Mexico

Hey, loyal reader. How’s it going? I hope all is well with you.

I’m a bit more focused of late, I think. It’s hard to tell with me, even for me. I’ve actually been busy for the last week, so I haven’t had as much time to idly ponder the vicissitudes of life. Or kumquats. I haven’t even been thinking about golf!

I played golf last Saturday with Todd and Phyllis, and I shot the best round of golf I’ve had in probably twenty years. So, I figure I just have to keep doing whatever it was I did on Saturday and in a couple of years I probably won’t suck at golf as much as I do now.

It may not sound like much of a plan, but that’s pretty elaborate for me.

Todd is my lovely supermodel wife’s boyfriend, and he’s back in town. I should probably qualify that statement. Todd and Lea have known each other since junior high. And as Lea pointed out, if I can have three wives, there’s no reason why she can’t have one boyfriend.

Todd and Lea have been good friends for something like unto forty-five years. They never dated each other, which might be one reason why they’re still very good friends. At any rate, Todd came down to visit us last year, and we all had a blast. I told him he was welcome back anytime.

Todd has been here for a week, and he’s staying for at least one more. Lea and Phyllis have a lots of fun things planned for Todd while he’s here. Todd and I are ready to jump into action whenever Lea or Phyllis tell us we’re going somewhere. In the meantime, we watch the NHL playoffs in the evening and talk about Guy Stuff.

It’s something I don’t get to do much of anymore, so that’s been a lots of fun.

Todd lives in Northern Idaho. He’s almost a Canadian, eh. The weather in the Lakeside area has been a welcome change for him from the everlasting winter of 2018. It was 28° in Idaho last Wednesday, the day he arrived. It was 82° here.

Todd has been smiling a lots for the last week.

He brought a lots of goodies from the States. Stuff for Lea. Stuff for Phyllis. And he brought me a Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit, which performs perfectly, and balance has been restored to the Force once more. My stereo actually sounds better than it did before.

And there’s one more thing Todd brought back to Mexico. Hummingbirds. We had thousands of hummingbirds at this time last year. My lovely supermodel wife loves hummingbirds. We were refilling two feeders three times a day. Lea thought she was going to spend all of our savings on sugar to feed her hummingbirds.

Then, one day last year, for no apparent reason, damn near all of the birds vanished. We were down to maybe four birds for several months, and my lovely supermodel wife was bummed to the max. But when Todd returned, so did the hummingbirds. We’ve had hundreds of them at our feeders for the last few days.

Todd isn’t the only one who has been smiling a lots of late.

* * * *

In 1975, James Taylor sang a song about Mexico. Maybe you remember it. I do. It was called Mexico. Imagine that. It got a lots of radio play back in the day. I played it on my new and improved stereo system the other day. Unlike Sweet Baby James, in 1975 I wasn’t thinking about Mexico. I wasn’t planning on ever moving here, or remotely contemplating even visiting the place. I don’t think I was even planning on doing either of those things as recently as 2015, and yet, here I am.

Someone at the golf course explained it this way, “Ajijic calls to certain people, and if you’re meant to be here, everything just falls into place for you.”

That was certainly the case for my lovely supermodel wife and I. The opposite appears to be equally true. We’ve met a few people whom Ajijic didn’t call, but decided to move here anyway. They hated it here and are leaving or have already left. Those people are the exception, not the rule. I almost wish Ajijic would stop talking to strangers, but she is a very friendly village…

Mexico is both more and less than what I originally thought it would be, not that I had much of an idea of what it would be like before we visited here the first time. It’s much more diverse than I imagined it would be in population, culture and landscape. It’s a melange of color, music and gastronomic delights. Mexico is like unto the Minnesota State Fair, except it’s like that everyday here.

The image I chose to illustrate this installment is an accurate depiction of the festival life here. Mexico can party with the best of them, and with a style and class that is truly second to none.

But if you think this is going to be a promotional essay on why you should move here, it’s not. You shouldn’t move here. Don’t even come to visit. The roads are terrible. The weather sucks. Everyone speaks an incomprehensible language and they hate foreigners.

Stay wherever it is you are. You’re better off there.

* * * *

We’ve been showing Todd around the Lakeside area, going out to eat at some of the fine dining establishments. You know, actually getting out of the house. I’ve been posting a lots of pictures of the places we’ve visited and the restaurants we’ve patronized on my Facebook page. As a result, I’ve accidentally become a local Google Maps guide, and my photos have been viewed almost a quarter of a million times.

Yes. It’s true. I’m kind of a big deal. Kind of. Maybe.

Being virtually famous hasn’t changed me in the least. I’m still the same self-absorbed, superficially introspective mystic that I’ve always been. That’s because being virtually famous is essentially the same thing as not being famous at all. I don’t have crowds of adoring fans. I don’t have to wear a disguise if I decide to go into the village. I have yet to sign so much as even one autograph!

I should probably thank Social Media for making me the semi-legendary non-sensation that I’ve become, but why?

I’m sure I spend more time on Facebook than I need, but a few of my virtual friends are massively pregnant, and will probably deliver any day now. I wouldn’t normally describe a pregnant woman that way, but I don’t think any of them read my blog. Not on a regular basis anyhow. If I’m wrong, I’ll probably find out very soon…

One of my work daughters and all time favorite people just got married. Congratulations to Nancy and Jake. She was radiant on her wedding day. And that dress…  Holy mutha!

A couple of my friends and former co-workers are going to nursing school. They’ll make excellent nurses once they graduate. I’m happy for them.

I’m becoming less tolerant of the posts I’m willing to be exposed to on my FB page, and I’ve been making the really annoying people disappear. Too much drama. Too much use of the word nigga. I really can’t handle that shit. My generation grew up during the Civil Rights movement. It was a time when a whole lots of people were willing to risk their lives because they were sick and tired of being called that name. It was a traumatic time for my generation and the entire country.

It’s sad to say, but I don’t think some young people now are aware of that fact. And if they are, they don’t seem to care. I find that thought to be even more disturbing than my original disturbing thought.

Be that as it may, I haven’t had this many best friends that I’m never speaking to again since I was in grade school. Given the times we live in, I’m not sure if that’s weird or just the way things are now…

* * * *

For reasons that I will never understand, I’m still semi-popular with single, unemployed, seemingly clueless, attractive young ‘Christian’ women of high moral standards who want to have a deeply personal relationship with a married grandfather figure that they’ve never met before. I hear it’s because of the hat I’m wearing in my profile picture.

I’ve become convinced that all of these girls are actually the same person because their stories are all the same. Seriously. Their parents are dead. Their last boyfriend cheated on them, and they just quit their job because their boss was sexually harassing them.

I don’t believe in coincidences, so I’m pretty sure one person is behind all of this, and that person is really a thirty-eight year old guy named Stewart who lives in his parents’ basement in Dubuque. He probably doesn’t have anything better to do. After all, it’s Iowa.

I’m from Minnesota. When we don’t have anything better to do, we make fun of Iowa…

* * * *

Perhaps you’ve noticed this: Life is a series of routines that change somewhat from day to day, year to year, decade to decade. School routine. Work routine. Weekend routine. Marriage routine.

Like it or not, we are creatures of habit. We find comfort in familiarity. We might complain about the monotony of our daily rituals, but deep down inside we’re not dismayed by them. We tend to like our routines, most of the time. Some of the nurses I used to work with actually worshipped them. Those nurses tended to work on the Night Shift.

“How was your day?” My lovely supermodel wife and I had that conversation almost every day for almost thirty years. It’s something we rarely have to discuss anymore because we spend pretty much every day together, so there’s not a lots of mystery regarding what either one of us are doing at any given time. It’s a good thing that we still like each other.

I’m sure I’ve fallen into a daily routine even in retirement. Granted, it’s much less regimented than it was when I was working. And that was mostly because of work. Employers are so unreasonable sometimes. They hire you, and then they expect you to show up and do your job, like, every day!

Almost everything I do now is dependent on whether I want to do it or not. I’ve never been my own boss before, so I’m really liking this new approach to doing stuff or not. I’m married, so, technically, I may still not be my own boss. Spanish lessons and doctor appointments are just about the only things I  go to no matter how I feel about them.

I’m not sure if learning a new language is ever easy. I have never been a slow learner before, but I am when it comes to Spanish. I took three years of French in high school, and I’m not sure I would’ve been able to speak to a French person and be understood, even back then.

I’ve been living in Mexico for roughly a year and a half. I can speak about ten sentences in Spanish now, and I have a buttload of random Spanish words bouncing around inside of my head. I’m getting to the point where I’m forgetting words in two languages. I’m becoming Byelingual.

Like unto my golf game, I figure the whole Spanish thing will fall into place if I don’t try to force it. Everything clicks at it’s appointed time. And if Ajijic called me here, it did so for a reason.

Perhaps someday that reason will be revealed. Hopefully, not in Spanish…  If someone comes up to me and starts rattling off a torrent of Spanish, and that happens more often than I like, I still get that Deer in the Headlights look in my eyes. But now I can tell them, in perfect Spanish, that I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, which is probably kind of confusing to the person talking to me, now that I think about it.

Oh well, we’re at least on the same level then.

For good or for ill, I’m in Mexico for the long haul. I’m planning on leaving here the day after I die. And even then, I might hang around for awhile. There’s a huge City of the Dead in Mexico. The only downside I can see is you have to got dead to live there. Other than that, it looks like a nice place. I could live there, I think.

Unless you have to be able to speak more than ten sentences of Spanish in order to be admitted…

I hope I don’t have to discover the admission criteria anytime too soon. I’m kind of loving it here right now.

My Right Foot

For those of you who read my last post, I have an update. For those of you that didn’t, I had purchased a defective component for my stereo system and had been trying to get some sort of resolution of my problem through the Customer Support team at Best Buy®.

I had talked to a couple of the support people on the phone early in March, and while they were polite and friendly, they weren’t able to do anything to rectify my problem. So I sent several emails to the executive members of the Customer Support team. And nothing happened until March 10th when I received an email from one member of the Executive Resolution Team assuring me that I was a revered and extremely valuable customer. And then nothing happened. Again.

Yesterday, I sent another email to Best Buy®, and I finally contacted the one person I had initially resisted contacting.

Mr. Herbert Joly, the CEO.

I outlined all of my conversations with the Customer Support team, verbal and written, and asked Mr. Joly if he’d be kind enough to, you know, kind of light a small to medium sized fire under a few asses and get someone to do something to resolve my problem in a bit more timely manner, like, this year.

I told Mr. Joly that I had been a nurse, so I had a very basic understanding of customer service. I likened my experience with his company to having one of my patients ask me for a couple of Tylenol for pain, then me responding, “I’m sorry, revered and extremely valuable customer. If you could check back with me in six to eight months, I might be able to help you.”

This morning, I received a telephone call from Mr. Eleazar Kovalov, the guy who had assured me that I was revered and extremely valuable. He said that he was going to send me a refund check in the amount of $81.96. In his mind, it was the easiest, quickest resolution, and this thing had clearly been stretched out too long already. And he informed me that I would receive my check in ten days.

But wait, there’s more. My lovely supermodel wife’s boyfriend is coming here to visit at the end of April, and he’s going to bring me a new wireless rear speaker unit.

You can breathe easily once more, Jane. Balance has been restored to The Force, at least as far as this situation goes.

And one last thing. I sent another email to Mr. Joly thanking him for his assistance.

However, there always has to be something else that gets messed up, creating a different imbalance, otherwise my life would be perfect. It would appear there’s a plan in place to make sure that never happens.

* * * *

I’ve mentioned my affection for movies and music in previous posts. Little Known Fact About My Blog: many of the titles of the posts I write are also song or movie titles. Or at the very least, a play on words that reflects a song or movie title.

Coming up with a catchy title is the most critical part of the writing process. Well, it is for me. Suppose that Erich Maria Remarque wanted to write a sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. He’d need another catchy title to grab his readers’ attention.

I’d suggest this: Still Pretty Quiet on the Western Front. 

Mr. Remarque will have to figure out the rest…

* * * *

Perhaps you’ve seen the movie, My Left Foot, 1989, Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s the story of Christy Brown. He was an Irishman born with cerebral palsy, and the only part of his body he could control was his left foot. About a week ago, my right foot started bothering me and it steadily got worse until it became the only part of my body that I couldn’t control.

I’m fairly used to having at least one part of my body bother me on a daily basis, so I wasn’t too concerned about my newest pain issue. It wasn’t too bad. Most of the time. Unless I was golfing.

Until yesterday.

I went to my weekly golf lesson with my buddy, Tom. By the way, my golf coaches are reasonably satisfied with the mechanical improvement in my swing. I still have a bunch of stuff to figure out, but as they say, it’s job security for them.

My golf lesson is a group lesson. A bunch of old, white gringos gather on the driving range and hit golf balls while Romero and Cesar critique our swings and stuff. Yesterday, I hit golf balls for about an hour. And that’s all I did. I didn’t practice putting. I didn’t run laps around the golf course, or do any push ups. To be honest, none of us do any of those things. Most of the old gringos hit golf balls, then go drink beer in the club house afterwards.

My right foot was aching on a medium-ish scale when I arrived at the golf course, but by the time I got home I could hardly place any weight on my wildly throbbing foot. On a scale of one to ten, my pain was a nine. It climbed to thirteen if I tried to walk.

I’m not a doctor. I’ve never even played one on TV, but I once was a very good nurse. So I decided to diagnose myself.

Okay. I need to document a couple of disclaimers. First, and foremost, do not try this at home. I am a highly trained healthcare professional with decades of experience at speaking very complex medical terminology.

Second, and secondmost, do not, under any circumstances, ever ask me to diagnose you. I’ll tell you that you have cancer.

Okay. Let us begin.

* * * *

Little Known Fact About Nurses: whenever something goes wrong with our bodies, we automatically assume the worst. We know all of the terrible things that can go wrong. Therefore, I immediately came to the conclusion that I had somehow stepped on a landmine.

Little Known Fact About Medical Diagnoses: finding the correct diagnosis can be a very complicated and tricksy thing. It’s basically a process of ruling out shit until only one thing can be ruled in. Unless there’s more than one thing…  Seeing how I hadn’t actually stepped on a landmine, it was easy to rule this out. The only thing about this diagnosis that was remotely accurate was it conveyed the level of pain I was in.

So I moved on to the next most probable scenario. I had stepped in a bear trap. Again, fairly easy to rule out because there aren’t any wild bears in Mexico, and even if there are, there aren’t any living in the Lakeside area, so there aren’t any bear traps to accidentally step in.

Trauma would certainly be a good cause of the pain I’ve been experiencing. But I’m pretty sure I’d remember injuring myself, and I have no recollection of doing anything to fold, spindle or otherwise mutilate my right foot.

Back when I was drinking myself to death, I would wake up in the morning with multiple areas that ached with pain. And the first thing that popped into my head was, Did I jump out of a car on the highway again?

Once I got through the impossible possibilities it was on to the less improbable possibilities.

* * * *

Gout.

Gout is a complex form of arthritis that can affect anyone, but is more common in older males. Like, well, me. It’s characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness and tenderness in the joints, often the joint at the base of the big toe.

It is precisely that part of my right foot that has been screaming in something like unto agony.

Gout occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joints, causing inflammation and intense pain. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood.

Okay. I just had a bunch of labs done last week, and none of my lab values were abnormal. While gout isn’t as ridiculous of a diagnosis as landmines or bear traps, it still doesn’t appear to be very probable.

If you’re experiencing a gout flare up, urate crystals accumulate in all of your joints, not just your big toe. I have varying degrees of arthritis in my back, shoulders and knees. And also in my hips, ankles and hands. Yet none of those joints are screaming in pain. The only thing that is gout-ish about my symptoms is the point of origin of my pain.

I might not be able to completely rule out gout, but neither can I completely rule it in. There’s a couple of more possibilities.

* * * *

Bunions.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. Bunions can also hurt like hell.

Little Known Fact About My Right Foot: it has a bunion. It’s not a big bunion, and as far as I know it has never caused me this much discomfort before. So whatever it is that has gone wrong with my foot, it probably isn’t the bunion’s fault.

My right foot hurts almost as bad as my first kidney stone did, which made me think that maybe I was passing another kidney stone, except this one is leaving my body via the big toe on my right foot. As intriguing as this idea is, I drink a lots of water now, mostly because I never want to have another kidney stone. Even in my foot.

I’m pretty sure I can rule out my bunion. And a pedal/plantar renal calculus.

See? I told you I knew a lots of fancy-sounding words. And then I remembered something that sounds uber-fancy.

* * * *

Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. It involves an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes, the plantar fascia. Hence, the name. Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel.

However, my heel is the only part of my right foot that doesn’t hurt. The rest of it fucking hurts like unto two goddamn hells. It feels like I’m walking on razor blades while dropping a bowling ball on my foot.

I have a very high pain tolerance, but this has been beyond my ability to effectively cope with, so I did what any logical guy in my position would do. I begged my lovely supermodel wife to amputate my right foot with my power miter saw. She said no, which wasn’t all that surprising. She would probably tell you that she spends one-third of her time saying no to things I suggest.

Perhaps A Little Known Fact About Plantar Fasciitis And Nurses: nurses are at a high risk level of developing plantar fasciitis because they spend long hours on their feet walking on hard surfaces. Several nurses I know have had it. Their descriptions of their symptoms are what made me think PF was the root cause of my aching foot.

Like unto almost every disease process, there are multiple factors involved in contracting and/or developing PF, and I have almost none of them. I don’t exercise. I sure as hell don’t run. I’m not obese. I’m not working as a nurse anymore. Still, there’s one possible indication that applies to me.

Shoes.

Wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause PF. I recently bought a new pair of Skechers® golf shoes. I absolutely love Skechers®. I have five pairs of their shoes. They’re the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. That said, I’m not sure why I bought new golf shoes. I didn’t need them. I already have two pairs of golf shoes. My new shoes are a bright neon green. You need sunglasses just to look at them. I never buy stuff like unto that.

My new golf shoes are the most expensive shoes I’ve ever purchased, but they’re just a bit too big for my feets. My feets slip and slide, just a little, inside my new shoes when I’m walking downhill. Otherwise, I don’t really notice any issues with my golf shoes. Maybe, just maybe, they might have some culpability in the current status of my right foot.

And then there’s this: the recommended treatments for PF have made my right foot feel better. Rest. Ice packs. Motrin. Stretching exercises. Elevation.

Something I found interesting is one of treatments for plantar fasciitis is ESWT.  Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. It’s what my urologist did to break up two of my kidney stones.

I’ll probably spend the next few days doing those things, minus the ESWT, and not much else. My right foot actually feels pretty decent right now. I hope it works. I’m going golfing on Sunday.

If the shoe fits…  In my case, it’s the opposite. At this point, I’m not sure I’ll ever wear my amazing Technicolor golf shoes again.

Perhaps A Little Known Fact About Me And Shoes: I rarely wear shoes around the house. I prefer being barefoot. So this makes the case against my flamboyant golf shoes that much stronger. My feet have been seen associating with them more than any of my other shoes.

* * * *

And there you have it. We have explored several possibilities. Some of them even made sense. What we ended up with is Non-traumatic Non-traditional Delayed Onset Pseudo-Goutal Plantar-Facio Bunionitis with Possible Idiopathic Displaced Renal Calculus Syndrome.

Ta-da!!!

If I had gone to see my doctor back in the States, that diagnosis would probably have cost me a few hundred dollars. In Mexico, it would’ve been seiscientos pesos. Roughly thirty bucks.

I love Mexico.

Does anyone want a pair of Technicolor golf shoes? Sunglasses not included.

Keep the Customer Satisfied

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been playing a lots of golf. I don’t think I’ve gotten any better, but I haven’t gotten any worse. Golf, as I like to say, is like being in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.

If you’ve dated more than one person in your life, you might have dated someone like unto this. That kind of crazy person who gave you incredible thrills and lots of laughs one day, and then treated you like a homeless person with Ebola the next.

I have yet to meet anyone who plays golf that disagrees with my analogy.

I’ve been getting some positive feedback from the people I’ve been playing with lately, and that’s been a bit of fun.

“You have the most beautiful swing.” 

I heard that about a month ago when I played in my first Go-Go tournament. I finally started listening to my golf coaches, well, some of the most of the time at least. I’ve slowed down my backswing, so I sometimes make better contact with the ball I’m trying to hit. When it all comes together the results are are very gratifying. And, apparently, very pretty and graceful.

I still lack consistency, and I may never achieve that. I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to get more better gooder. I asked my doctor to write a prescription that would improve my golf game.

He wrote me a prescription for Haldol.

I think the only thing that would help me improve would be to play more golf, and I’m not sure I want to make that kind of commitment to something that loves me not in return. Too bad I just can’t download a program from The Matrix. Then I’d be able to golf, and karate the hell out of bad guys at the same time.

“You’re the most relaxed golfer I’ve ever seen.” 

That was from yesterday at the Amigo Tournament. The team we played against was impressed by my equanimity and casual, Zen-like coolness. I attribute that to being a psych nurse for three decades. My affect rarely changes. I look about the same whether I hit a drive twenty feet or sink a twenty foot putt. And I did both of those things yesterday.

However, I’m not sure I want a bunch of people down here knowing that I used to be a nurse because they’ll start showing me body parts and asking me if I’ve ever seen anything like this before. So this is what I told the team we played against yesterday:

“It’s the heroin.”

* * * *

If you know me personally, you know I love four things above all others in this world. My lovely supermodel wife and her darling daughters. My Sleep Number® bed. The heated seats in my Buick Encore. And my stereo system.

Well, maybe you didn’t know all of that. I don’t like getting overly emotional about anything, and bursting into tears talking about my bed…  Well, it’s kind of awkward and embarrassing.

I have an awesome stereo system. I have eight sets of speakers, and two subwoofers. It’s a beast. That might seem like a lot, but I had fifteen sets of speakers when we lived in Minneapolis. That one was a beast on stereo steroids.

When I got drunk and cranked up the tunes back then, my whole block was rocking. I don’t do either of those things anymore. My neighbors here will never know how good they’ve got it.

I’m not sure how many CD’s I own. A couple of hundred at least. Everything from ABBA to ZZ Top. Classical to Classic Rock. Some Country Western. Jazz. Blues. I think I even have one Rap CD.

Given my deep and abiding love of music, I should have been a rock star. I probably would’ve gotten dead years ago if I had become a rock star, so it’s probably not the worst thing that didn’t happen to me.

The biggest reason I didn’t become a rock star is I don’t play any musical instruments. Not even the tambourine. Luckily for me I can play the stereo, and it has all the other instruments in it.

Back in Minneapolis, I must have run a half a mile of speaker wire throughout our cute little bungalow house. But when we moved to Surprise my lovely supermodel wife didn’t to see any wiring. So I went to the nearest Best Buy® and bought a Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit.

I didn’t have to run a bunch of wires throughout the house. My wife was happy. I had surround sound for my home theater system. Life was good.

We moved to Mexico seventeen months ago. About two months ago my Rocketfish unit died to death. And that’s when my troubles, if they can be called that, began.

There are Best Buy® stores in Guadalajara, three of them to be exact. However, the Rocketfish unit I want is only available in the US. So I ordered a replacement unit on the Best Buy® website and had it shipped to some friends in Arizona. My golf wife, Phyllis, picked it up when she went there earlier this month, and gave it to me last Saturday.

I hooked it up, and nothing happened. The sender unit was defective, and I was essentially screwed.

I decided to call the Best Customer Support Team. I had a very nice conversation with Cindy in Virginia. However, given the fact that I live in Mexico, there wasn’t much she could do.

So I wondered if someone higher up on the Chain of Command might be able to do something that Cindy couldn’t. You know, like, the CEO. So I Googled him. The CEO of Best Buy® is Hubert Joly. And I found a website with the contact information of every executive officer in the Best Buy® Corporation.

Any guesses what I did next? This is the email I sent to Trish Walker, President of Services:

Dear Trish,                  

I hope you’re having a good day. I thought about writing to Mr. Joly, but I decided he’d probably send my email to you and ask you to look into it. So here goes…                       

A brief back story. About ten years ago, I bought a Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit from one of your Best Buy stores in Arizona. About a year ago we moved to Mexico, and about two months ago my Rocketfish unit died.

I really liked the product, so I went to one of the Best Buy stores in Guadalajara, but it seems these units are only available in the US. So I ordered a replacement unit online from a Best Buy store in West McAllen, TX in early February, and had it shipped to a friend in Arizona. Another friend picked it up and brought it to Mexico. I got it today.

Order Number: BBY01-805530149954. The price was $81.96.                             

That’s when I discovered the unit I had ordered was defective. The sender unit wouldn’t send a signal to the receiving unit. Therefore, my rear speakers still don’t work.

I am a huge stereo buff. Words do not suffice to describe my disappointment. In addition, I lived in Minnesota for thirty years, and am an avid Vikings fan. Unless you’re not. Then I can be flexible. I have no shame in trying to resolve this matter without having to fly back to the US.

I called the number listed on your website and talked to Stu in the Geek Squad Support team. He gathered information, then passed me on to Cindy, whom I must have spent at least an hour talking with.                                                                                               

It seems Best Buy has a deadline of fifteen days to return a defective online product, so in my case that time period expired before I ever actually received the product. Cindy suggested I return the item to the store in McAllen. That’s about 1200 miles from here.

I asked Cindy if it was possible to send another Rocketfish speaker kit to one of the Best Buy stores in Guadalajara. And if that had been possible, this email would simply be a lot of praise for your Support Team in general, and Cindy in specific. And I would care less about the piece of junk I just bought, as long as I could get a unit that worked.

Alas, I guess that’s not possible.                                                                                           

Then Cindy gave me the number to the Rocketfish Support Team. She said the product was under warranty, and the manufacturer should honor that.

Alas, I guess that’s not possible either.

I talked to Ed at Rocketfish, who told me it was his birthday. Twice. I wished him a Happy Birthday three times, then he transferred me to the department that was supposed to help me. Her name was Cassandra. She essentially said there was nothing she or anyone else at Rocketfish could or would do, warranty or not, then asked if she could help me with anything else.

I actually had to laugh at that.

And that’s the end of my story. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to surprise me by doing something to try to fix this, but not so surprising that I have a heart attack.If  you need additional information you can respond to this email or you can call me on my US number: (623) 234-xxxx.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

* * * *

Have you ever watched The Good Doctor? It’s about this autistic young man who becomes a surgeon. And he has a very…unique…speech pattern. Both of the people I talked to at Rocketfish sounded like that. I don’t know if that’s how they really talk, or if Rocketfish has voice altering technology in play.

This is the number for Rocketfish Customer Support: 1-800-620-2790. If you’re really bored, you can call them and check for yourself. Tell them I said Hi.

* * * *

I didn’t hear back from Ms. Walker. So I sent an email to Sarah Labbé, Senior Executive Resolution Specialist. With a title like unto that, you know shit is going to get done. What do I know, she never responded to me. But I did receive a response from Mr. Zar Kovalov, Best Buy Corporate, Executive Resolution Team.

* * * *
Hello Mark!
 
I am truly sorry that this has been such a frustrating process! Emphatically, perception is reality! It does matter how you feel!
 
I am sending you my direct contact information ( which is below). This the highest level of escalation. So always feel free to contact me if there are any questions, problems or concerns.
 
In sincerity – You are a Revered, and extremely Valued Customer!

My response:

Dear Zar,
 
Thank you for following up on my email. Clearly, the easiest thing to do would’ve been to ignore it. I’m not sure there will be much you can do to resolve this matter, but I’m glad you’re willing to discuss it. 
 
In addition, I don’t think I’ve ever been viewed as a revered anything before. I kind of like the sound of that. Given the fact that I live in Mexico, I’m not sure what solutions are available. I’m going to offer some possibilities. You can decide if any of them are feasible.
 
From my point of view, the easiest solution is to ship a replacement Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit to one of the Best Buy stores in Guadalajara, preferably the one at the Gallerias Mall. It’s about fifty miles from where I live. I don’t even care if I have to pay shipping and handling and pay for the replacement unit. 
 
I just want my sound system to work the way I want it to again. If you are able to do that, my problem is essentially solved, provided the replacement unit works.
 
Option #2: I’ll be traveling to the States in August. With your approval, I could return the defective unit I bought at one of your stores in Minnesota and then pay the difference on a new unit which I would bring back to Mexico. It’s a longer wait for me, but I’m a patient man. End result, my problem is solved and you become revered to me.
 
Those are the two solutions I have. My wife says if you can’t send me a replacement unit, could you at least refund my money. This is how single-minded I am. I hadn’t even thought about that. 
I hope you have a good day, and I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience. 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
 
* * * *
And that’s as far as this has gotten. Stay tuned to this channel for updates, if any, as they occur.