I don't need someone to tell me when to laugh, or how to laugh for that matter. If something you said is funny, it's funny. If it's not, well it certainly doesn't help to insert an acronym. Was there ever an acronym that was humorous? I have an acronym for all you LOL users: FU

How about instead of using the pre-recorded laugh track on stupid sitcoms like Will and Grace, they just flash the caption LOL on the screen whenever they make a joke. That would be great. I can see it now:
Grace: "Oh Will, I love you but you're gay!"
Jack: "Oh Will, I love you butt too!"
LO freaking L

LOL is like the pre-recorded laugh track for the internet.

Seriously, don't LOL anymore. You aren't funny, and you are making yourself look bad. "I'm going to the mall LOL, and then I'm going to talk on my cell phone LOL about my new shoes LOL and my LOL hairstyle!"

But one internet word that hasn't made it into the popular lexicon is dotcom-- at least not in the way I envision it. Proper usage follows: "People who use LOL are so lame. They are lame.com."
Even dotedu and dotorg could be used. "How was your date?" "he was totally dorky. dot edu" or "she's kind of a hippie dot org."

I'm feeling really surly tonight. I spent the entire day at a wedding though so cut me some slack. I had to wear a tie all day. Do you know what ties do to fatheads like me? That's right, Splitting Headache. You might as well put a noose around my neck as to make me wear a tie all day.

Adding insult to injury, I had to wear a tuxedo at the reception. Yeah I looked like a million bucks, but something about formal wear gives me really terrible gas. I swear it's the truth. Ask any of my prom dates.

The whole wedding experience needs an overhaul. Here's what I propose: Make a list of all the people you would normally invite and send them each a bill for fifty bucks. If you like them a lot, throw in a kick in the crotch for good measure. Then get Mom and Dad on both sides to write you a huge check for the amount a reception and the associated festivities would have cost. Then after the honeymoon send each person a piece of cake with a half-inch of crisco frosting on the outside and youv'e got yourself the same experience with half the hassle and twice the loot.

Seriously, I would pay you not to rent me a tux and not to invite me to your wedding. It's like double coupon day. You save the expense of the tux rental, and I give you a bonus on top. That's a solid deal. LOL