Meatballs and Explosions

Chimes Opinions Article 11/09/09
Zachary Newcott

It was only a few weeks ago that the power cord for my laptop died out leaving me with yet another reason to resent technology. Upon a quick trip to Best Buy I realized a new replacement would cost me a solid hundred bucks. What is this, the Ritz?! Let's be honest here. Online, through a grammatically impaired seller on eBay, I could get a similar power cord for only one tenth of that cost. Really, there is no choice. Before I knew it I had a brand new power cord en route to Los Angeles on a cargo ship from Taiwan.

If there are any lessons that Newcott Explains It All has driven home through the years, one would be to stick it to the man, the other is that being cheap often doesn't pay very well. This past week I received faulty information that Ikea was selling Swedish meatball meals at the cost of one dollar. Seeing this as both an opportunity to stick it to the man and eat food, I was on my way. Imagine my disappointment after having driven a full half-hour and being distracted by a display featuring various robot arms opening and closing cabinet doors, only to hear that I would have to pay full-price for my little taste of Swedish delight.

"I'm afraid you don't understand," I told them, polishing my monocle. "These meatballs are only a dollar." I stared them dead in the eyes. "The INTERNET told me so."

"I'm avraid vees meatballs are at vull price," The cocky Swedish Ikea employee replied.

I looked like a fool. They might as well have punched a hole in my top-hat as well, which they did, by placing it in front of one to the door-opening robots.

Luckily, I still had my Taiwanese power cord to keep me company. Coming home at night I returned to my computer to update my facebook status with something in regards to Ikea being the man and that they should stick their lingonberries up their Flarke.

Right up it.

It was at that moment that I heard a loud popping sound accompanied by a bright flash of light and fire. Blinded, I frantically stumbled in my room in fear that the illegal fireworks I had stored under my couch had finally reached their expiration date. The smoke informed me however that this was no Purple Rain, the explosion had actually come from my power cord. My brand-new Taiwanese power cord, which had now left a permanent black smudge on the the wood floor.

Not wanting to make too much of a scene at two in the morning, I was suddenly thankful that I had been too cheap to replace the batteries in the smoke detector and too lazy to re-assemble it after breaking it open when it wouldn't stop beeping. Picking up the cord by its tail end, I flung it outside near where I buried the dearly departed Flan the mouse. Once again, I had to nudge my roommate's cat away so he wouldn't begin gnawing on it.

Now it seems I may once again have to make an investment, and although my intelligence may say that quality comes at a price, my gut also says that exploding cheap power cords also come at only a fraction of that price. Is it worth the risk? Only time will tell my friends.

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