Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dora's Tube Ride and Me: Almost Scammed!

Anybody remember "Surfers: The Movie?" If not, I don't blame you. The film came out 18 years ago; try to remember what you were doing in 1990. I was a junior at UCSB, living with five guys in a two bedroom one bath apartment, eating burritos, surfing Sands and, oh yeah, working on a degree in Aquatic Biology. I don't remember much about the movie but there was one scene I'll never forget. It was Dora's interview. I remember thinking, "What a freak". At the time I thought he just came across as an arrogant ass- but I never forgot his part. It's funny because I think about that scene now and then and the more I travel through this world the more I think I understand what he was saying- at least a little.

Anybody else remember Dora's little vignette? The part of it that's seared onto my brain is his analogy of life and tube riding. He starts talking (and as he's talking he's standing there hand jiving and mind surfing through the dredging pop up sections of his consciousness) about how in life, you're just flying down the line and, if I remember correctly, "shit's coming at you man and your just weaving and ducking and it's all starting to suck up and- whooosh- shit's flying over your head, but you just keep charging....". Everytime I navigate through some bullshit day I think of that bit from Surfers: the Movie. Man, Dora may have been the ultimate con man/genius-savant but, I swear, I think he was on to something.

Here's my tube ride: We all know I'm looking for a new camera. I finally decided on the Olympus 1030sw and even ordered it for the unbelievable low price of $269! I should've known nothing could be that good; shoot, everybody else was selling them for $350 at least. But, 86th Street Camera and Video promised me that I'd have it in a couple of days (Your Satisfaction Guaranteed!). It was only a couple of hours after blogging about my order that I received my first reader comment, something to the effect of, "Those guys have a lot of complaints about them!". It was enough of a seed of doubt to get me Googling (type in: 86th Street complaints and see what you get). Can you feel the section starting to stand up in front of you? That blue little bump's gone all steely gray and it's getting vertical, and very thick. Get ready, you know what's coming next!

What a nightmare! The complaints against these guys were all the same, they were masters of the bait and switch. There were so many similar stories of sleaziness that I couldn't believe they could all be legitimate. So I let it ride. I didn't cancel the charge to my card. I decided to ride it out even if it was looking like a nasty closeout. I'd picked my line and I thought it might make a good story if it got nasty. Secretly, I was holding out the hope that I might get spit out the other end with a great camera at an excellent price. I thought it might get a little dicey back there with the foam ball licking at my tail block but I'd fought my way through nastier situations how bad could it be?

Nope. I took it in the back of the head. I got lipped. Axed. Hatcheted.

Check back to see if I get pile driven into the reef or squeak out the doggy door.


Anonymous said...

so sorry to have been the voice of doom n gloom in your earlier post but for my money -- er, ah, your money actually -- the post you just wrote has made it all worthwhile. can't wait to see how this one turns out! and watch out for the backwash, it can be heavy!

John Ashley said...

You sound like you've been riding the barrel before yourself!

Naw- thanks for the warning, it was because of you that I did my homework and was ready for their "tactics".