Wednesday 8 April 2009

Penny-Pinching Bastard

Yes, I suppose I am really. I don’t like to admit it, even though I just did… and I don’t like other people agreeing with me, despite the fact that I’m sure most of you did the very instant you read the title.

Basically, it goes like this. I am close to buying an Xbox 360. Very close. However, I was short by an almost considerable sum of money. I was given a cash injection due to yet another birthday, but it was not enough. I have tried to ignore the fact that every single time I express an interest in purchasing said hardware, someone, somewhere, after eating a Toffee Crisp, experiences the red ring of death. This is still the one thing that puts me off more than anything. But, when I weigh that against the prospect of owning Streetfighter 4, it just… doesn’t seem that big a bother, actually. So yes, I am still going to go ahead with it.

I was considering the purchase of a second-hand one to reduce the cost somewhat, but then I became a victim of what I now call the ‘hundred pound trust syndrome’. This is basically, that I have seen a few pre-owned 360’s for sale in various outlets, most of which seem to retail for about £120-£150, given the spec and condition. This is just the wrong side of my budget at the moment. I look on longingly, wondering if it is worth going into my overdraft in order to own one. This, however is tempered by the fact that to also procure Streetfighter 4 and an additional pad would probably push up the cost dangerously to nearer the £200 mark. Way, way out of my current spending budget. So I have put aside a sizeable chunk of my lifespan to finding one that is cheaper. This happened, strangely enough in the same day. Walking through the local town centre, swatting teenagers as I went, I discovered a small electrical store with of all things, a second-hand 360 in the window. As with such things, I did a double take. The pain should wear of eventually, I hope. The price tag badly stuck onto the side of it with sticky-tape stated that it was worth £79. (The Xbox, not the price tag. Obviously. Durrr…) At this point, I looked the white unit up and down. Most of the blanking plates were missing, as was the hard drive – although I did not know if that was so it didn’t get pinched. Even so, alarm bells rang inside, and I thought ‘That’s rather cheap. Too cheap. What’s wrong with it? Is it broken, abused or stolen?’ I backed away from the window. Turned and walked away.

This is the strange thing. I looked for ages to find an Xbox for under £100. When I found one, I didn’t want it, because it seemed too good to be true. Having been burned (literally) by cheap shit gadgets before, I did not want to chance buying something that despite fitting the financial requirement perfectly, would almost undoubtedly leave a bitter taste in the mouth, and me out of pocket when it fucked up. A strange sort of irony, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Time to buy a new one, I think. Time to rob a bank too, I guess…

- Galford.

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