The Computer Buzz
||February 25th, 2010|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Cactus Jack’s Magnet
My head was in the belly of a PC checking the motherboard for swollen capacitors when I smelled him, a pungent mixture of tobacco, whiskey, sweat and leather with just of hint of diesel fuel. If they could bottle that smell, half the men in the world would buy it. I looked up to see Cactus Jack scowling at me over a cup of our coffee. Nome was standing behind him holding her nose and rolling her eyes.
“Hi Jack, I take it you’ve been dumpster diving over at Fry’s this morning,” I said shaking his calloused hand.
Jack looked surprised “What the hell makes you think that?”
“I guess its this Fry’s shipping label hanging off the brim of your Stetson,” I ventured as I pulled it off his hat and handed it to him.
“Yeah I was over there this mornin, got some really good stuff too. Wanna take a look?” Jack motioned toward his pick-up truck parked in front of our store.
“No thanks Jack, I’ll take your word for it. It is hard to believe that you actually stock the shelves at your computer store with parts that Fry’s throws out.” I said.
Jack smirked. “Them know-nuthin folks at Fry’s throws out the good stuff and keeps the junk. Yer better off shoppin in their dumpster than in the store.”
“Well nothing but the best for Rainbow Computer Emporium, right Jack?”
“Damn straight,” he grinned. Jack’s teeth were a perfect color match for his tobacco stained mustache.
“They keeping you busy at your store up in Rainbow?” I asked.
“Well,” said Jack proudly, “I’m runnin three shifts seven days a week and barely keeping up.”
“That’s incredible Jack,” I said, “What’s your secret?”
Jack put his hand on my arm and smiled condescendingly. “Repeat business is the secret my boy, and the key to bringin em back in is my magnetic signs.”
“Really?” I said, “I just started using refer magnets myself, just got them in last week.” As I spoke I pulled one of the shelf and stuck it on the side of a computer. “What do you think of that, Jack?”
Jack squinted at the two inch refer magnet. “What the hell good is that?” he asked.
“It’s got our name address, phone number and e-mail on it, what does yours say?”
“It don’t make no difference what it says,” said Jack, “yours ain’t big enough to do the job.”
“How big are the ones you stick on computers in your shop?” I asked.
“Same size as that-un,” said Jack pointing to the one and a half foot square magnetic sign on his pick-up truck’s door.
“Good lord Jack,” I said incredulously. “A magnetic sign that size would erase the hard drive in a computer.”
“Well duh,” said Jack, “usually takes about eleven weeks give or take a couple of days.”
Jack put his arm on my shoulder. “I like you folks but, if you’re gonna make it in the computer business you need to start payin attention.” As he walked out the door he said, “I’ll e-mail you the name of the place where I git my “refer magnets” done.”