Last chance for a thousand years

What would happen if folks who bought automobiles had the same rights as those that purchased computers. Dave Wilson tells all.

Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance

On today’s radio.

Since they committed murder

Down on music row.- George Jones and Alan Jackson.

Two months ago, Randy decided to purchase a new car from a dealership close to his home. Not long after, the gleaming new vehicle arrived outside the door of his three bedroom Cape just as the sales chap had promised it would.

But when he opened the door to check out the interior, Randy was horrified. Although his brand spanking new four wheel drive had come fully equipped with all the latest conveniences – electric windows, power steering, heated seats and a global positioning system – the hi-fidelity system was simply frightful.

Instead of the fully integrated CD player/FM radio combination he had so yearned for, the awesome looking vehicle had a sad little AM receiver that sported barely enough transistors to let it pick up the local country-and-western station. Which for a music cognoscenti like Randy just simply didn’t cut the mustard.

After some consultation with the dealer, it appeared that the model of vehicle that Randy had ordered was indeed specified with the rather lacklustre radio as standard.

Needless to say, Randy wasn’t too pleased with that, so he took matters into his own hands and drove to a local hi-fi store where he purchased a rather more up to date unit which he retrofitted to the vehicle.

Randy was finally happy as he drove around the block in his new car listening to his wonderful CD collection of George Jones’ drinkin’ and cheatin’ songs.

The following month, Randy decided to buy himself a new computer. And down at the local PC Universal Mart, he picked up a real bargain at $800, fully equipped with a 2GHz Pentium 4 processor replete with 256Mbytes RAM, Nvidia graphics chip, keyboard, mouse, 60Gbyte drive, TFT monitor and a pair of rather cool speakers. Not to mention a very snazzy operating system.

Being a bit of a musical buff, Randy decided to power up the media player that came with the new computer to listen to some Dwight Yoakam, that popular singer from Kentucky. But again, Randy wasn’t happy. Mr. Yoakam just didn’t sound as ‘twangy’ as he should have done. And again, Randy was irritated and disappointed.

This time, however, it was not a case of driving to the computer store to buy a better bit of software to play his country music, or even download an alternative from the Internet. Oh no. This time it was war.

Randy wrote to his congressman protesting at the quality of the default music player which had powered up when he booted his machine. The astonished congressman was disgusted. So much so, he wrote to the head of the Department of Justice who became absolutely incensed. He in turn dashed off a missive to the competition commissioner at the European Union. He wasn’t impressed to hear the news either. It was, he said, an outrage unlike any other outrage.

And all of them wanted something done about it.

So the furious commissioner summoned the head of the computer software vendor to his throne in Brussels. Once there, he was publicly flogged. And to add indignity to insult, his company was fined 500 million Euros.

That was last week. And ever since then, the sales guys at the car dealership who sold Randy that car with the AM radio have been getting pretty hot under the collar. Because Randy’s been hoverin’ around their parking lot again in his new car listening to more of those drinkin’ and cheatin’ songs. But this time, he’s got a very big smile on his face.