Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Car ate my Zen Stone

I've been thinking for a while that I need a flash-based mp3 player for using at the gym. They're smaller, lighter and have no internal moving parts to get munched when I get tired and begin running like an elephant with bad knees. They store a lot less music, but I only need a few good workout tunes (which I won't share because many of them are embarrassing; you've got to go with what works).

So after a little research I decided to get one of these, a Creative Zen Stone:

It's cool, cheap, simple and small. Very small as it turns out.

So we drove to Circuit City to pick one up (along the way we also encountered a large intersection where the traffic lights had gone out. The Americans were confused and annoyed, and demonstrated this by honking and waving gestures out of windows). It came in packaging clearly designed to leave no doubt in anyone's mind when the merchandise had been opened. So on the way home I struggled mightily to get my new toy out of its plastic shield, until eventually (with a manly grunt and girlish squeak of surprise) the Stone came flying out of its package and fell into the car.

When I say into I don't mean that it fell on the floor or down the side of the seat. Oh no. With perfect precision the tiny player fell through the 1cm gap our boy-racer ex-owners left between the racy new red trim and the old brown gearstick.

I have no idea what's down in there but all I could see were wires, cables, and old food crumbs. I had visions of my new geek accessory falling right through the car and joining its stony brethren on the road. I spied it nestled amongst some wires and yelled at Tina to drive very carefully least she jiggle it loose, which she did admirably until the Americans started honking at her to speed up.

We pulled into a car park and tried to work out how to extract the player from its second impenetrable location of the day. Neither of our fingers would fit inside the gap, and we would need to get our hand in down past the knuckles to reach it. So with great care, we took turns wrenching the racy red trim away from the old brown gearstick while the other person risked their fingers delving into the innards of the car. After a few near-misses we eventually managed to knock it into a more accessible location and delicately lift it out.

I count my little stone as that much more valuable for having had to dig for it myself.

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