Total Recall

By Adam Hanft and Daniel Menaker

    
[Recent leaked internal memos from the new Sudden Acceleration Unit of the Consumer Product Safety Commission]        
 
File  2943: WHIZZMEISTER FOOD PROCESSOR
Six complaints over the past month that this device accelerates uncontrollably from "coarse chop" to "liquefy" without "liquefy" button being pressed. All six complaints originate from a Mrs. Freedy Boudreaux, of Coles Point, Virginia, who has seventy-three other pending product complaints. Neighbor reports that Mrs. Boudreaux told her, "There are all kinds of ways of making a living."  However, the Whizzmeister "Sudden and Unexplained Pomegranate Splatter" incident, broadcast on 50 Minutes three weeks ago, gives some credence to potential mechanical flaws. 
STATUS: questionable      

 
File 4395: HAPPY AORTA TREADMILLS 
New to the market, this machine has accumulated thirty-five complaints in just two weeks.  Three different purchasers have posted YouTube videos showing 1. Treadmill accelerating uncontrollably, hurling 250-pound man out of third-story window. 2. Treadmill panel taunting  a slow user by displaying an LED message “Get the lead out!” 3.  Treadmill belt unmooring itself and advancing in a menacing fashion on its new owner  
STATUS: Probable recall.       

 
File 5539: SAHARA WINDS DEHUMIDIFIER 
After a decade of safely dehumidifying home interiors throughout the "Sweatbelt" of the Deep South, new "improved" model has, according to one user,  “turned my fresh-cut flowers into crispy potpourri in forty-two minutes." Another reports "coming back to the house after  an hour to find all the upholstery looking like the top of crème brulee.”  A third claims that her fishtank was entirely dry and her guppies "nothing but skeletons."
STATUS: probable consumer warning, possible remarketing as group, room-size hair dryer.

 
File 8201: MEGA-SUCK-UP VACUUM CLEANER:  Although our Unit is dedicated to “Sudden Acceleration” complaints, we have been assigned this related event.  Marketed via infomercials and door-to-door selling by laid-off subprime mortgage salesmen, the vacuum is said to often have “acceleration resistance syndrome.” “My Suck-Up remained locked at ‘low,’ one filing states.  “Rather than sucking up the dustballs, it appeared to be massaging them.  Deputy Director Fastir of the “Sudden Acceleration Unit”  purchased a Mega Suck-Up to investigate.  He wrote a memo saying  "I'm going to show this machine how to take orders or else."  Missing Person Bulletin appended.
 STATUS: Deputy Director Job Opening

File 9370: “AND BOY, ARE MY ARMS TIRED”:  This stand-up comedy training software program which guarantees to “teach the fine art of comic timing” is the subject of multiple complaints of uncontrollable joke acceleration.
STATUS:  Apriestarabbiandaministerhavegottenheirmoneyback.

 

 

Adam Hanft is the founder and CEO of Hanft Unlimited. He blogs for the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and Fast Company and is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio's Marketplace. He is the co-writer, with Faith Popcorn, of The Dictionary of the Future.


Daniel Menaker is the Editor of Grin & Tonic and the author of a new book, "A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation."

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