The New and Improved Contractor® 3000
August 2005A. Welcome!
Congratulations on the purchase of your new Contractor 3000® and pending home remodel. The Contractor 3000® is guaranteed by OBEM (One Born Every Minute) Corporation to give you virtually minutes of trouble-free service before you will finally melt down and call your attorney. Enjoy!
First, carefully open the shipping container and remove…wait…you already opened it, didn’t ya’? You’ve already got it out of the box, plugged it in and now you’re playing with all the buttons, knobs and switches, somehow magically hoping the thing just springs to life. Right? Geeeez, I don’t know why I even try.
Protection during shipping. Your new Contractor 3000® was carefully and meticulously packed at our shipping warehouse located on a tiny, uncharted island 310 miles south of Guam. We chose this location for its competitive worker wages, prosperous climate and because it’s one of only a handful of habitats on Earth where Styrofoam Packing Peanut trees grow naturally.
Defective Merchandise. If after unpacking the merchandise you discover a defect or missing part, please remember that it is not our fault. It’s yours. If you are, however, one of those righteous namby-pambies who insists like a whiny baby that the defect IS somehow our responsibility, you need only return the product to the address listed above with reason for the return. IMPORTANT: All returns must be accompanied with the appropriate return authorization code or returns will not be processed. You special return authorization code is #23§b¶-54klr-^%4lp-Åc¥?4-??P?.
(All return requests must be typed and on papaya letterhead. No handwritten returns will be accepted.)
Refunds. We said you could return it. We never said anything about giving your money back.
Special opening instructions. OK—update: We’ve just been informed that it’s possible … just possible mind you … that upon opening your container you … may … ah … discover items that … well let’s just say for example, ohhhh, I dunno … resemble severed fingers or toes. Should this be the case, please accept your new Contractor 3000® free of charge with our compliments … as long as you agree to forget about the whole thing.
Your shipping package should contain the following:
Qty (1) – New and improved Contractor 3000® (some assembly required). [Pffttt ... Must be strong … Keep straight face. … OK, we admit it … we admit it!! We lied. There’s LOTS of assembly required!]
Qty (Several hundred) – Tiny plastic bags filled with seemingly identical yet differently threaded nuts and bolts.
Qty (1) – Little slip of paper that says, "inspected by #31” (*we saved a BUNDLE on printing these slips by firing the other 30 inspectors).
Qty (1) – 8 ½" x 11" sheet printed in large, bold red saying, "Warning: Danger! May Result In Death!!” … and nothing else.
Qty (1) – Plastic Mortimier® brand hexagonal reversible (turn it the other way) grommet wrench (patent pending).
Qty (161.2 miles) – Various size/color electrical wire (strippers not included).
Qty (1) – Strawberry cheesecake. Mmmmm. Delicious!
Qty (1) – Instruction and assembly manual.
You provide the following:
(1) Large hammer (just in case).
(1) Nagging wife who walks into room every five minutes screeching, "Cletus! Haven’t you got that thing together yet?? You never finish anything!! Mother was right!! You’re never going to amount to anything!!!! And to think I coulda’ married Effrim Hamburger, the class president. He was Valedictorian, ya’ know! Cletus! Cletus!! … Are you listening to me??!! … Cletus!!”
(1) Phillips-head screwdriver
(1) Powerful, tranquilizing, possibly hallucinatory medication.
D. Assembly Instructions
Lay out all parts on your living room floor in alphabetical (Greek) order. If you need more room, use your neighbor’s lawn. He won’t mind.
Choose plastic bag full of nuts and bolts at random. Holding center of the bag firmly in one hand, quickly tear open top of bag along our patented "easy-open©” tab system.
Now retrieve scattered nuts and bolts from inside return air register and from behind the television. (That one cracks us up every time.)
Using remaining nuts and bolts, attempt to fit them into your new Contractor 3000®. Repeat.
Then repeat again.
And again and again until the unit is assembled. Once assembly is complete, please call our office; we’d really like to know how you did it.
E. Plugging in Device
I just really wouldn’t do that if I were you.
Yes, this is quite an operation, but believe us, it didn’t come easy. We’ll have you know that it took a lot of sweat, toil and countless 1) hours of research and development, 2) numbered off-shore bank accounts and 3) local politicians added to our payroll to get to where we are today.
G. Care & Maintenance
Your new Contractor 3000® is virtually maintenance free with the exception of scheduled, periodic lubrication. We recommend Budweiser®.
Keep all electrical cords from children, pets, wading pools and sensitive body cavities.
Do not run with sharp sticks. You’ll poke your eye out.
You really haven’t been paying attention, have you?
About the Author
S.S. Saucerman is a full-time commercial estimator/project manager based in Illinois.