J especially enjoyed this year's New Year's parties, making himself the life of the party by interviewing everyone present about their ceiling fans. If he dicovered someone whose fans he hadn't yet immemorialized via digital camera, he'd try to set up a visit. If the person happened to live a house or two down from the party, he'd request an immediate film date. So during a lull at one party J and I, along with Jim, headed over to Jim's house to get some ceiling fan footage. Parties for J, in otherwords, represent present and future opportunities to augment an already vast video library of fans spinning at slow, medium, fast, and reverse.
But what if it turns out that one of your prospective hosts has high ceilings, no chains on their fans, and has misplaced the remote controls?
A week into the new year I came home to a very polite answering machine message from a lady at Home Depot for Mr. ___. Hmm, what is this "spare part" my husband has "inquired about," I wondered.
It didn't take too long to figure out what was really going on, especially later on that day when my friend K forwarded me a message she'd received from J.
(In case you're wondering why J has K's email address, it's because one day I accidently left my gmail open and unattended long enough for J to set up automatic forwarding to his account of all my incoming messages. I discovered this only after he accidentally replied to one of those messages: one from Daddy about taking him to the Eastern State Penitentiary on Halloween. His response when I called him on it: "Don't worry--I only looked at some of your messages.")
Here's J's message to K, with appropriate redactions:
I contacted Home Depot about getting a new remote for your dining room ceiling fan, and he said it was $16 including shipping.J was delighted when I alluded to his message to K. "How did you find out?!" he shrieked, knowing full well the answer. "How did you find out which remote is compatible?" I asked back. It turned out he'd done a fair amount of research, including some preliminary back and forth with K.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <___ homedepot.com="">
Date: 9 January 2013 10:17
Subject: Replacement remote ceiling fan / Reference # ______
I was following up with you concerning your inquiry for a replacement remote. I checked with our parts department and the replacement remote is available for $16.00 including shipping. Please contact me directly at _____ if you would like to order the remote. Thanks in advance.
Resolution Expediter- Proprietary Brands
The Home Depot – Store Support Center
"When do you think they will get the new remote?" he asked me.
"What makes you think they care about getting a new remote? They've been happy without one for many years."
"But it's only 16 dollars."
"Then why don't you buy it for them as a present?"
And so he did. He gave me some bills from his bedroom stash and had me call up the number in the email message. Every afternoon after I placed the order, he was ready to pounce on the mail the moment it went through the slot. When the package arrived, he tore it open, wrapped it up with Christmas paper, and wrote up a New Year's card: "I meant to give this present to you on New Year's Day but it arrived late."
He's currently giving K some time to set up the remote, and then he'll be back on her case for a film date asap.