Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Great Boomerang Disaster
We found a supplier that sold wooden boomerangs, nothing fancy, just a working boomerang and I tried one out in a field and sure enough after a short time I could throw it and it would come right back to me. Totally impressed I bought a case for the big local trade show thinking kids and parents alike would have fun with it and they sold like crack (no one buys hotcakes anymore). Great, I did good I thought as I watched the happy customers rush away anxious to try their new boomerangs. It wasn't too long before the first one came back. A sad child with chocolate ice cream stains all over his face placed a boomerang, now in two pieces, on the display in front of me. What could I do? I only paid a few bucks for them; I gave the kid a new one. A few minutes later another one came back in two pieces. Wait a second here, I played with one all day and it didn't break. What was going on. I saw two more sets of parents with sad children and broken boomerangs approaching. I closed the booth and went outside. In the paved parking lot of the trade ex were what appeared to be hundreds of kids flinging boomerangs high in the air and watching as the plummeted toward the hard pavement. Not satisfied if they didn't break they'd try it again, the odd time bouncing off a car or two. There was not a parent in sight. I scuttled back into the show to find a line up at my booth. Disgruntled parents not satisfied that the five bucks they spent hadn't translated into enough babysitting time were openly aggressive about my poor quality products. I had mentioned to EVERYONE that this toy should be used well away from obstructions out in a playing field perhaps; there was a school soccer field right next door for example. My pleas for rationality fell on deaf ears as they all held out their hands for their money back. Instead of suggesting it was their low quality parenting and not my low quality product I took a kid off guard and excitedly asked him how many tall throws it had taken to break it. "Three," he said without thinking. A few parents got it and looked sheepish but there is no stopping a true boor so I refunded a bunch of money and kept the rest of the boomerangs for myself. I have yet not managed to break one except the one I used to try and kill the SUV that belonged to the fattest boob of all as he left the parking lot. If he'd been a kangaroo I would've been eating fresh meat that night. Live and learn.