Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scary Baby Carrier

Did you know there is a stroller that costs $879? The Bugaboo. It is essentially a baby carrier - a pram, as they call in England - that costs nearly 900 dollars. I am curious about what patented stroller technology the Bugaboo has that other strollers are lacking. It must have amazing hidden features, maybe James Bond-style gadgets for a quick getaway.

For $879, that thing better dispense soft serve ice cream, tone my arm muscles AND sing the baby to sleep. Realistically, I think the Bugaboo is just a very expensive status symbol for mommies who are still Totally Trendy.

Out of curiosity, I decided to look up what else can be purchased for about $879:
And why are we naming a baby stroller after a scary, evil mythological creature anyway? Seems counterintuitive. When I was young, a Bug A Boo was a song by Destiny's Child. The lyrics referred to a male who sends a girl too many pages and emails, and won't stop calling. I guess when you think about it, a baby could be called a monster who won't stop bugging you, but that's hardly something we want to advertise as we walk down the street with our bundle of joy, now is it?

Besides, just think about how many Gucci diaper bags you could buy with that $879. Oh, probably just the one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

George Would Be Proud

Today I spent a bit of time reflecting upon what makes DC unique. Here are a few things I came up with, which may or may not resonate with readers, depending on whether you live or spend time in the nation's glorious capital. In any case, here in DC, we have much to offer:
  • Broken escalators. These fancy metal staircases can be found at nearly every Metro station in the city. The best thing about broken escalators is the nice surprised feeling you get when you happen upon a working escalator every now and then. It's the little things...
  • High-priced homes and the country's worst public schools. Yes America, that's right. In the proud city named for the Father of Our Country, you can simultaneously pay more than $400,000 for a one-bedroom condo and send your child to a school where he or she will be as likely to be bitten by a rat as to land in a school with adequate funding and facilities.
  • More rain than Seattle. Based on an article I read but won't be citing here because -- let's face it, I'm too lazy to look it up -- DC had more inches of rain last year than Seattle, the city that people like to think of as being the rainiest in the land. We also have drivers who act as though Satan himself were bringing the world to an end via a fiery hellstorm whenever a few drops fall from the sky. They turn driving during rush hour into a fun game of hit the gas, hit the brake, wait, swerve a bit, aaand repeat. You would think that they'd be used to it by now...
Now I don't want to be a Negative Nelly here. We also have lots of fun, wholesome, American things to offer in DC. Such as monuments, museums, the Presidential motorcade, the filming of Transformers 314 on the National Mall, and lobbyists!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, like in any place, you have to take the bad with the good. And it could be worse - we could get huge snowstorms that shut down the city for weeks at a time. Oh, wait...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Worst Buy

Seven weeks ago, I decided to buy a microwave from Best Buy. A fairly simple pursuit, or so I thought at the time. In fact, I ordered several kitchen appliances from Best Buy’s Web site, and they were sporadically delivered to my house without much notice. All except for the damn microwave.

Last Friday, it was finally delivered. But not by Best Buy! It was sent by an eBay seller, who I bought the microwave from (again) after Best Buy failed to deliver the appliance. This was after 12 phone calls from my husband and me, a written letter of complaint, a flurry of negatively aimed Twitter posts, and false promises from Best Buy's delivery company, resulting in raised and dashed hopes over the period of a month.

Our conversations went like this:
Monday: “Your microwave is here! It will be delivered on Wednesday.”
Wednesday: “Oh, your microwave isn’t actually here. We don’t know when it will be.”
Thursday: “You ordered a microwave?”
Friday: “Your microwave will definitely be here on Monday. You’ll have it next week!”
Monday: “It could be weeks before your microwave is delivered. We just don’t know.”

I find it amusing that a company that devotes so much energy, focus, manpower and money to advertising offers very little in the areas of customer service, item tracking, and delivery services. You know – things that actually matter to the customer!

My entire kitchen remodel has been held up by this nonsense because the microwave has to be built-in above the oven. So I have been eating hot dogs, burgers, and things that can be grilled or cooked in a frying pan since August. Thanks, Best Buy, or as my friend Pamela so cleverly called it, WORST BUY. Never again.