Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Man in the Mirror

I smashed my mirror on a column in the parking garage at my apartment complex.  I was a little too excited to see Battles and I was laughing at my roommate doing something stupid, and then boom.  Shattered glass and curse words started falling out of everything around me.  Luckily, the mirror thingy had a little give in it so it didn’t completely rip the whole thing off, leaving behind a cracked mirror that gave me three different angles of the area behind my left shoulder.  After a few days of trying to deal with it, I colored in the smaller sections with a black marker and tried to get by with the tiny corner of mirror that I had left.

The mirror was fine for backing into a parking space or making sure the bum behind the car didn’t have a bat, but it inflated the blindspot to a dangerous degree and made changing lanes on the highway into more of a neck-straining exercise.  I decided earlier today that I would take the twenty minutes to go to the auto parts store down the street and buy a new mirror.  It’s not hard.  I just needed to take the time.

Or so I thought.  Apparently, mirrors are rare artifacts that people have only heard of and not actually seen.  As I walked into the third auto parts store (inexplicably, the only other one within ten miles) I had had enough of driving around on my day off.  I drive about five or six hours every night of work.  My car is my enemy on my off-days.  Of course, they didn’t have any reflective surfaces that would fit on my car, except for a quick-fix option.  A company called Pilot makes a Cut to Fit mirror that you simply trace the outline of your mirror, cut along the line, and use the adhesive backing to stick it where it needs to go.

A mirror that you simply snip with a scissors?  Sounded a little weird to me but I didn’t feel like ordering a part and driving back to the store, so I bought it.  I drove home, peeled off the remaining useable section of mirror from the mirror holder thing and ruined my scissors, sending tiny shards of glass flying that I will be picking out of the skin on my fingers for days.  I applied the adhesive, took a step back, and congratulated myself for fixing something on my car.  I hopped in the driver’s seat to check out the view and all of the self-worth I had gained from spending fifteen minutes cutting the mirror immediately drained from my body as the curse words started crawling out of my throat again. 

The thing that sat where my sideview mirror used to reside could, I guess, be called a mirror since it reflected light.  But to sell this as something that could be used for driving is ridiculous.  It bent everything around like a cloudy funhouse mirror.  At least I could confidently move in reverse with the tiny shard of glass I had before.  I didn’t even feel confident enough to say “Hi” to a neighbor behind my car out of fear that it could actually be a garbage can.

Here’s a sweet shot of my “mirror” in action.

And just in case you might be thinking that maybe it’s just a bad picture, here’s a shot of the other mirror.

Notice how you can see the car behind me in the second one and the first one just looks like an abstract painting?  Sweet.  Thanks for the sweet setup, Autozone.

I don’t understand how people can sell shit that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.  This is a mirror for driving, and it would be impossible to use safely on the road.  The only thing it could do for me that would mimic a sideview mirror would be if a tall vehicle came behind me and blinded me with its headlights.

This happened to me last year, too (buying something that didn’t do its job, not the broken mirror thing).  I bought one of those things you can hook up to your iPod to listen to it through a radio station in your car.  It cost about $80 and didn’t work.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  I tried different settings and stations and nothing worked.  It was an $80 cord that charged the iPod and did absolutely nothing else.  I immediately walked back into the store and got my money back.

It seems like you can just sell anything without any repercussions as to the effectiveness of the product.  This is bullshit, but I guess it’s just capitalism.  I think “Buyer Beware” is a saying or something and I guess that fits this shit.  It’s the same thing with those dick biggerizer pills.  There’s no way they work (trust me), but there are still tons of them out there waiting for dudes to stop shaving their armpits long enough to turn off the porn and grab their cell phones.

Everything should have a guarantee.  Everything.  If you buy something and it sucks, you should be able to call the company, tell them they suck, and get your money back.  Of course, this would take some mutual trust that the consumer wouldn’t abuse this ability (which they surely would).  So, thanks society.  You fucking suck and you’re the reason nothing makes sense. 

Just like when I called Advance Autoparts (fuck Autozone) and tried to have them order me the actual mirror, but they told me they couldn’t order it until I came in and paid for it.  Apparently, a ton of people had them order stuff, promised to pay for it later, and never showed which then cost the company money to ship the stuff back.  So even though I need this part and really don’t want to drive all the way to Moreland and Memorial tonight, I have to do so in order to get the part tomorrow.  That sucks.  But I’ll do it because if I have to drive around with the faux-mirror for the rest of the weekend, I’ll end up in a bloody car wreck on I-75 and everyone will be mad at me for holding up traffic.

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