Friday, August 29, 2008

The Laptop Quest

Who would've thought that going out to purchase a new laptop could be such an ordeal? Certainly not me. I will try to convey the feverish evening that started out as a simple shopping trip and turned into a complex quest that lasted an entire night.

The best phrase I have come up with to describe situations like the one that took place last night is "fucking schmozzle". It all began innocently enough. While I was at work, I began my initial investigations into the purchase of a shiny new laptop as a present to myself for my birthday. I utilized the interwebs to pick out the model I wanted, wrote down the number and the price. I also took the time to look up a portable hard drive I was interested in, checked out some reviews from cnet and whatnot, and wrote that info down too.

So right after work, I hop in my little black Mitsubishi Spyder convertible and cruise on over to Best Buy. We have 3 of them in Edmonton, and 4 Future Shops, and those are where I generally go to get my electronics. Best Buy had the best price online so it made my choice easy. Once I arrive, I wait and I wait. It's stinkin' busy this night like it hasn't been since the economy started to tank. Ah, shit, I realize, back to school! Everybody and their dog is after the same laptop I am.

After a half hour of waiting and trying to catch the eye of one of the Geeks, I successfully corner one only to find that there are no dv6918se HPs left at this store. Buddy tells me to go over to the west end store; there are 2 left according to their computer inventory but they can't hold one for me so I'd better haul arse. None of the copper-coloured ones that I had initially had my heart set on, mind, but the identical model in with a white carbon-fibre case might still be had if I hurried.

So off I go all the way to the west end and wait 20 minutes this time to talk to a sales guy; none left. Tells me there are none in the entire city because it's a popular model with a good price - 650 bucks, and every college-aged student in the river city area is after one. I pretty much resign myself to the fact that I am probably not going to get a laptop tonight, so I buy my portable hard drive and I decide to head over to BK to get some supper.

On the way to the restaurant is a Future Shop. I decide to stop in, crossing 4 lanes of traffic, blond curls streaming in the breeze, in order to make the exit. It's funny, but once I get it in my mind to spend a specified amount of cash, very little on earth can dissuade me. After 15 minutes of waiting to get a sales person at the second best electronics chain in the city, I find out, nope, not one of the model I want are in stock.

Now by this time, I'm getting pretty used to the look of an electronics store. They're all very much the same, and owing to the fact that one company owns both Best Buy and their main competitors, they are even more alike. One odd thing that sticks out at me though, is that I'm sure I've seen a certain other customer at every one of my stops. She's wearing a forest-green, printed blouse that makes her stick out in a crowd. I just know she's after the same computer, so dammit, now I even have competition in my quest! For those of you who already know me, it'll come as no big surprise to find out that this knowledge actually hardens my resolve to go home with that laptop.

I can't continue racing around the city, however, on an empty stomach, so I go grab a quick chicken sandwich. Frickin' 660 calories worth, but I'm still under 1400 for the day, so I'm okay to mindlessly splurge on junk food. I do try to pay attention to what I eat, but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Once stoned on high-fructose corn syrup, however, the mind starts to play tricks. Damn, I think to myself, I really should let it go and call it a night. I'm back in the car and about to head home and my sanity returns. What the hell, I'll take a trip up to the last Best Buy in the capital city just to put my mind at ease. I have a habit of giving up at all the wrong moments. Not this time.

The parking lot of the electronics mega-store is surprisingly empty. My heart starts to climb up my throat a teensy bit in anticipation. I walk in, hoping against hope. The quiet fairly echos around me. I stroll down the cavernous aisles towards the giant Geek Squad sign. My heart skips a beat. The young blue-shirted nerds are milling about freely. Where are all the people, I wonder. Have I entered some kind of alternate universe where everything goes my way? I don't even see green-bloused lady.

I get help right away from the most awesome of sales dudes. He knows what I want almost before the words are out of my mouth. I am doubtful at his claims that he has just what I want. He disappears for what seems an eternity before I see him sauntering back, grinning from ear to ear with my white carbon-fibre HP laptop, complete with a 15.4" screen, an Intel dual-core processor, 3 Gigs of RAM and a 250 Gig hard drive. My saviour has arrived. My excitement is is ready to burst. I tell the guy I love him and we high-five right in the middle of the store. He is a ginger, though and so manages to blush profusely while we both grin like idiots.

Ahhhhh. There is nothing like the sweet completion of a successful quest. I pay and skedaddle off to my car with my precious. It takes pride of place in my normally empty passenger seat. I must relive the experience in my mind and gloat just a little.
But damn those college students! Damn them to heLL. They almost thwarted my efforts to get my hands on a new laptop. Alas, they failed...and I won. Neener.

By the time I got home it was 830ish, and by the time I got everything set up with msn and firefox loaded it was 11 PM. Bloody hell. I had to get to bed. What a night. :)

I really wish I could have bought the model with the copper-coloured case, but the white is nice enough, just a bit girly. I luckily had chosen the matching "marshmallow-coloured" SimpleTech 250 Gig portable Hard Drive. My computer is never going to slow down again. And, once I clear the 100 gigs of shit off my old laptop, I'll even get a few bucks back from HP for trading it in. :D

That will just about pay for the photo-radar ticket(s) I will inevitably be getting in the mail in a week or so since I sped all over the metropolis this night.


Diacanu said...

A quest indeed!

I imagined the Final Fantasy victory theme playing at the end! :D

But then..I'm odd. :P

Diacanu said...

Oh, and first post!!!

Tim said...

Zelda, definitely Zelda. Seriously, you got the external hard drive, and the laptop, if you got say, a docking station, well that would be the tri-force...AND Link was blond...

Lee said...

Hello Sharon

I've been here before, but now I can get here from Steve's place as well.


Laurie said...

Oh, great writing, Sharon. This had me enthralled all the way through! I'm jealous now; I'm gonna have to lift my game. Unfortunately the muse is not on my side at the moment; everything I do turns to crap! Nevertheless, writing like this inspires me to keep trying. Thank you!

Philip1978 said...


I think an over the internet high 5 is in order, that was the kind of effort that Athena would be around to pat you on the back for!

Its so hard buying things these days and this is the 21st bloody century for Quetz's sake!

Saying that I got my HP laptop off the net and it arrived the next day :P

Sharon said...

You guys are far too kind! I mean it. I have a long way to go before this blog is worth much of anything, but I do appreciate the support.

Lee, I'm going to add your blog to my list. Thanks for visiting. :)

Laurie. If I ever come even close to writing a smidgen as well as you, even one single time, I'll consider my life complete, but thank you for the compliments.

Philip: *high five* I kneW you were smarter than me. Why didn't I think of that? I shall console myself with my adventurous spirit, at least until the speeding tickets roll in. :)

Jonathan said...


there's been some discussion on Billy's blog, and we think you should change "Benevolent Empress" to "Benevolent Temptress", given that we've all misread it as that anyway! :)

Laurie said...

Hi Sharon,
I linked you on my blog, hope that's OK.

Laurie said...

I was just reading your story again, and I think what attracts me is your seemingly effortless writing in present tense. When I try to do that it tends to sound stilted (which is probably why all of my stories are in past tense.) BTW, I've just put one up about some of my experiences working in gaol. Man - I could write an entire book full of those!

Apathy Personified said...

Hi Sharon,
Haha - Twas an epic quest worthy of at least one ode and/or folk song!

I have to make a similar comment to philip though, i got my new laptop a few months ago through the post, it was actually quite hassle free....