Tag Archives: colonial

Protect Thy Ass

beepA company sells a product called the Widget Beep 9000. The sole purpose of this gadget is to “beep” when the customer wants it. That’s it. That’s all it does.

Obviously that motherfucker sells like hotcakes. Because, we needs it.

The company (heretofore known as the Company), however, has an “agreement” that, somehow, you (heretofore known as the Schmuck) accepted simply by buying their product. Clever how that shit works.

When the time is right, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the Company fully asserts the “absolute right and power, in its sole discretion and without any liability to Schmuck whatsoever, to cease all beeping operations of the widget, without prior notice, in perpetuity throughout the universe, known and unknown.”

Why the fuck would anyone ever agree to terms like that? Ultimately, giving someone money is giving them the power to fuck you.

I wonder how agreements like these worked in colonial times?

“Hey, Washington, I find myself in need of another one of your colonial-era chairs whittled by hand from a block of solid cherry. This will complete my collection. Anon my family will finally be able to break bread and conduct fellowship, at the same time, around hearth, heart and dining room table.”

“Hey, Adams, you useless pustule of a puke. Don’t talk to me about it. Talk to my corporation.”

“By George, what the hell is a corporation?”

“Allow me to don ye olde corporation hat and assplain it you. It’s Step #1 in fucking you red, black and blue.”

“Jolly good!”

“Now then, I direct you to focus your attention on this. I agree to sell you quantity one of Whittled Cherry 9000 and you give me 5,000 quid of two bits. Furthermore, be it known, that I alone will always decide who may sit – or not – on said chair, if ever.”

“Holy shit. That sounds like an awesome deal to me. I can’t give you my quid bits fast enough. Here, take my money! God, I love you so much, George. That’s another one I owe you. You accept tips, right? Here, try a pint of my latest brew!”

“Why the hell do we still measure things in English measurements, like pints? Gods ye fools! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

“Okay, whatever. Here’s your chair, puke face. Just never sit on it. Now fuck off, ye pukey puke.”

“If only Yelp! had been invented by now, I would herald the news of your beneficence to all the land, from sea to shining sea!”

Indeed. Think Adams sounds like a schmuck? I advise you to check your credit card agreements, especially the section pertaining to “binding arbitration.” You should love it because you agreed to it!

Ha ha ha, you pustule of a schmuck.

Rockin’ Chair Colonial Style

The old Rockin' ChairNote: This post may contain some historical inaccuracies. See if you can find them!

One fine day Thomas Jefferson strolled over to see his good friend George Washington. He found him relaxing on the front porch.

“I say, old Gorgie. I’m in the market for a rocking chair. What you got?”

George looked up from his mint julep and greeted his pal. “Tommy boy! Good to see you! You’re in luck, I just whittled me up that chair over yonder with my trusty pocket knife. That’s one piece construction, too. The whole thing came from a single piece of cherry wood from a tree I personally felled.”

Tom went over and admired the piece, lovingly running his hands over the perfectly finished wood. “She’s a beauty for sure, George,” he said.

George nodded. “Thanks.”

Dammit, Tom thought to himself. Sometimes George could be a man of annoyingly few words. Get a little of Samuel Adam’s ale in the bastard, though, and he’d open right up. Unfortunately Tom was plumb out.

“OK,” Tom said. “I’m interested. What do you want for her?”

If George was intrigued, he didn’t show let it show. “I don’t know. What you got?”

“I find myself with a few extra odds and ends in my larder,” Tom replied. “Some bones of oxen, sheep and goats. And some clay pots. Oh, plenty of bacon and lard, too.”

George nodded. “I’m sure we can come to an accommodation. The chair is yours. As always it comes with my lifetime warranty.” George extended his hand.

Tom grasped the offered hand and they shook on it. “You’ve got yourself a deal, George.”

George nodded. “I’ll draw up the papers for your John Hancock.” They both laughed off their asses at that one.

Later they both signed the document that George had produced. George handed Tom the rocking chair and Tom allowed George to raid his larder. But nowhere did the signed instrument define the term “lifetime warranty.” So what was it, besides a rocking chair, that Tom had just purchased?

Tom remembered the principle of caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware.” He needed a definition for lifetime warranty and he needed it fast. He couldn’t allow George to pull another fast one on him.

Tom fired up his Windows 1763 and search for “lifetime warranty.” One example he found was this:

Cisco Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty Terms

Duration of Hardware Warranty: As long as the original End User continues to own or use the Product, provided that: fan and power supply warranty is limited to five (5) years. In the event of discontinuance of product manufacture, Cisco warranty support is limited to five (5) years from the announcement of discontinuance.

Source: Cisco.com

In other words, when you hand over your money to Cisco in exchange for a piece of hardware, one of the things you are agreeing to is that the definition of “lifetime” means five years for the fan and power supply and five years from when the product is discontinued on all other hardware.

I bet they really emphasize that in their advertising and proactively provide a definition when they take your money, right?

Jefferson tried to get payback on Washington for the rest of his life and only succeeded once when he switched in a marked deck of cards. Washington was never able to win at solitaire again.