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Saturday, October 22, 2005

There's Music In My Car Again...

A little over two months ago, I decided to replace a broken factory-model stereo in my '97 Saturn.

A little over one month ago, said radio was forcibly removed under cover of night from my very own parking garage.

A little over four hours ago (and $404 plus change), I've installed a new stereo -- same make & model as the temporary upgrade, although cheaper by about thirty bucks this time around.

Hopefully this one will stay in my car for awhile.

For those of you who have not heard my conspiracy theory, allow me to enlighten you. I went to out looking to buy a new car stereo. After eight years, I had grown quite fond of the factory model CD player that was a part of my Saturn SL2 -- particularly the manual 5-band equalizer sliders that allowed me the freedom to flip from Awesome Sonic Experience to Vintage AM Radio with the whimsical flick of an index finger. Of course, in this digital age, nothing is manufactured with manual tuning options, so I read the product reviews, I browsed the Wall o' Radios at every electronics outlet, and I made my choice: the Pioneer DEH-P3700MP. With a few minor adjustments, I found that it could replicate the acoustic balance that I'd grown accustomed to over the years... and it didn't feel like a cheap piece of plastic.

I stopped into a nearby Circuit City store -- not my usual locale for electronics-type purchases, but they happened to have one key item in stock at the time of my purchase -- the plastic mounting bracket for my '97 Saturn. Fully expecting to install the new stereo myself, I was caught off guard when the sales clerk asked, "Would you like us to install it? It's free installation. There's no one waiting. It'll only take about 45 minutes."

I caved. After all, why not? I can go over to Barnes & Noble, grab a coffee, do some sketching... "Sure," I said. Forty-five minutes later -- I enjoyed my new, kickass car stereo.

The smile on my face lasted exactly one month -- a Sunday morning when I headed down to the parking garage prepared to run a few weekend errands.

The elevator door slid open. I looked down and thought, "Hmm, that's odd. Why is there a bottle of Armor-All sitting outside the elevator?" I rounded the corner and saw that the trunk of my car was wide-open. I thought, "Why is my bottle of Armor-All sitting outside the elevator?" As I approached my car, I thought, "Why is there broken glass around the rear-passenger side of my car?"

Long story short, the gentleman who violated my car simply broke that little triangle window (the one that doesn't roll down), unlocked the back door, reached up and unlocked the front passenger-side door, and wrenched out my new stereo with all the finesse of a chimpanzee on methamphetamines.

(Actually, other than the window, all that was damaged in the heist was the face plate for the AC controls -- replaced at the cost of $188.41 from my local Saturn dealer. I'll have to check again on Monday, but if the cost of the broken window is included as part of my $500 insurance deductible, I should have $152.43 coming back to me thanks to good ol' Mercury Insurance.)

Where's the conspiracy you ask? I'm thinking that the upstanding young men in the Circuit City Car Stereo Installation Garage simply contact their associates on the outside, provide them with the address of the consumers whose cars have no alarms, and those fellas can get to work. In the aftermath, those newly stereo-less consumers then return to Circuit City to buy a replacement stereo, and create additional sales commissions for the gentleman who provided the information which caused the theft in the first place.

"It's the cirlce of life, and it moves us all."

Bitter? Maybe. Cynical? Perhaps. All I can say is that I didn't go back to Circuit City for this new stereo and I installed this one myself, as I originally intended to, and let me tell you, it sounds fantastic.

I think I'll go for a drive tomorrow. What do you think I should listen to?

1 Comments:

Melyndz said...

I am a big conspiracy theorist. And I would bet you are right.
I think you should listen to the new Beck CD and then lend it to me...

: )

melinda

2:40 PM  

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