A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of audio equipment that does not exist

Mini jack to jack converter

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize the items in that picture. As it happens, they are adapters meant to allow a 3.5mm audio plug to connect to a 6.3mm audio jack. They’re most often used to connect a pair of headphones to things like home stereos, radio equipment, and guitar or bass amplifiers.

And they do not exist.

At least, not in my town. I know this because I have checked.

What a strange turn of events. See, these things used to be available in every supermarket, every drugstore, and sometimes you’d even see a couple at the gas station. Not any more. And that’s fine — things change.

What pisses me off is that so-called modern day electronics stores don’t even sell these things. Best Buy? Don’t even get me started. I looked at Best Buy, and I couldn’t find one. When I asked an employee about it, the befuddled teenager responded, “Is this, like, for a phone?” Because that’s where sound lives now, in our phones. But it’s not just sound — when you say “technology” or “electronics” or anything like that, all the person you’re talking to can hear is the word “phone.”

Wires? Do you mean the thing that you use to charge your phone?

Headphones? Never heard of headphones — do you mean headsets? You know, like, for your phone?

And in the end, the poor employee was so confused they were on the verge of baffled tears, saying, “Do you want a PHONE?! Please buy a PHONE! That’s all I know how to sell! That’s the only thing we have! PHONES! PHONESPHONESPHONES…”

So this is the world we live in. A world where anything that doesn’t plug into, or wirelessly connect, to a cell phone is a mysterious, upsetting, inconceivable object, too strange, too mind-bending to exist. It’s like Cthulhu. (Uh, sorry if that photo up there has driven you mad, by the way.) That which is not a phone, or a phone accessory, is not — cannot be — real.

At least if you go to Best Buy.

You know what’s funny? Radio Shack used to be good for stuff like this. And that’s probably why they went out of business. There just weren’t enough grandpas, like me, with ancient audio equipment out there to support them. Oh well, at least I’ll see them again in hell.

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A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of audio equipment that does not exist

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