“Maybe it’s a loose wire?”

Sometimes I have the most confusing conversations with my wife. Also despite being (supposedly) a highly experienced and qualified IT professional technology has a habit of totally confusing the hell out of me. Read on for explanation…

We have an old (cheap) surround sound system. I bought it from a well known UK High Street store where you go in and actually pay for the goods before you see them. Then you go to a collection point and wait to get it. It is popular (vast range and cheap) but really such an odd shopping model/experience really. Anyway it was really the cheapest ever surround sound you could ever buy. Part of the cost cutting is that there are no controls on the unit itself – at all. You can’t turn it up, or down, select the input… nothing. All has to be done from the remote control unit. Ok… ish to a point but then the remote is the worst you’ll ever see! A tiny (about the size of a credit card) with these sort of pressure pad buttons. So … lose the control (easy given it is so small) you are banjaxed… control breaks (easy given the rubbish buttons) you are also banjaxed…

Some years back the control stopped working – so the unit was useless, the default vol it adopts when switched on is just too low to be worth bothering with you have to turn it up.. no control … you get the picture. I bought a new battery (Oh yes, not nice cheap ubiquitous AA’s or AAA’s no some little button like bloody thing as well for good measure). No joy. Bugger. I found the email for customer services and contacted them. They sent me a new controller – I think for free. Problem fixed. For some reason I kept the broken one.

Ok so recently – same issue. No response to the controller. Here is the odd Mrs F conversation btw… Background – we have at times knocked cables out the flimsy cable clamps on the speakers around the room. She helpfully says “Maybe it’s a loose wire again?” “No it’s just not responding to the controller” I say indicating the total lack of sound. Some minutes later as I give up fiddling – swaping a battery from a similarly useless remote for a photo frame that had no effect… who needs a remote control for a digital photoframe? She then says “So it isn’t a loose wire?” “No love” I sigh “Well you said it was”…. “No I didn’t you did” “Just a moment ago you said it was a loose wire” “It can never be a loose wire, you suggested that” “I didn’t you did”. She is playing with my mind. My son witnessed this bizarre exchange to confirm I’m not going nuts. He was laughing as I banged my head on the wall!

Anyway back to the main plot…

Mrs F locates the correct battery type on the wall of batteries at the local pharmacy whilst out shopping and purchases it. Brings it home and I plug it into the remote. Nothing… nada… kaput. Bugger. I think this is the end for the thing and look to see if you can get a replacement remote – you can at about £12 plus postage. Hmmm… now if it isn’t the remote but the sensor on the unit I’m throwing good money after bad here (It was so cheap and so old frankly it isn’t worth more than £25 anyway probably) but it seems so stupid to throw it all out on the basis on that and I can’t really afford the hundreds for a new better one. I leave the computer to ponder. I try to find the instructions to see whether I could try customer services again. Then the old (remember this… hello anyone following still – leave a comment if you got here without losing the will to live) remote fell out of the drawer. But that didn’t work – I remember most definitely it was totally useless some years back when I got the replacement one. Whatever I put new battery into the broken remote… yes you know the answer… viola the system works again! What the…. technology and women combining to send me to the funny farm I’m sure!

About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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7 Responses to “Maybe it’s a loose wire?”

  1. Surround sound! Woo! Look at you. Do you remember those giant 12″ woofers in floor-mount speakers? We used to take the grill cover off and watch them dance around at high volumes.

    A ghost in the machine. Don’t think that’ll be the last of it, either. That volume control might be the worst design I’ve ever heard. Someone wasn’t thinking clearly.

  2. JJ says:

    I almost lost the will to live but forged on feeling it my duty to inform you of the Worldwide Conspiracy of Women. Our goal: to drive men bonkers, to send them to Lollyville, shuffle them to the dark side of crazy. Just so you know.

    Incidentally, we used to have a shop like that in Canada called Consumer’s Distributing where you chose an item from a catalogue, filled out a ticket and gave it to a counter person, and then the item came out from the warehouse. Decades ago Canadian Tire stores worked like that (when all they sold was tires) and also the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Now they all have regular retail shops. It was a strange shopping model, but I suppose with fewer people, it worked.

    Actually what happened was that women started to go into corporate jobs and they saw this selling model and said “Bugger it, who in their right mind would shop this way?”

    • furtheron says:

      I think everyone who has filled out the little slip and paid for the item then is waiting at the collection point is thinking “This model is just so dumb why am I here?”

      Thank you – you confirm what I’ve long considered to be true about all of the female race … 😉

  3. Lol. I’ve never heard the word banjaxed before. I like how it sounds, assuming I’d pronounce it right ( I have pronunc

  4. Lol. I’ve never heard the word banjaxed before. I like how it sounds, assuming I’d pronounce it right ( I have pronunciation issues)

  5. daisyfae says:

    i think ‘banjaxed’ may be my new favorite word as well! So descriptive, yet polite!

    Like you, i’ve purchased a high-end sound system that befuddles me, despite my advance degree in engineering. At the slightest misfire of the cosmos, my system will stop working – and after my feeble attempts to make it work (turn it off/on, shake the remote, etc), i end up calling the technicians out to have a look – and it is invariably something simple that i couldn’t possibly have fixed on my own. i might have to pay travel for Mrs. Furtheron one of these days… could cost less than what i’ve spent in the past for repairs!

  6. 1looby says:

    Never argue with a woman. If it’s a loose wire (in a cordless device), it’s a loose wire.

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