I remember this one time we drove
around town looking for a cheap
DVD player. You could buy them,
back then, for about $100 if you were
lucky. You’d be luckier still a year
or two later, they were $20 in the
supermarket. But this was back when
you might still get ripped off eh.
So dad said we’d need to go to three
places to cost and compare. And in the
first place it was $85. And he reckoned
there was cheaper. So we went to the
second place to compare – but it wasn’t
cheaper! So on to the third. And we waited
so that the young minimum-wage slave could
“speak to his boss” because dad had asked
if he could “sharpen his pencil”. We waited.
And then waited. And I started edging
to the door. Then word came back that a price
was a price, was fixed, that was that. And
there was a dramatic pause from the old boy
before he exhaled loudly and said, “we’ll
think about it”. Like the DVDs piled by the TV
could wait until the price was very, very right.
We walked from the store and there was
a lesson in this for all of us, apparently. Dad said,
“You see, he might have won the intellectual battle,
but he lost the sale. And that doesn’t make him
very smart”. We got back to the car and there
was a parking ticket since we’d taken quite a while.
We returned home without a DVD player, but
as I said, there was at least a lesson for us.