The Orbiter Crashes

As you know, I’m a huge fan of satellite radio. I bought a Sirius Orbiter receiver at the local Radio Shack in September and have been hopelessly addicted to satellite radio ever since.

Last night, while lying in bed and listening to Ernie Brown’s show, America at Night, my Orbiter fell from communion with the Sirius mothership and fried its little silicon brains. Bile burned the back of my throat as the prospects for a good night’s sleep were mercilessly incinerated. O, Death, where is thy sting?

My bowels quivered with anxiety as I contemplated the hassle and bickering that surely lay in store for me when I tried to exchange the receiver, still well within the one-year warranty, in the morning. Would my local Radio Shack even have any more in stock this close to Christmas? Would Radio Shack demand merely the soul of my first born child in exchange for a new receiver or would they greedily demand the soul of my semper fi canine hiking companion, Bubba? I struggled mightily with these tempestuous demons as I tossed and turned in my cold, silent bed until the gray light of dawn peered through my window.

I arose at first light and called my local Radio Shack. Just as I suspected, they knew I would be calling and refused to answer. My wife pointed out that it may have had something to do with the fact that it was only 6:37am and the store doesn’t open until 9:00am. I told her that she must be a collaborator with the Great Satan at Radio Shack and that her ruse wasn’t working on me. Then I grabbed the smoldering Sirius receiver and ran screaming, in my skivvies, out of the house and into the sub-zero morning to drive to the Radio Shack.

When I arrived at the store at 6:57am, the door was locked and lights were off inside. Uh huh, the old turn-off-the-lights-and-pretend-we’re-not-home trick. I was an old pro at this game and if they were hoping I’d get bored and leave, well, they just didn’t know who they were dealing with. I was a man on a mission. And I wasn’t wearing any pants.

As confirmation that my wife was in cahoots with the local Radio Shack, an employee walked up and opened the door at 8:59am, holding a tall, steaming cup of Green Mountain coffee. As the employee opened the door and walked inside, I was out of van and inside the store before the door even closed. The employee, pretending to be startled, jumped and dropped his coffee, yelling something about “freak” and “underwear,” I don’t know, I didn’t pay attention to his babbling. I was focused on the mission. I held up the fried receiver and told him I needed a new one… NOW! He stammered something about verifying. I stepped toward him and he ran around behind the counter, telling me that he’d have to make some phone calls to sort through the warranty process. I fought back using the only weapon I had with me: .

After unleashing my thunderous fury, the room filled with an ethereal chartreuse cloud. The Radio Shack punk started gagging and spitting in a vain attempt to expell the foulness. I think he might have thrown up in his mouth. With cheeks bulging and tears streaming from his eyes, he grabbed a new Sirius Orbiter receiver box set and threw it at me, then pointed to the door. I tossed him my old receiver and left. Victory was mine!

So, while I was disappointed that my Orbiter receiver failed after only three months of near-continuous use, I was pleased that Radio Shack was quick to exchange the receiver for a new one. Ok, America at Night is coming on Sirius and it’s time to get to bed. Later, freak.


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