We bought a new stereo. We'd been saving up for awhile — my parents gave us some money, and I've been adding to it since Christmas — but we'd had no luck finding anything in our price range that both had the things we wanted and looked like it might last. So when a gal out in Plymouth adverstised that she was selling a stereo in our price range, I went to go see it.
It was gorgeous. Much nicer than I had expected, and the sound was wonderful; rich and clear, with nice bass. (I'm a sucker for bass.) We had brought a tape to test, but forgot to bring a CD. When I asked if she had one I could try, she said that it was very sensitive to scratched CDs, and hers were all scratched. A warning light throbbed in the back of my mind, but the girl and her mother seemed to sincere that I bought it anyway.
The CD player didn't work at all. It would bring up error messages about "no disc" or, inexplicably, "disc not finalized." I looked on-line for help with this, and the Philips site helpfully suggested that I should either put in a disc or finalize the disc. Bah. Deborah and I were very discouraged, having saved up so long for something that didn't work, and our attempts to contact the seller weren't going well.
I had a hunch, though, so I kept looking on-line. Another site suggested that the disc was scratched (no, I take care of my CDs, they aren't all scratched beyond recognition) or that the lens was fogged from condensation. Hmmm. Fogged. What if it wasn't condensation, but smoke? I asked around to find someone who could loan me a lens cleaner CD (Have you seen these things? It's a regular CD with a tiny, soft brush glued to the bottom) and ran it through. And it worked! It now recognizes every CD I put in there.
So, the moral of the story is: Don't smoke. It will ruin your really nice stereo, make you sell it at yard-sale prices, and convince you that your entire CD collection is scratched!