Tuesday, May 12, 2009
With a nod to Misstress B and her Screw-Up Tuesday brigade... (and because we are ALL mightily sick of the tune 'Salina is belting out on the old coughometer)
I present to you an inanimate object and calling it - I have got the c-r-a-p-p-i-e-s-t car stereo in the whole wide world!!
Last year I bought a new car. Well, rather, I got a new car (for me) from family connections (don't ask).
As cars go, it has got some great points. Its green. It goes. (Already waay ahead of its predecessor).
But as cars go, it has got ONE MAJOR drawback, and that is the stereo.
For a start, its not - its a mono, as only one speaker is working. It is the rear-left speaker - therefore to achieve quality sound in the driver's seat, one must blast the passenger-du-rear-left (which would, most often, be 'Salina).
I know, stereo with only one speaker - crappy but liveable.
Ah, but it has dual purpose - not only does it receive radio (if you are directly beneath the transmitter) but it offers a slot for casettes (yeah, like that is SOOO useful). I actually have some old casettes (thanks to my amazing hoarding abilities) but time has left the sort of impression on the tapes that evoke deep voices and intermittent squeals.
It has been built with an anti-theft device. With the push of a button you can remove the front panel. The button is located strategically directly above the drinks holder - this way whenever you take or deposit your water bottle, that button will be pushed. Oh yes, no drink swizzling burglar will ever get past such security.
But the blinding feature that makes this stereo the absolute bane of my driving existence is the volume/tuning control.
There is only one button for the whole function - very mod-con. Apparently the zenith of technology, one push UP should send the volume up, LEFT and it will seek (and seek and seek) the next station down in frequency, DOWN for the volume to decrease and RIGHT for it to seek (and seek and seek) the next station up in frequency - theoretically.
Unfortunately, the UP works sporadically, the RIGHT not at all - but the DOWN will work most effectively EVERY SINGLE TIME - straight down to ZERO.
Do you know what that means, people who read my whining?
That means that on the very occasional moment when the UP works (and generally it is the 50th or 100th time you have cursed at the muted sound from the left rear speaker) you take it to where it will be most comfortable on the station you are listening to. I have three (three tuned in blood and guts) stations preset on the stereo. What is okay on one station will still be mute on another, and blast the third - but you learn to live with that.
What you can't live with is when strangers enter the car (either by invitation or some payment system - say a mechanic) they can't stand the blast and will ever so helpfully turn it down for you.
I had three days of silence (and cursing and pushing that darned thing UP insistently) as a result of that little experiment recently.
Of course, I could have been smart and turned it off before taking it to the mechanic.
Sure, the off button doesn't really work, but if I had flicked the anti-burglar button it would have effected the same result - but I live in hope somewhere out there the stupidest burglar in the world will find this stereo and take it off my hands.
Oh - and courtesy of the most recent trip to the doctor with 'Salina - she may have Whooping Cough (some call it diagnosis, I call it shooting blindly into the barrel) and all I can say is, if an immunised child has a milder version of this goodness help those who get it bad.