Saturday, June 13, 2009
The toy story begins
A lady stood before me today with an item for refund. It was a toy, the fabulous diabolo, which has been feeding us well this spring. I've never been on the front lines of a fad but hope to be there all the time. Money was flying from all directions but the reverse side of sales is refunds and when a lot of any item sells you can count on a percentage of people who will want to bring the item back. The toy the lady wanted to return was about 6 weeks old and obviously played with constantly; a bolt was loose and it was coming apart. I tightened the bolt but the lady still wanted her money back because the diabolo, a yo yo like toy, might come apart and someone could get hurt. It's rubber with an aluminium axle. In order for someone to get hurt by it you would have to stuff it into a cannon with a bunch of shot. She assured me her son was not the type of boy who would maliciously loosen a bolt. All of the kids take the diabolo apart and exchange parts but not this boy; he was a good boy who might get hurt. I looked into her doe like eyes and felt an immediate pain for the poor sad boy who had to suffer this overzealous, overprotective and annoying woman. "Ma'am," I said, " he is a boy and there will be blood. Stop being paranoid, if your son can not handle the dangers of a federally approved rubber toy his chances in the big world are zero." There was a moment of silence. "Perhaps you are right."she said. I had to give her the money back. That kind of self awareness has to be rewarded. I still feel sorry for the kid but at least there is hope.