The Computer Buzz
||January 17th, 2008|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Rainbow Computer Emporium
Nome says I'm too negative when I talk about Gateway, Compaq, Dell and the "big box" stores that sale "package computers" like Best Buy and Fry's.
A customer happened to hear Nome criticizing a comment I made about Dell's customer service. "Paul can't hold a candle to "Cactus Jack" up at Rainbow Computer Emporium when it comes to bad-mouthing the competition" he told her. Nome decided we should pay a visit to "Cactus Jack" so that I could see how unattractive competition bashing really is.
Rainbow Computer Emporium sits at a dusty crossroads in ranch country just east of Rainbow. The store is an old frame bunkhouse with a full-length porch. The sign said "RAINBOW COMPUTER EMPORIUM -- If I ain't got it, you don't need it." The interior was dark.."Cactus Jack" scowled at us from where he sat behind the counter. "What the hell you want, can't you see I'm eatin my lunch?" He waved a half empty whiskey bottle at us and belched. He was a short stout man with a drooping salt and pepper mustache and a sweat stained, misshapen cowboy hat. I liked him at first sight.
Nome whispered, "Listen and learn, I'll do the talking."
"Hello Mr. Jack," she said pleasantly, "we're computer shopping and want to know how your computers compare." Jack squinted suspiciously "Compared to what?" "Well," she hesitated, "how about compared to Gateway." Jack rolled his eyes. "They’re called Gatecrashers by the folks that's stupid enough to buy one."
Nome blinked and took a step backwards. "What about Compaq?" Jack leaned forward and smirked, "Compaq's? The sale clerks call em ‘Comebacks.’ They say that every one of them lemons gotta "comeback" at least twice before it works right"
Nome met his smirk with an innocent smile. "And Dell?" she asked. Jack snorted "They knew what they was doin when they named it to rhyme with Hell. You cain't get the side off'n one of them suckers without bustin somthin loose, not that there's anything worth looking at inside of em anyway."
Nome continued, "How about HP?" Jack stood up and leaned forward across the counter. His pale blue eyes barely showed through his squint. "Whar I come from, if'n a man ain't proud enough to go by his rightful name he ain't considered to be much force. Never trust nobody that goes by initials."
"Well," said Nome, "the people at Fry's said," - Jack interrupted "Them Dodos at that second hand junk store don't know nothing bout computers. You ask them about a hard drive and they'll complain about their morning commute."
"And I suppose you don't like Best Buy either?" Said Nome. Jack snickered derisively "Their Geek Squad is a Goon Squad and their sales clerks don't know nothing. One ‘Employee of The Month’ won by selling a three year service contract on a case of bottled water and they don't even sell bottled water."
“And Circuit City?” Nome asked.
"The employee turnover is so high in that rat cage that they give a handicapped parking sticker to anyone who lasts a year." Jack was clearly on a roll
Nome shot a triumphant glance at me. "So I gather that you would recommend we buy a computer made right here at Rainbow Computer?" Cactus Jack glared at her. "I don't know why you'd jump to that conclusion. We ain't no better than anybody else. Here lately I've come to think we might be worse than some." With that Jack belched and sat down hard in his chair. He was winded.
Nome started backing toward the door. I told her to go on ahead and I would be out shortly.
I joined Nome in the car a few minutes later and as we pulled out of "Cactus Jack's" parking lot she asked, "what on earth could you possibly want to say to that terrible man?" I smiled. "I had to kneel down and kiss his ring. We were in the presence of greatness."