The sounds of Vancouver crooner Michael BublÃ© play us into The Source by Circuit City, in which a man behind the counter of the electronics retailer formerly known as RadioShack avoids making eye contact. We hover, sighing occasionally, idly pushing miniature wind-up cars across the countertop that separates us. Finally, we have no choice but to get verbal. “Excuse me,” we say, and the retail reverie is broken.
We’re ostensibly looking for one of those nifty little devices that lets you play your iPod in your car. Brygidyr and I each have one already, so we know whereof we speak. Unfortunately, this electronics “expert” does not. He holds up one possibility, then another. We nix both. (We have neither a stereo-input jack nor a tape deck in our car.) An awkward moment passes as the clerk peers blankly at a wall of accessories, no doubt willing the right one to leap into his hand. It does not. At last, we describe the very product we seek, and he looks at us wide-eyed and disbelieving. “It exists!” we insist.
When the silence between us becomes overwhelming, we’ve had enough. “Sorry to have been a burden to you,” Brygidyr says at the door.