well, one of the truly great joys i have had over the last fews years has been, once a month, making a new audio tape for my sister to play in her car. now, i appreciate that there are readers of this site that will have no idea what the hell a cassette is, or how one could possibly play music on anything other than a computer or one of those gimmicky "i" things. what a sad state the world is in if that is true, but no matter.
i thoroughly enjoy taking a few hours once a month to sit back and compile the perfect mix, 90 minutes split into two chunks of 45 minutes each. i do my best to mix in the bangin' sounds of the modern day, which no doubt kids listen to on their "i" toys as they swig these "alcopop" things, along with the awesome sounds of my youth, tracks that were played at the Youth Club Disco as we drank nothing but Tizer and Lilt. Honest, that is. No, we never sneaked 4 cans of Crucial Brew between 8 or so of us, ever.
anyway, this enjoyment of mine hit something of a setback when Gillian informed me that one tape a couple of months ago had become "jammed" in the tape deck. she could not get it out, and Grant was presumably far too (understandably) busy [TEXT OBSCURED ON LEGAL ADVICE] with the sheep that did not run away quite fast enough to have a look himself.
how fortunate, then, that Richard was on his way to New Zealand. i was quietly confident that he would be able to get it all sorted out, possibly with a bottle of gin and a hacksaw.
apparently there was no hacksaw available, and i dare say that if there was any gin involved, it's not the car Richard would have used it on. fortunately, and i do not know how he got it onto an international flight, Dad had his pocket knife with him. this Richard "borrowed" (actually asking if he can use sometimes happens, sometimes not) and set about tackling the deck and the jammed tape.
it was around the time i was reading the mail from Gillian telling me how he had "fixed" it that i recalled the time Richard installed a cassette deck into my first car, the most excellent Ford Escort. that didn't go perhaps as well as it could, really - he installed it in such a way that i had a choice on an evening - vibes or lights. when i complained i think his exact words were "what the f*** do you need lights for" and suggested that i just simply limit my travels to daylight hours, which was fair enough. his attempts to fix that little problem led to the stereo having a most odd "mixing" thing going on, where it tended to isolate various channels of the music being played on a random basis. this allowed for some ace study of production values, in fairness, but at the cost of some enjoyment it has to be said.
i do rather like how he is wearing sunglasses as he does this. it's like he's saying "they will know it is me stabbing this cassette deck, but they will not for i am in disguise". a bit like when Clancy Brown shaved his head in Highlander, really - a nice try at concealing your identity, but overlooks one or two other tell-tale signs. with Clancy Brown it was the massive sword and inability to die that kind of gave the game away; with Richard it's the fact that it is a rather small percentage of people who would be in Gillian's car that would think a bit of enthusiastic stabbing would fix a jammed tape deck.
not that the stabbing lasted all that long. well, have you seen a standard audio cassette? once you've shoved a knife into it a dozen or so times it pretty much knows it has been stabbed and has little fresh plastic to offer up to any blade of consequence. Richard then turned to his most favourite way of fixing things, that is giving it a really bloody good pull and see if that sorts it out.
in fairness, that actually worked. which makes you wonder just how much stabbing he had to do and how much of it was sheer indulgence.
bravo Richard, then, on resolving some 50% of the problem. actually no, he resolved 100% of the problem but then found another problem. the cassette deck, freed of the intruder that was the jammed tape, now shall not play any other tape. oh dear.
i have done some extensive research on this thing called the "internet" and have established that no one in New Zealand sells cassette deck stereos for cars. i have, however, learned of the fact that in New Zealand a car stereo is called a "head deck", which is kind of cool. unless someone can tell me otherwise and can point me in the direction of where to get a tape deck for a car in New Zealand, i guess we shall have to get her one of them CD things to put in. i suppose i can make and play CDs to send her just as easily, but it perhaps won't be quite so much fun.
a very honest and open well done and bravo to Richard for his most valiant and noble effort to get it fixed! eventually a piece of equipment shall be invented that does indeed require stabbing as an integral part of repairing it; when that comes along Richard shall be the king of fixers.
in the mean time, i am led to believe that Gillian has a cassette deck in her house (not sure if that also gets called a "head deck", doesn't sound right. "master deck", perhaps?), so i guess i can carry on sending tapes!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!