|Subject:||The vacuum cleaner story.|
A couple of days ago i decided to clean my room. It had been a little while since i last cleaned it and it really needed a good vacuuming, so i went downstairs to fetch the house vacuum cleaner, which is a fairly bulky industrial thing. It was broken. Actually, it's been broken for ages — the belt that connects the motor to the sucking machinery keeps falling off. Every time i've used it, i've had to open it up, replace the belt, and put it back together, and then it will run for two or three minutes until the belt falls off again.
Well, this time, i said to myself, i'll fix it once and for all — and i marched off confidently to the hardware store. All i needed was something to put on the end of the belt rod that would keep the belt from slipping off. After talking to a Clueless Woman who didn't understand what i was looking for and thought they didn't have it, i found the part myself: a $2 metal ring with a set screw that would hold it in place around the belt rod.
But the set screw had a hex head, so i went looking for hex keys. The proper-size hex key was 50 cents. But there! Right next to it! Was a package of three folding thingies — one with a complete set of Imperial-sized hex keys, one with a complete set of metric hex keys, and one with a complete set of star-shaped hex keys. Gasp! At last i could be free of the tyranny of not being able to take apart Apple hardware.
Fig. 1. My previous relationship with hex screws.
I could not resist. I confessed my weakness to wealhtheow on the phone, then succumbed and bought the set. I went home a newly empowered human being.
Fig. 2. My new relationship with hex screws.
And that's how i went to the hardware store to buy a $2 part and ended up spending $30.
(P.S. The vacuum cleaner is fixed and works like a charm.)