M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, May 30, 2002  

A couple of weeks ago, Trash and I bought a new china cabinet for our kitchen. We got it at a furniture store a couple of blocks from our house. This place is like an indoor yard sale that takes credit cards. It’s in a pretty big space, but the furniture is crammed in there so tight that you have to literally crawl over some items to see everything. It’s all about remaindered and scratch-and-dent stuff, which means they practically pay you to take the stuff away. Oddly enough, we always forget about the place until we’ve looked everywhere else and have all but resigned ourselves to dropping most of a paycheck on a highboy or something. Then we drive past it on our way home to agonize about all the money we’re going to have to spend because we really, really need a highboy, really, really soon, and we remember, “oh, yeah, that place” and decide to go in and see if they have a highboy with a scratch on the bottom that they’ll part with for the price of a nice dinner, and the next thing you know we’ve got a brand-new (to us) highboy occupying a spot that just yesterday was tormenting us with its irksome lack-of-highboyness. Obviously that’s a hypothetical example, since I’m not even clear on what a highboy is, but you get the point.

Anyway, our new china cabinet was so cheap I’m embarrassed to tell you what we paid for it. The back of it’s a bit dented and there’s a sticky strip where some bright spark slapped a hunk of packing tape onto the finish, but that’ll come off and the dents are, like I said, in the back. The only immediate issue was that one of the two glass shelves was missing, so we had to get a replacement. The alternative was to just stack all of our good dishes and glasses really high on top of each other, and I didn’t have much confidence in my ability to sell that as a good idea.

One day last week on my lunch break, I took the intact shelf to a nearby glass shop so they could fabricate a duplicate of it. Looking in the phone book, I was amazed at how many glass companies there are in this town. People in the Twin Cities must be really clumsy or something. Plus the guy who wrote Fast Food Nation really needs to look into auto glass companies next, what with all the boxes of dead cow those companies are giving away. Personally, I like to get my food from other sources than operations whose main by-product is an inconceivable number of tiny, innards-shredding shards of silicate death, but that might be just me.

So, yeah, my shelf. The lady at the shop said a new one would be about twenty-eight dollars and they could have it ready in a week. That was a bit longer and more expensive than I expected, so I went into this big debate with myself right there in the office:

Cheap self: When we reglazed the windows, that was like five or six bucks a pane.

Practical self: You don’t remember that.

CS: I know it wasn’t twenty-eight dollars.

PS: This piece is bigger, though.

CS: Not four times bigger.

PS: It’s thicker, too.

CS: Maybe it shouldn’t be.

PS: Remember how many panes we broke fixing the windows? Just from speaking harshly in their presence?

CS: So?

PS: So how much do you think it’ll cost to replace all of our china and stemware if your new, cheap, thin shelf collapses and shatters everything on and under it? Including the other shelf? You think that would be more than twenty-eight dollars?

CS: That won’t happen.

PS: No it won’t, because we’re getting the thicker glass.

CS: That still seems pretty steep.

PS: We’re also getting beveling around the edges.

CS: Why?

PS: Why? Why? You want an untreated glass edge facing you every time you open the china cabinet?

CS: We won’t open it that often.

PS: We won’t have to open it that often, because every time we do there’ll be two cutting blades one molecule wide just sitting there waiting to maim us. You read Snowcrash.

CS: Oh, whatever.

PS: You say “whatever” now, but one day you go to put away a tumbler and *snick* there goes your hand. You won’t even know it’s gone until you close the door and it’s still in there going, “hey, what happened?”

CS: I’ll know it’s gone.

PS: And that makes it worth the couple of bucks we’d save not getting the beveled edges?

CS: You know—

PS: You think you’ll see your hand in there, looking out at you through the glass door, all sad and lonely, and you’ll open the door and be all Señor Wences, like, “Sorry,” and it’ll say back, “S’Alright”?

CS: We could just be careful.

PS: Accidents happen. Especially in a town as clumsy as this one. One second you’re being careful and the next second everyone’s calling you “Stumpy.”

CS: Nobody would call me—

PS: “Stumpy McStumperton.”

CS: I don’t think—

PS: “The Stumpmeister.”

CS: Listen—

PS: “Stump of the Antarctic.”

CS: All right—

PS: “Stumpy, Warrior Princess.”

CS: Okay—

PS: “Stumpy the Vampire Slayer.”


PS: All right, then.

CS: Fine.

PS: Fine.

I like having arguments with myself because those are the ones I have the best chance of winning.

Of course this entire “debate” took place at my normal speed of thought, which means it just wrapped up a few minutes ago. Now that the shop has called me to let me know the new shelf is ready, I just need another week to decide when to pick it up.

posted by M. Giant 3:00 PM 0 comments


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