A piece of America is being lost. In case you've not heard, Radio Shack is closing down many of its stores. Will all of them close? That remains to be seen.
Always considered the doormat of electronics among high-end stereo freaks for its schlocky stereo equipment, Radio Shack has survived these many years by being the sole provider of electric "stuff". (I call it that because I don't know the names of any of the little do-dads that they sell.)
But, I (and you) don't have to know these names because the folks at Radio Shack DO know them.
When you walk into a Radio Shack you are immediately sized up by the workers there. For instance, when I walked in they likely nicknamed me "the guy who doesn't know shit about electronics".
When I'd approach a Radio Shack employee I would confirm to them their suspicions by saying "hi, I'm Mark and I don't know shit about electronics". The one I'm speaking to would flash an all-knowing grin to his partner, communicating an unspoken code known only to electronics geeks which says "yup, here's another one".
The next challenge is for the electronics moron (me) to describe what it is I need. This is always frustrating for both parties and likely takes up most of the time of a Radio Shack employee. I can almost hear the conversation when a Radio Shack employee comes home to his wife at the end of the day. "Hi, dear. What did you do today?" "I listened to idiots who knew nothing about electronics describing what they wanted in incoherent sentences."
Ultimately, through something resembling osmosis, the needs of electronics numb skulls are figured out by the always patient Radio Shack employees.
Thus it was with a high degree of sadness that I found out that our local Radio Shack is closing. I went there because I needed a small electronic device that emits a high-pitched warning. Why Radio Shack? Because folks on the internet have unanimously said that "Radio Shack has them".
The sign on the door said it all. I don't remember what the specific words were because the tears streaming down my face blinded me to most of the letters.
"No more electrical do-dads" was the ultimate meaning of the sign on the door.
An era has passed. There will never be another Radio Shack.
I miss them.
Readers, enjoy your day.