Friday, August 10, 2012
Greetings and solutions, Sparkpeeps!
A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders (alas that it has not registered on my crummy scale). I finally finished repairing that bass clarinet. It was like being Bruce Lee and having seventy-seven ninjas come out from all sides at once. There was much carnage, but I have been victorious! HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA! I liken this journey to a very poorly written and casted kung-fu movie in which our heroine is victorious, but at great expense. Please for to be allowing me elucidation.
The Scene: Fuedal Texas, er I mean Japan
The Shogun Bando-n0-Directoru's minion has damaged the mighty Bass Clarinet of Destiny! Despairing for supremacy in the upcoming regional music festival, and also the competition for the bragging rights for all of Fuedal Texas, er, Japan before the Emperor, the Shogun has called forth Shop Samurai! He has charged Shop Samurai to call upon her renowned powers to make the Bass Clarinet of Destiny whole again, and in the process saving the dignity of the shogunate (and possibly ruining the chances of the neighboring rival Shogun's minions in the process). Shop Samurai accepts this mighty challenge from the most honorable Shogun Bando-no-Directoru, and, with promises of rich reward (or at least due compensation and a future long-term contract), our heroine retreats with the damaged instrument to her lair, deep in the mystical woods of the Earth-Wind-and-Fire Dragon.
She is met at a crossroads on the path by a spirit, who tells Shop Samurai that to accomplish her quest, she must remind herself of the skills it takes to master He-Who-Shapes-Metal. After much arduous searching through months, Shop Samurai captures He-Who-Shapes-Metal, or at least one of his smaller cousins. This vile creature would not be tamed so easily by Shop Samurai, and though she cursed, spat, and threatened to return it from whence it came (somewhere in Lavergne, TN, allegedly), He-Who-Shapes-Metal only damaged the Bass Clarinet of Destiny further. Despairing that she would not accomplish her task, Shop Samurai lit a sacred fire to consult the spirits. Her mentor spirits were not all that helpful, so she pressed on alone, thinking perhaps her magical powers were not "all that".
But lo! A mysterious Northerner entered the lair of Shop Samurai! Naturally, Shop Samurai was a bit suspicious, knowing that this mysterious Northerner couldn't master the art of things like "putting-away-socks" and "placing-empty-toilet-paper-ro
le." She was also afraid he was going to ask her what was for dinner the next day. After explaining with much wailing and gnashing of teeth what was happening, and declaring that she would probably give up and go sell insurance, the mysterious Northerner remained silent. He walked up to He-Who-Shapes-Metal and said "here's you're problem." After showing Shop Samurai that the motor could be reversed and was not set up properly at the factory, the mysterious Northerner flipped a cryptic looking switch that Shop Samurai had heretofore ignored (since our heroine has no patience for ill-conceived schematic diagrams). Behold! The ancestors be praised! Problem solved. And Shop Samurai thanked the mysterious Northerner profusely, then continued her work.
But the spirits were not done with Shop Samurai! Oh no they were not! For she had to cut the rock-hard wood of the Bass Clarinet of Destiny by HAND, because the opening was not stable enough to cut (and Shop Samurai had kind of butchered the pilot that she made, etc etc ahem so anyway...). Three whole days she labored, and frequently thought of quitting, but our heroine prevailed through blistering heat and blistering hands to get through the first part of her quest.
Alas, the spirits of the mystical forest of the Earth-Wind-and-Fire Dragon were STILL not done! While in meditation after her recent victory over He-Who-Shapes-Metal, an ancient demon manifested itself to her and declared that before she can make the Bass Clarinet of Destiny whole again, she must first acquire stronger magic in the form of She-Who-Drills-Holes. The mysterious Northerner accompanied her on her quest to acquire the magic of She-Who-Drills-Holes at the local hardware store, and, given the reputation of a particular brand, chooses her new weapon. And so, Shop Samurai and the mysterious Northerner headed back to the lair to try and assemble the great metal behemoth and see if they could level it.
Woe be unto Shop Samurai and her descendents! For the spirits of the mystical forest of the Earth-Wind-and-Fire Dragon (who apparently didn't have anything better to do than to torment our heroine), were STILL not done with Shop Samurai! For She-Who-Drills-Holes was just as rickety as could be, despite the expensive brand name attached to her, and the drive shaft vibrated so much that none of Shop Samurai's tools or spells could save the Bass Clarinet of Destiny while in the presence of the faithless creature. Momentarily defeated, Shop Samurai took the Bass Clarinet of Destiny and retreated to a more air-conditioned part of her lair.
Feverishly, Shop Samurai worked through the night to slowly, painstakingly shape the receiver of the new part by hand and by small tools, and a bit of fire (which was not intentional, but that is the nature of the wood of the Bass Clarinet of Destiny: spontaneous combustion). She indeed triumphed, although it took for darn near EVER, and once she had assembled the parts and clamped them for the requisite time, they held true.
But woe and contagion still plagued Shop Samurai, and she asked "what's a tech gotta do to get a break around here?!" It seemed that the Bass Clarinet of Destiny had other problems, mysterious problems, which prevented it's lovely and magical voice to be uttered. Shop Samurai struggled and fought to eradicate the imps that had apparently infested the tone holes, and at the stroke of midnight (okay, it was actually 11:30, but that's not very poetic, now is it) the Bass Clarinet of Destiny was made whole again.
In the aftermath of this epic battle, Shop Samurai realized that she had not exercised in two weeks, and was very dehydrated, and very tired, and could not close her right hand because it was swollen and overused. She was also terribly behind on other quests (which were, thankfully, not as arduous), and her lair was a wreck, because the mysterious Northerner could not be bothered to clean up or do any grocery shopping. Oh, well.
Nor did she receive praise from the Shogun Bando-no-Directoru, for he was out of the office when she delivered the Bass Clarinet of Destiny. Oh, well.
But, Shop Samurai gained valuable knowledge.
So they all lived happily ever after. Tee hee.
Maybe I need to ventilate my shop a bit better...