Sunday, January 21, 2007

Land Grab IV: Kitra Rents his Computer

Rent-to-Own

Written 19 January, 2007

Land Grab

IV. Kitra Rents His Computer


When I was in the early twenties, I had an experience with a rent-to-own company.

I was doing some work on my car (yes, girls work on their cars!) and needed a tool.

A piston ring compressor, if you must know. I really worked on my car.

Anyway, all my friends told me I would probably never need a ring compressor again, so I should rent one. And I did. I took myself down to the then-equivalent of Aaron rents, and picked up a ring compressor. Rent for three days was, best I remember, about five dollars.

The next day, when I used it, I discovered it was broken. Someone had cleverly disguised that fact by sticking the broken metal bands together, but it was broken.

I got a ride from a friend and bought a ring compressor at an auto parts store. It cost $3.95. Do the math.

By the time I got around to taking the rented tool back, it was nearly two weeks later. It cost me another fifteen dollars. For a tool that costs less than five.

So of course I’ve not been to a rental place since.

So when Kitra told me he rented his computer—and one for Valley—I knew he had to be young and foolish.

Later, when I told Dodgeguy Kitra rented his PC, he laughed his ass off.

“I can’t WAIT to tell Damian.”

Now, this might to this point seem like a classist post.

Certainly the disenfranchised tend to rent-to-own, while even lower-middle-class people don’t. But that’s not why Dodge laughed.

It’s because rental stores are like a special tax on the math-challenged.

Rather like the lottery.

I learned my lesson with a piston ring compressor. Artik will learn his with two computers and most likely his audiovisual equipment and living room furniture.

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