I know that we’re a country that thrives on instant gratification. I count myself among the afflicted. I find it difficult to wait any longer than is necessary. Necessity is a fluid thing. I have no problem with waiting several days for season seven of NCIS to be delivered by mail. I get the discs for the special features. I’ve seen every episode NCIS since it began. I even remember the episode of JAG that that served as a pilot for the spinoff.


Nocs NS 4000 earbuds

I’m not so sanguine about other things. The rubber tips at the end of your earbuds are intended to provide a snug but safe fit so that you can enjoy your music. A kid on a scooter came zooming by and the handlebar clipped the speaker wire and popped it out of my ear. There was no damage to the actual cable. In fact, it works fine. The problem was that the protective rubber tip went flying, never to be seen again.

I had some replacement tips at home, but they were many miles away and it would be hours before I got home to Brooklyn. I tried just putting in the tipless end, but, even though I knew the metal shaft is too short to go very deeply in the ear, and is well away from the ear drum, I couldn’t stand it. It was just too creepy.

The Upper West side in Manhattan should make getting a replacement tip simple. I started at the Apple Store where I purchased my Nocs NS 4000. They sold the headsets but didn’t sell the replacement tips. Since my headsets were still under warranty, Nocs would send free replacements. But that would take a couple of weeks. I asked the Apple salesperson, “Don’t you, like, sell standard replacement tips”?

“Nope, we only sell the full packages,” he responded.

The wireless carriers, in that section of Manhattan, seem to approximate the Duane Reade/Starbucks Matrix. DRS Matrix mandates that within any five block area, there must be, at least, two Duane Reade pharmacies and two Starbucks. I haven’t yet done a cluster analysis for the wireless carriers, but anecdotal evidence gives rise to the belief that they also mimic DRS Matrix.

RadioShack Stacked Logo thumb

RadioShack logo

There was a Best Buy a block away with lots of phones and headsets of all types, but no individual packets of tips. Another block down was the T-Mobile. Phones, headsets and other accessories, but no tips. The AT&T and Verizon stores were in the same block – no tips, no peace. Same result with the Sprint Store across the street.There was a Staples close by but it was devoid of tips. However, the person in Staples asked if I had checked the RadioShack around the corner.
I once did a profile of the Tandy Corporation, the parent company of RadioShack. I described it as the Rodney Dangerfield of electronics companies- it got no respect. RadioShack was everybody’s guilty pleasure. If you had the slightest interest in electronics and needed some obscure part, RadioShack had it.


nocs replacement year, but sleeves

Not only did Radio Shack have replacement tips, but there were several brands and colors. I paid five dollars for a pack of six. I checked the five RadioShack stores in my neighborhood and all but one had the replacement tips. The manager at that store said a shipment was coming in the next day.

Mad Respect to The Shack!