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Article - 'The Computer Fair' by GaZZwa

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 8, 2003

Blurb

GaZZwa delves into the black market of the computing world, where nothing is as it seems...the computer fair.

Body


Gather round my friends, wrap yourselves in a blanket, get comfortable, heat some marshmallows on a stick that's probably been urinated on by a weasel over a fire and listen closely, for tonight, tonight my friends, I shall tell you the tale of the computer fair.

I awoke on a Sunday morning to the bellowing roar of the wind outside my bedroom window, and the repetitive tapping of rain onto the patio below. It was one of those days, the kind of days that make you wish you had nothing better to do but lay in bed curled up like some warm toasted snack your grandmother would make. It turned out that it was one of those days, I had nothing better to do, and with the power out due to the high winds and stormy weather, I was enjoying my morning in bed. My father, however, had other plans.

He was interested in looking at the various prices at a local computer fair for a drawing tablet. The previous day he had actually bought a pretty nifty drawing tablet for our computer, yet he wanted to go look at the prices of others at this computer fair (the very idea of this baffles me, why bother looking at prices if you've already got one? You're bound to end up cringing and getting angry when you realise you could have saved yourself £100 or something).

He hassled me out of bed (I think 'hassle' is the right word for when someone pulls off your covers and pokes you until you correspond with them) and I got ready to venture outside into the cold. I looked at myself in the mirror, and it instantly became clear that there was nothing that could stop me from going with the trendy 'just got out of bed' look. But that didn't really matter, I thought to myself, as the wind and rain, already worsening outside, would mess my beautiful looks up even more. It seems that I was right. By the time I had walked (or been blown) down my driveway and to the car, I looked like I had just been in a fight with Chris Eubanks, all wet and beaten up.

My dad drove us along to the Kettering Leisure Village, a facility that promises a village of leisure, and offers none. It's an annual thing you see, every year they get rid of one of the facilities. When it first opened about 9 years ago, it was pretty funky. It had a huge swimming pool, complete with a wave pool, a lazy river and a set of slides, a bowling alley, several tennis courts, football pitches and running tracks, an ice skating rink, a quasar laser game, a massive arcade and some restaurants. Now all that's left is the running track, the football pitch and the tennis courts, plus the indoor arenas that were used for various sporting events, which is now used for computer fairs and similar sales opportunities. Let me get one thing straight, the leisure village is well and truly a dump. It's absolutely huge, yet there is nothing there. It's a complete and utter waste of space. As we drove into the car park there were swarms of people walking out, clutching computer bases, games, boxes and all sorts of things. One computer fair must attract more people to the leisure village than it usually has in a year.

As I walked around the computer fair for the 7th time, I noticed that there are basically three types of people who go to these types of events:

1. The vet. Be they the salesperson or the buyer, there are always these people, and most of them look like Bill Gates, Will Wright or a younger version of Shigaru Miamoto. Others are very fat and where stained white T-shirts that read "All your bases are belongs to us!" There are also those who look like demented Vietnam veterans, or members of biker gangs; clad in leather with tangled up gray beards, these guys are dangerous.

2. The average, normal, guy. This includes myself and my dad. We know enough about computers to get some good deals, and we hardly ever go to a computer fair, unless of course there was something in particular we wanted. The salesmen that fall into this category can usually be found selling second hand games, blank CDs or sheets of paper.

3. He who knows not what he wants. These people really don't know anything about computers, or of anything in general. They only go to these events for the free cup of coffee and cupcake, and desperately want a new AOL CD Drive for their PC because they broke theirs whilst trying to use it as a cup holder.


What was I doing there? I'm not exactly sure, other than helping my dad look for a bargain on a drawing tablet - which he wasn't going to buy anyway. The place was crowded, mostly with people who fill the description for section 1. I looked at a stall selling PC and PS2 games (Warcraft III only £19? You gotta be kidding me!) I went to find my dad, only to trip over a miniature Bill Gates. Apologising, I carried on the search for my dad. On my 4th circuit round the fair, a woman tried to sell me a banana. Bemused, I shook my head, and eventually found my dad, looking at a stall selling pornographic screensavers (Rubberama, Babewatch or Babylicious Booty anyone?)

I eagerly asked him for £20 to buy Warcraft III, but he said "You don't want that, do you?" and instead paid £1.50 for a microphone/headphone headset for me. Thankyou dad, I owe you one.

In conclusion to this article, I'm feeling slightly confused. Why exactly did I write it? What was the point? Why did I even go to the computer fair in the first place? So many questions and so little answers. Oh, and if you were wondering, my dad found a similar drawing tablet for £90 less than he paid for his. Well, thanks for reading, and remember, computer fairs are the black market of the IT world, where geeks and nerds gather to sell eachother hardware, software and pornographic screensavers. Beware. G'night everybody!


-- GaZZwa