By popular demand (well one person asked) here’s a rewrite of a piece I produced about 3 years ago. It was inspired by the true story of a Milwaukee resident who shot his lawnmower when it wouldn’t start. The local garden centre commented, “His warranty is gone. The manufacturer doesn’t recommend shooting lawnmowers.”
Flatcap enters his local electrical store with a toaster under his arm. “I’ve brought this back,” he says. “It burned the bread.”
Assistant examines toaster and finds it pitted with holes. “It looks like it’s been hit with shotgun pellet, sir.”
“That’s right,” says Flatcap. “It burned the toast so I shot it.”
“You didn’t think of altering the timer?”
“Didn’t know there was a timer on it,” Flatcap responds.
“Or you could have tried thicker bread. It takes longer to toast.”
“So what am I? Some kind of expert on bread density?” demands Flatcap.
Assistant scratches his head. “Well I’m sorry, sir, but the warranty won’t cover it. The manufacturer doesn’t recommend shooting the machine.”
Flatcap takes warranty from his wallet. “I read the small print. It says I shouldn’t stick knives or screwdrivers into it, I shouldn’t dip it in water while it’s connected to the mains, but nowhere does it say I shouldn’t shoot it.”
The assistant points to item in small print. “You see here. It says any unauthorised repair work will invalidate the warranty.”
“I wasn’t trying to repair it,” protests Flatcap. “The wife’s not well so I was making boiled eggs on toast. The eggs boiled over, the toast burned, I got mad and shot it. What’s complicated about that?”
“Your wife’s meal was ruined so you shot the toaster?”
“And the pan,” insists Flatcap.
“You shot the toaster and the saucepan?” asks the assistant.
“The kettle didn’t come out of it too well, either.”
Assistant leaps on the admission. “I notice you haven’t brought that back.”
“I didn’t buy it from you,” Flatcap replies. “I got it from Tesco and that’s my next port of call.”
Assistant frowns. “I’m sorry, sir, but the guarantee specifically states that if the appliance was subject to abuse or used for any purpose other than that which it was designed, the warranty is invalidated.”
“Abuse?” Flatcap raises his voice. “Do you take me for some kind of pervert? I wasn’t interfering with it. I was making toast with it and making toast is it’s entire raison d’être. It couldn’t do it, so I took out the shotgun and peppered it.”
“Yes but …” assistant is now floundering.
“Never mind the manufacturer’s warranty,” Flatcap interrupts. “Your guarantee says that if I’m not satisfied with my purchase, I can bring it back and you’ll refund my money. I think shooting it indicates that I wasn’t entirely happy with it, don’t you?”
A slow smile creeps across assistant’s face as he studies sign on wall that confirms Flatcap’s statement. “It also says you should return the item in its original packaging.”
Flatcap is not fazed. “I haven’t got it.”
“I used it to set fire to the shed I bought from B+Q.”
“You bought a shed from B+Q and set fire to it?”
Flatcap nods. “I spent three days putting it up. The door wouldn’t close. I lost my temper and torched it.” Flatcap leans on counter. “Now what are you gonna do about the toaster?”
Assistant sighs in defeat. “Just a minute, sir, I’ll arrange a refund.”