A couple who were long-time friends of my wife and I- knowing my A/V insanity- asked if they could recruit my "services" to choose a new display, BD player, AVR, speakers, and sub for their newly-remodeled living room/basement theater.
Happy to oblige and with a ~$2,000 total budget we went ahead and picked out and ordered a new Panasonic 50" GT50 (~$1000) , Panny blu ray player (~$120), Denon AVR (~$450), and (5) Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 100's that I found for a steal, all 5, new, for about $150. The final piece of the puzzle, a Definitive Supercube 1 sub, pushed them a bit over budget, but it was also an absolute no-brainer- virtually new from a girl off Craigslist who was selling her ex-boyfriends "$hit" (her word not mine) whom she had "thrown out" a couple of weeks back. Bit of a questionable move on my part, I suppose, but don't fear, I paid for it.
So this stuff trickled in over the next week or so, pretty much going straight to their garage (didn't want it sitting in the house) until all had arrived and we were ready to put it together. When the time arose, we arranged for my wife and I to stop by on a Friday night to get their $2200+ dollar Home Theater up and running. Unbox some equipment, place it on a wide-open entertainment stand, position some speakers on stands, route some HDMI cables and speaker wire, run Audyssey. Easy enough.
Well, these folks have about 20 kids last time I checked (ok, really 6). And they're all over the place.
Just getting all the stuff in the house was an absolute circus...not improved an iota by December weather in Wisconsin. Now, I'm not a man of much patience to begin with, but I'm confident that kids pretty much hanging on your femur while you're trying to move a $1000 plasma tv across a 30' stretch of icy sidewalk is more than anyone can take. When I finally reached my boiling point I stopped and politely
yelled at them (and immediately got that feeling a guy gets after yelling at someone else's kids) and they finally relented...so it seemed.
The tv was first into the basement and once it was down there, in an attempt to exercise some caution regarding condensation from the severe temperature change, we decided to remove it from its carton and allow it to "breathe" while the balance of the gear was moved in and situated. Now the reality is it would have been better off left inside the box for a lot of reasons, but especially so to better transition it through the temp change. But hey, who needs to really think
when you're "clever
Everything else went rather quickly. Receiver in, a couple of boxes of speakers, the BD player. I scooped up the sole remaining item (Super Cube sub) and headed into the house.
Now by this time (we had dinner and hung out a bit first) it was pushing 8:30 and I was wondering why these 2, 4, 6, and 8 yr-olds were still up to begin with, but what do I know (no kids of my own at this point)?
Whatever. The sub was a decent 60 or so lbs but nothing I couldn't handle (hey, I carried my 140lb Captivator up a flight of stairs and into my living room in by myself):
I popped through the door like a guy with his first born- internally beaming about the deal I landed them, picking this sub up for $350- and started heading down the basement stairs just a few steps inside the back door. They (the stairs) were carpeted and my feet were actually relatively dry.
I (cautiously of course
) cruised on down like I had already done a half-dozen times, but with 5-6 steps remaining...
I remember having a feeling akin to someone stomping on the brake pedal to stop a car while you were an unsuspecting passenger. That, and the even odder sensation of my feet remaining 6 feet behind me.
It was all over in split second. The wife said it looked like I was "flying" from where she was standing. I suppose that's what it felt like for half a second so I'll go along with that.
The death toll?
Remember that 50" Panasonic plasma television that we un-boxed? Yeah, we decided to keep it at the foot of the stairs so it would be "out of the way" while we configured the speakers and other gear. The Supercube was now firmly implanted, dead-center in the TV. Done. Exploded. I remember the smell being like nothing I had ever encountered. I was staring at crap all over my hands while I was trying to figure out how they weren't cut anywhere. My chest burned...this 60lb cube had seemingly attempted to puncture my lungs. The bd player and AVR also laid in front of the tv (of course).
The AVR came out unscathed (yea Denon packaging), but the 300+ cargo (I'm about 240) was too much for the Panny BD player...I snapped the internal foam and bent the casing so badly the LCD screen was cracked and the disc tray wouldn't open. The sub, fortunately, was largely alright. Some of the mounting screws on the (rather stout) driver had either sheared off or busted through their cabinet mounts, but simply rotating the driver and tapping some new holes mostly addressed that problem.
But there was all this and this profound feeling of dread and despair. This was not a family of unbridled means (with 6 kids, not many are). I know they had been saving for the better part of a year (at least) for this moment which was now irreparably disintegrated. I felt horrendous.
When I discovered that their 4 year old had stuck a plastic sword through the banister and directly in between my feet, setting the wheels in motion, I have to say I felt about 10% better, realizing- at the very least- the catastrophe wasn't entirely my doing.
But, sigh, it didn't really matter. They were out a $1000 tv, a nice BD player, and now had a not-so-beautiful subwoofer.
Home owners insurance is nice, but it's not free, either.
When it was over my wife and I insisted that they allow us to cover half of their deductible .
And that was one check I'm glad I never saw as I spent the entire weekend on the couch, watching football, recovering and recalling how my Kuro had arrived to my home just a year earlier...
yes, those are gigantic cracks if you cannot tell...destroyed by two imbeciles who moved (really, bounced) it up my drive way on a cart in the middle of January.
ahhhhhhhhhh, isn't this stuff fun?
JamesEdited by mastermaybe - 6/18/12 at 5:16am