Crook Takes Pawn Part 32

It was tough love, Greg kept telling himself. It was the reason Donny was toiling in servitude. Donny worked at a fevered pace. He loaded the car and trunk almost as quickly as they drove to drop it off. The teetering boxes were gone in a mere 3 hours.
    Greg marveled at how much space was left. Save for a few boxes of valuables, the entire back room was available now. It probably amounted to 600 square feet. For their next task, Greg requisitioned a shop vac from the upstairs attic and had Donny suck up all the remaining dirt and dust. Greg was excited.
    Sorting through these boxes had rewarded him with a variety of computer components. From what Donny said, there was actually a fairly powerful computer tower among the refuse. Donny plugged it in, and there was power to it allright, but no picture. Greg said for him to take a break and gave him a bottle of soda for his efforts. Donny would not rest. He asked Greg for a screwdriver. Donny used the tool and  tore the panel off the computer. Donny hummed what sounded like an 80s tune to himself as he removed the computers guts. Donny held up a tiny circuit board that had the monitor port attatchment.    This is the video card, Donny explains, picking some cobwebs from between the transistors, It might be bad, but sometimes it just needs to be reinstalled, so the computer can recognize the drivers again, and reload them.    Greg just shrugs blankly at this technical mumbo jumbo. Donny swigs from his pop deeply, then inserts the card once more, at a different slot, one beneath where it was before. With a flick of the switch, the picture flickered on.     Greg smiles grandly. Right on, Donny!! Greg says thankfully, You say this is a pretty fast computer then?
    well, its fast for you, anyway, Donny says, Its old by todays standards, but itll work for what you want to use it for.    I was thinking about making an inventory system on one of these computers, Greg reveals, Do you know what I havta buy?    Yeah, Ben was showing me his inventory software, Donny imparts, I know just what you need. Its only $75. I could install it for you, and get it running.    can you copy software? Greg asks in a low voice, I could just pay Ben to hook me up, maybe knock the price down a bit.    No way, Donny cautions, you might be able to get away with pirating for your own personal use, but stay away from doing that with your business!! They throw the book at you for that kinda stuff. The fines are pretty severe!!    Greg grumbles to himself on this. He had a vague inkling copying software was illegal, but the full ramifications escaped him. Greg would take Donnys advice and chase it no further.    Greg strokes his goatee in thought. He glances around at the cinderblock walls lining his newly cleared room.     We could set up the computer section here, Greg states, pointing to a corner, That could be another checkout, and someone to watch for shoplifters. We could install a counter on this section here, for display. We could set up a new walled-in section with studs there. That could be the stockroom.
    The grand scheme was being plotted out. Greg could picture it, through his THC-soaked mind. This was possible. There was definitely a customer base developing for him here. Greg had contacted the local Chamber of Commerce. Although the glass was broken on his framed certificate of membership, and there was a coffee ring stain on the front, he was still part of their organization.
    Greg had not dealt with the CC in quite some time, he remembered hearing that they would print off coupon books chock full of deals from the local businesses in the area. Greg offered to contribute as well, while on the phone with a pleasant older secretary. She enthusiastically set it all up in their brief conversation together, and Greg promised he would swing by next week with templates (whatever the hell that was) for the coupons and deals explained in detail. That should keep things flowing nicely for Greg and his strengthening business.
    That morning alone, 3 different people had knocked on the front door, confused by the locked entrance. It prompted Greg to post a hastily made sign explaining he would be closed for the remainder of the week, and reopening Monday.
    More and more people were learning of Gregs vaunted haggling skills. A single mother had stopped back after purchasing a DVD player from him. The tiny portable player had worked just fine for her kids for the past 3 weeks. It kept her little ones occupied on long van trips, and it seemed a worthwhile purchase. But, two days ago it had gone on the fritz, and refused to show any picture, just a blank screen. She had paid $20 for the contraption and weakly asked if Greg would be willing to replace it.
    At first, Greg had balked, saying that it had worked fine while in the stores possession, and enough time had gone by that it was unsure if something else had caused the malfunction. Kids can wreck havoc on things, Greg had said unsympathetically.     The mother sighed and lowered her shoulders, tapping her fingernails impatiently on the glass counter near the electronics. Her receipt was crumpled in her grip, with the tiny numbers in purple word processor ink having little say in this matter.
    Then Greg had glanced down and seen the womans young boy clutching her sagging hand. The boys wide brown eyes had looked back at Greg like a frightened does stare. The florescent light from above had gleamed in the boys eye, a halo on black. It reminded Greg of his boy Ray, and the incompassionate store owner routine vanished.    oh, what the heck, Greg said casually, Cmon, lets find you another one.    Greg can still remember the way the womans face had lit up. She showed such heartfelt appreciation when Greg handed her the box containing the pristine new player. The mother had announced that they could watch his favorite shows again, and the boy had hopped up and down as they exited the door. People remember that kinda thing, Greg surmised. Perhaps this experience would lend itself to others, that they might flock to Gregs store.
    Greg had tossed the dibilatated player onto a spare shelf, where it now still set. Greg now picked up the DVD player and headed for the trash. Donny spied it in his grip. As always, the sight of electronics piqued Donnys interest.    Whats that? Donny asks.    Oh, a piece of shit player, Greg says with a sigh, It has no picture, something is obviously fucked up on it.Greg paused his beeline for the trash bin as Donny grabbed it from him. He turned it over, examining every inch of it.    No picture, you say? Donny asks, with a puzzled look, But the power is still good, right? Nothing is quite broken, as long as it has power!!Greg offers an indifferent grunt. Greg watches Donny as his brow furrows, looking for a solution. It always amused Greg to watch Donny work. The bum was had a hitting streak going for him. 3 broken devices, 3 successful fixes. Unless this was Donnys first unsuccessful venture.     Donny flicked the power switch, and a blast of a white line came onscreen momentarily, then disappeared. This was as far as Greg had gotten in his own troubleshooting. Donny squinted his eyes and read a tiny button with numbers almost rubbed away from use. Display, it had once read. Donny hit this tiny button and in the upper left corner of the DVD screen, it said AUX.
Greg utters a small gasp of surprise. Whats that mean? Greg asks, getting excited. Perhaps the screen wasnt broke after all.    AUX stands for Auxillery, Donny explains. Its usually so you can plug something else into it, like a stereo, or a video camera. It might just be on the wrong source.    Donnys brilliant observation seems quite logical. Its so simple only a genius would think to look. Donny locates a button labeled input, and presses it. The DVD symbol comes alive on the screen. Once again, it was Donny to the rescue. Greg hooted in celebration, and slapped Donny on the back. Donny is pushed forward by this motion, and the grip on the player waver
Uploaded 02/19/2012
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