This 24/7 music to keep owls from killing my guineas at night [ White Trash Repairs and Fixes – Owls and Rock ‘n Roll ] is hard on audio equipment.
A while back I was without music to confuse the owl-folk. I’d spang worn out my Kerrville FreeCycle-donated 200 CD Sony player and was scouting around for whatever the Universe had in mind to replace it. A couple of months had passed, to I figured the Universe was ripe.
Salvation Army Thrift Store in Kerrville was having a half-price off on electronics sale. I nosed around among the 8 track tape players, the television sets, the wires with all kinds of connections pretending not to pay any mind to a Sony 300 CD player staring at me as though I was the abyss. The door was open on it and it seemed a bit battered, but someone had taped, “WORKS” on it, along with a price of $65. $32.50 with the half-price on electronics.
The guy I think must be the store manager was at the register, and we’ve done enough business over time for him to know my ways and for me to know his. Between ringing up purchases he was watching me not lo0k at that CD player with a half-smile on his face. I moseyed over to it scowling, making sure in the corner of my eye he was looking, and tried to mess with the door to get it closed. Shook my head, then looked up and met his eye.
“If that thing has a door it doesn’t seem to close.”
“Bring it over here and we’ll talk about it.”
I put it on the counter and we both scowled at it. “That’s a lot of money to have to risk for something might not work. If I bought it could you write down something so I could bring it back if it doesn’t work?”
We both knew the answer to that one. It’s sold as is. “I can’t do that. But I’d sure hate for someone to buy it and get stuck with it not working. What do you think it’s worth risk-wise?”
He and I have been through this enough times before to know how we play the game. “I couldn’t pay more than $20 for it.”
“No,” shaking his head, “I’d rather give it to you free than let you pay that much.”
“I’m not taking that out of here free. I’m not begging. I’m just trying to find a price we can agree on. How about $15?”
“How about a buck?”
“$10? I’m not sure I can go any lower than 10. A man has to live with his conscience.” I feigned away from the counter as though about to walk off.
“Noo, no, no!” Him acting frantic. “How about $5? Could you go $5?”
He carried it across the counter to the register and started figuring the tax. “It’s half-price for electronics today. But you probably don’t want to use that, do you?”
“Naw. Just ring it up at the full price we agreed to. I’m not looking for any bargain.”
Steve Goodman- The Auctioneer