So, early last month I made the grievous mistake of purchasing an iPad. Why, you fool? why would you do that!? i hear you yell across the expanse of cyber-space (do we still call it cyqber-space? i'm sure we should...) and to you I explain, calmly and with a blasé flick of my hand to affect an air of almost upper-class indifference, because I lost a bet.
I love challenges. I love putting people on the spot in public. I love fucking with sales assistants in electronics shops. I don't know why, but for some reason every time I go into a comet, or a PC world, the people who work there flock to me in droves, little looks of excitement on their faces that belay a deep longing to sell me something. Perhaps this is just what they do to everyone, or maybe I just have some sort of aura about me that suggests to people that I just cannot live without at least two TVs in each room of the house I don't own, each one fully installed with a top-of-the-line, wireless surround sound system and a colour-matched DVD player. Honestly, I have a habit of dressing in a manner that does not suggest that I am the owner of a large amount of money, so my appearance in a store of high-end, high-priced electronics should be dealt with in the same manner as a homeless man shuffling into an enclosed shopping centre. I clearly don't belong and I'll probably try to fall asleep behind the biggest, warmest LCD I can find. But despite all this, they still see me as a prospective commission, and a fair warning to you, if you do this, I will take you on. Which is what I did the day I bought the iPad... And I met my match.
Along comes a chipper employee with a friendly face and a can-do attitude. Most of the purchases we had gone there for had been decided - my mum needed a new laptop and my sister, for reasons I still don't understand, wanted a copy of windows 8 - so when the seller approached we named the items and he seemed happy to oblige.
"Not so fast" says I "there is something else."
"Oh?" Replies our new friend.
"I am not a man of consumable electricals, but I have heard that a tablet computer might be able to help me with projects. I challenge you to sell me one"
He gives me his game face, asks me a few questions about my projects, gives me some spiel about the usefulness of tablets and begins making suggestions. After this I believe he must have performed some sort of hypnotist manoeuvre, or perhaps cast a voodoo spell, because I cannot for the life of me recall just what the guy said to me, but before I knew it we were sitting in the little area at the back of the shop, the place with all the computers and printers and other sales-relevant knick-knacks, all of which always look to be ten years out of date (an irony that has always bothered me, seeing as how the shop's very biggest selling point is the newest in computing technology), and he was ringing up the spoils of his endeavours - new laptop, windows 8 disc and an iPad, with a complimentary protective case and stylus-thingy. It was astounding. I had laid my hand out, expecting a win from my usually rigged game and there I was, shelling out £700. I have forgotten the boy's name, but I tip my hat to you sir. You have awakened within me a wariness that I shall not be forgetting anytime soon.
I think from now on, I'm going to focus more on a comprehensive list of the top TVs to fall asleep behind.