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8:32 a.m. - 2002-08-16

A STRAY RAY OF SUNSHINE WORKS ITS WAY INTO MY LIFE

You know...I hate to report it ... but I actually had a GOOD day yesterday.

I know...I know...who woulda thunk it?

First off, the wife agrees to meet me at this state-of-the-art sound system place that is doing all the installation of electronic stuff in our house at lunch. Basically, they wired the house for surround sound, a security system, they wired us for music on the back patio and for speakers inside the master bathroom.

This is the closest thing to a dream home I've ever had. You're damned skippy I'm going to make it nice.

I told her that we were going to pick out speakers for the master bathroom to be installed in the ceiling. That was it.

But ... I also wanted to show her some of the fancy surround sound systems that the place had to offer. These are sound systems that are worlds ahead of anything Circuit City can shit out.

I had no intention of forcing her to say "Why should we buy a crappy little $600 sound system at Circuit City, when we can have a $3,000 system from this place?"

No intention whatsoever. I promise. Scout's honor, had I actually ever been a Scout and not kicked out for telling the den mother to kiss my white ass.

We get in there and FIRST, I show her the $100,000 system.

This is literally a room built like a theater. Eight theater seats on two risers. A huge screen that comes down out of the ceiling. A FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR DVD PLAYER. Folks...if you have $5,000 to blow and you want to put it into a DVD player, you're more ignorant than me and that's saying a lot. You can get DVD players for less than $100. I did. My Apex player works just fine after two years. It's the bottom of the line as far as DVD players go and I have no complaints. Well...other than the fact that every time I touch it I get a jolt of electricity surging through my body.

So I show her the best, most expensive thing they have to offer FIRST.

That helped me in my cause tremendously. Because even though I had no intention of trying to get her to buy me a nice system ... there's always that possibility that she could come to her senses and make sure I get what I want.

So then we go into the second nicest room.

The salesman comes in and we chit-chat. He can sense what the deal is, because he's a guy, and he's a salesman.

When it comes to electronics...most men are all over it while most women need to be coaxed and to have it broken down into something that they can appreciate.

So Salesguy shows Susie these In-Wall speakers...speakers built into the wall.

He explains that you paint over them so that they don't stand out at all. There's no tripping over them and they're not even really noticed.

Susie likes that. She doesn't like big and bulky. She likes compact and off-to-the-side.

Or in this case...in-the-wall.

I give Salesguy a thumbs up behind Susie's back as he starts his spiel.

He explains that those little All-in-one systems they sell at Circuit City are nice....but they won't fill up a room the size of our new, spacious den properly.

Ahhhh...very good, Salesguy. Way to compliment our new home without actually seeing it.

He answers questions for her and I'm at a point where I can't judge what's going on in her head.

He puts a DVD in and we stand there and watch it.

Thank God a plane flew around in the movie. You could hear the plane come out of the TV, circle around the room and go back to the TV.

Susie was impressed.

Then he put in "Steel Magnolias".

Ahhhh....way to win her over, Salesguy.

He fast forwarded to a scene where Julia Roberts was getting her hair done and there's all this talking going on off screen.

Or in our case, it was coming from the back of the room. Like somebody was actually back there talking.

Susie was VERY impressed. Naturally, she had to see the end where one of the women dies so she could get a good lunchtime cry out.

He explained what the subwoofer was for. He told us that my current stereo receiver was too old to handle surround sound (it is...blasted ten year-old piece o' crap) and that we'd need a new receiver.

He basically was nice with no pressure and very knowledgable. We told him to work up a proposal for us which he's going to do and drop by my office sometime today.

So we left there and before we got in our separate cars to go back to work, I asked her what she thought.

"I liked it," she said. "We'll see."

Okay.

I get back to the office, work a bit and get an email from her.

"I LOVE THAT SOUND SYSTEM!", she wrote. "I told my boss about it and he's excited and he's going to go out there now. I WANT THAT SOUND SYSTEM!"

So now it's my turn to play Devil's Advocate. I have to paint scenarios that are less-than-pleasant so that she understands the importance of such a decision.

I wrote her back and told her we're looking at it costing between $2,500 and $3,000.

BUT they can set it up so that it's included in the mortgage payment.

$3,000 spread out over a 30 year mortgage.

Do the math.

Wait...I'll do it for you.

$100 a year.

Less than $10 a month.

For a $3,000 sound system.

I dunno about you people...but I'm sold.

So then SHE writes back..."You only live once....why not?"

As my buddies the Wiggles would say....Wahoo!

So it looks like we'll be getting a KICK ASS home theater in the new house with speakers inside the walls and the ceiling.

Wahoo indeed.


As if that wasn't enough....drove out to the house last night and lo and behold....a marble shower was glistening and calling for me from my master bathroom.

"Uncle Bawwwwwwb," it was calling. "I'm complete in herrrrrrre. Thanks so much for giving me life so that your big fat ass can shower in luxuryyyyyyyy."

It has the dual shower heads.

Dual controls.

And a freakin' bench inside.

Well...it's more like a seat. I think the term "bench" got thrown around loosely quite a bit when we were scoping the marble shower out in the design center.

Still, it's great for shaving your legs (not mine. And in all sincerity, probably not your legs either). And it's good for when I'm taking a marathon shower, I can have a seat and rest for a few minutes before getting back up in the cavalcade of water splashing all over my taut, tanned and muscular naked frame.

Now we have to get two "Spa" shower heads.

These are those big assed huge shower heads that promise a shower feeling like "rainfall". Like you're standing naked in a thunderstorm, except there's no lightning or people honking at you and calling you a dumbass while you stand there soaking wet and naked.

Anyway, I got inside the shower and did a little dance of victory, because it's finally finished.

And promptly slipped and fell on my ass because the adhesive hadn't exactly set just yet.

So we're standing around and trying to decide where we want to put the ceiling speakers when we hear a clattering outside like it was "The Night Before Christmas" or something.

There was a grungy looking guy standing on our back patio.

"Hi," I said, kinda startled.

"Hey," he said, kinda startled back.

Susie saw this as her cue to interupt our thrilling conversation.

"Are you here to finish bricking the patio?" she asked.

It was 7:30 at night. There wasn't a single construction worker left in the subdivision.

"Uhhhhh...yeah," he said, after thinking about it.

"Well, you've done a fine job so far," she commended him.

"Uhhhhh...thanks," he said, checking out his brickwork.

Susie continued making small talk with him about bricks and he kept looking bewildered. Finally he said he had to go find his brother and walked off, stopping to pick up a tool of some sort on his way to wherever.

He had no car. He was just walking towards the woods.

Me, in my infinite wisdom, picked up on what was going on.

"He wasn't here to finish bricking the house," I told Susie. "He was here to steal stuff."

"Really?" she asked.

"He had no idea we were in the house. All the construction workers are gone for the day and left hours ago. He took that tool and started walking towards the woods."

"So why did he keep thanking me when I told him he did a nice job on the bricks?" she asked, all defiant.

"What did you expect him to say?" I asked. "Oh...sorry lady...I didn't brick your house, I'm just here to see what was left behind to steal and if I knew you guys were in here, I would have never bothered you"???

"He didn't seem like a thief," she said.

"He didn't seem like a bricklayer who wanted to work well into the night without a supervisor around either," I said.

She finally decided that I was right and we started thinking about investing in that security system after all.

Even in the new fancy neighborhood, we're going to have to keep our eyes open for scumbags wanting to rip us off.

Welcome to Alabama.

Home of the lazy bastards who would rather steal than work for a living.

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