Alright, so here's the story. Today after school Dylan and I went shopping for materials to build our massive catapult. Our first stop was Lowes which is where we picked up the lumber. The next stop was Ace Hardware where we got the surgical tubing. The last stop was a boat store. I personally was kind of excited because I'd never been to a boat store.
We were looking for some type of ratched or gear that would allow us to pull the catapult's arm down without having to push it down. We were thinking along the lines of a ratched with a crank so we could just spin a crank and have it reel in a cord, pulling down the catapult arm. We knew boats had these, so we went to the boat store. We wandered around for a little bit before we saw a guy that worked there. When I approached him I realized that I very well could die of lung cancer then and there because he was saturated with the smell of cigarette smoke. I, no joke, almost coughed just because of the smell. We described what we wanted and he then, with customer service obviously at the forefront of his mind, replied "I'll sell you the crank for the hull of your boat." Well, we didn't have a boat, so we described what we were going to use it for and he glared at us and walked over to the crank, which was too big. I asked "Do you have smaller cranks?" to which he said, quite curtly and in a What are you, stupid? tone "No, this is as small as you'd ever want one."
Ok, this guy was a moron. So, I tried a different approach. "Ok," I said, "How about pulleys? I'm looking for something that's like a pulley. Something you can pull the rope through but it can only go one direction, it gets caught or stopped when it tries to slip back the other direction. Do you have anything like that?" As I'm asking he's just frowning at me and shaking his head, giving me cancer. "No, I have no idea what you're talking about."
I had seen a nifty little gizmo earlier that I thought might work, but I wanted to make sure it was what I thought what it was. Here's what it looked like:
I wanted to make sure it was what I thought it was, so after telling me that there was no such thing as a one-way pulley, I asked "Could you please describe what a product does for me?" He glared and said "What?" I walked over to this gizmo and asked "What does this do?" to which he replied, no joke:
"Oh, this! It's like a pulley, see the roller? You pull the rope through and then it catches in these ridges so that it can't slip back through."
I almost lunged at him, it was one of the most boneheaded things I'd ever seen. I wanted to scream "DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU JUST REPEATED WORD FOR WORD WHAT I ASKED? YOU SAID THAT IT DIDN'T EXIST!!!!" I just said "Oh, that'll work."
So then I check the price tag and almost died. How much do you think it is? Keep in mind, it's two inches long. It's not big at all, and quite lightweight. I was thinking $5.00 at the most. The actual retail value? $15.60, for a piece of metal with a roller on it. RIDICULOUS! But we needed it, which was the sad part, so we ended up buying it, but not before complaining loudly and getting the price knocked down to $15.00 even. It was crazy, I couldn't believe it.
So, now, I hate boat stores.