Evil Jim (evil_jim) wrote,
Evil Jim

  • Music:

January 21: Write about something you bought mail order.

Back in October I discovered something so cool I just had to have it! One of the blogs I frequent alerted me to the existence of a wi-fi detecting T-shirt. All in black, with the image of an RCA (Radio Picture) ike broadcast tower surrounded by bright blue crescents. Powered by a concealed battery pack & cleverly hidden wires the design would light up with intensity equal to the wi-fi signal strength in the immediate area. Neat as it was, the price was encouraging as well. It cost about as much as a pocket wi-fi detector & a t-shirt. The fact that it was being sold by an on line retailer I already had an account with pretty much sold it.

While ordering the T-shirt I pillaged the clearance section of the website & added some other nifty gadgets to the list. Being October Hallowe'en was on the way & I was looking forward to attending a couple of related events. The only problem was no costume. If nothing else I could always dress up a little bit, put on a tie & look decent for once but that didn't really fit in to my perception of the holiday. It didn't occur to me right away but over the next week or so while waiting for the package I realized that I already had a great costume on the way. There was the shirt of course, but in addition to the that & some other things I had ordered an LED belt buckle that could spell out scrolling text in bright blue text. On my mantle I have a pair of flashy 3-D glasses brought home from when I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas a month or so before, as well as a glowy blue Tron-like disc given to me for Christmas by Monica. Put all these together & I would be a living-breathing wi-fi detector!

The costume worked out well. I was flashy, neat to look at & just by a glance other party goers could tell just how much wi-fi was available in the living room. I called it a success.

The Hallowe'en party was the first full day I wore the shirt. But come the next morning the antenna would only flicker. Fresh batteries didn't help & after much fiddling & frustration I came to the realization that the shirt (or rather the device) was defective.

By now this was the last week available to me to return defective merchandise to the store so I wasted no time entering the process. They sent me a return label & it was on its way back. A couple weeks later a new one arrived. I didn't have AAA batteries at the time so I set it aside until next grocery day, making a mental note to get more batteries.

The problem with mental notes is that they are much more easily lost than real notes. Needless to say it was a few months before I finally got the batteries. Last week as a matter of fact. So I plug them in, see the panel light up & give out a half cheer. Only half because only half of it lit up. It was brighter than the last one but all my careful fiddling would not make it light up properly. Crap!

So now I am currently in the process of trying to return it again. It's way past the original return date but my hope is that if I explain the whole didn't get around to unpacking & trying it out until last week bit they'll understand. Plus, I think I know the reason this one is defective. I received the very flat packaged shirt in a cube-shaped box. In order to fit it into the box the shipper folded the shirt right through the center of the electronic display panel!! . . . Yeah, real bright.

- E V I L O U T -
Tags: practice

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