Inside the box was another box, which was full of individually wrapped boxes. As each one unfurled and took its first look around, the promise of crystalline surround-sound echoed through the room... the room... the room...
Installation was easy, although a bit laborious. The six speakers sat happily around their new living room, facing each other, and were positioned at the ready to deliver on their promise.
The system had an interesting feature that separated it from the rest: wireless rear speakers.
Fantastic idea! No trailing those unsightly clear veins across your living space, just let the signal zip through the air on a cushion of digital miracle clouds.
The 5-disc changer retracted, holding a DVD in its clutches, ready to pounce forth with entertainment and enrich the world with enhanced digital playback.
The screen was glowing its color-shifted blue haze, and then it could be heard.
Yes, hear that?
It's... wait. What is that?
No, not with this brand-spanking system!
Something must be wrong, consult the manual. Battle stations!
Yes... reset the... okay... now push... got it... and...
What was that noise, that horrible, Earth-slowing hiss? That fuzzy, perfection-drenching signal-to-noise smog that rained down on this aural parade?
The wireless. It was terrible.
The rear speakers, in all of their advanced pride, had failed to perform their duty. They sat there, ashamed of their own existence, as well they should be.
Calls had to be made. First to the retailer.
Yes, it seems to be the wireless component, there's... this nasty interference. Yes, it's probably the signal of nearby wireless routers from the neighbor's Internet connection. Yes, it's an apartment complex. When was the unit purchased? Oh... well it was received on...
That's when the problems really compounded.
Too late to... but honestly, surely, there must be something, an exchange? A re-stocking fee? Something?
Nothing? Really, sir, nothing? Well, no... satisfied? Absolutely not.
Next call, to the manufacturer.
Yes, everything in the manual has been tried. No, can you, possibly, offer an exchange for the normal wired version, which is actually cheaper? No? Call the retailer? That's not an option, you see... yes, but they have a policy... nothing you can do, then? Yes, well no, quite unsatisfactory, thank you.
There it sits still, waiting for its eBay mercy call to come in, for some poor soul with a sense of adventure or a rural farm house to see the ad and respond.
Do not try this in an apartment or near wireless Internet signals.
The warning will go unread by someone, or else that someone will fit a bill that is not effected by the warning, which may be rare in this case.
Either way, funds will be raised, it is a seller's market after all.
Next time, stick to the wires, they're tried and true.
Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or firstname.lastname@example.org .