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Friday, 24 September 2010
So I walk into this Center for Guitars - Guitar WalMartland
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: NCIS
Topic: Mysteries of Life

I went to the Mall and tooled around the Apple store - the one where a dude got a finger ripped off by thieves who stole his iPad he had just bought a few months ago. Very exciting. Then it was across the street to the Guitar place.  There's the older dude at a desk area in front of the doors, he looks suspiciously at me - wearing dark hat, dark glasses etc.  I smile, say hello and wander around looking at the Gibson Gold Tops (which don't thrill me)

I'm seeing Telecasters fronm $119 to $1199 - I cannot discern a difference in quality. I see a pretty Wine Red Les Paul Gibson for under a grand and under it is the Epiphone for 299. The only difference I see is the Gibson has gold gear and the Epi has silver gear on it. Lots and lots of cheap guitars, from 200 bucks on up. Two mousy, sad looking guys walking around - Big guy who works there has plugged in a Tele and is playing it -badly. He looks like Fred Flintstone.

I go to the Acoustic Room and it's three different rooms. The big room has cheap ass guitars. Lots of strange brand name guitars, I see a twelve string for 249. Really? What's that made of - cardboard? Seagulls I think, I can't even look at them. Then I hear someone in one of the higher end guitar rooms, white guy with Dreads playing something - badly. I go to the high end room and there are a bunch of Taylors behind glass. Who likes Taylors anyways besides the guy from Dave Matthews Band? I visit with the Gibson Hummingbird and the Songwriter, I strum the other high end guitars, they all sound the same to me.

Blech. I go to look at the books. I hear some guy come in asking for strings. Do you know what you want? NOPE! I play Bass! Guitar guy tries to hard sell him - I'd get these ones with silicon on them. Buy two get One free! Only 24 dollars for three sets of strings! (a good set costs five bucks)  Even though the guy is a Bass player and acting dumb he wisely decides he only needs one set. I am thumbing through books. The door guy is eyeing me like I'm a twelve year old twitchy kid stuffing things in my pockets. I find a Guitar Soloing Book that looks interesting, decide to buy it and go to the counter. Guy says Hi there! I smile and say hi right back. He stands there posed at the register. Can I get a phone number!? I say you could probably get one from the phone company if you needed one. Dude looks puzzled. I helpfully say that I don't give my phone number out. I'm also holding cash money. I say 'Cash money' Dude thinks for a minute, can't process what I'm saying so he goes to the next thing. Can I Get your name? I usually go by "Fred Flintstone" when I come into this chain store. He looks puzzled. I glance over and the guy who looks like Fred Flintstone and who played the Tele badly and he's glaring at me. I smile back at him and say to both of them loudly that in every one of these places I've been they've always been able to find me - as Fred Flintstone in their computers. I could have started to talk about my philosophical objections to being nailed to the grid with every transaction I make or I could have started in with my fake religious rant about how we're being numbered by the antichrist but I doubt that my audience would have had a clue either way. Glaring guy keeps glaring at me, I cock my head sideways at him until he looks away and shambles along in I guess what he thought was a menacing way. I laugh at him and he double clutches his shoulders and continues on.

The whole time dude at the door is looking at me. I get my change and walk over to him and put my book down with the receipt in it. He had just seen me buy it, there are three people in the whole store and he pulls out the receipt and checks it against the book. I tell him about the last time I was in one of these store that shall remain nameles except to say that it's a large Center for Guitars, and how I felt the previous security checker tried to make me feel like a criminal but only succeeded in pissing me off and that I complained to the manager and got him fired. This dude looks up at me with eyes widening and stamps my receipt with a 'Thank you for Shopping at Blank Blank. Ahh, it's why I hardly ever go to that chain guitar store.

I just know it'll be another year or so before I go into one of those stores again. I'll go buy my Gibson or Fender or Guild at the friendly guitar store when it's time to buy. It's always amazing going to some places and a wonder they even stay in business. Crappy customer service and crappy manners.

Posted by gilbert davis at 6:22 PM EDT
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