4533 Lifetime (From the Least Worst Wessays Collection. Edited and slightly expanded from the original of 2007.)
This frying pan did not come with a lifetime guarantee. It didn’t need to. It already had outlived several owners. And it will outlive you unless you drop it on concrete. And maybe even then.
Do you check the spam folder in your email? I do. Mostly, just the titles and then I dump the stuff.
But one sure got my attention the other day. The subject line said “Your free lifetime membership is about to expire.”
Let me say that again: Your free lifetime membership is about to expire.
Do they know something that I don’t know?
They don’t give an actual date. So maybe this is just one of those “the world will end at the expiration of the Mayan Calendar” things. Or a prediction from a radio or TV evangelist.
But I have to tell you, it was scary.
I don’t remember ever signing up for a free lifetime membership in anything, nor do I have any record of having done so. But who knows what I’ve done in a drunken stupor?
More to the point… is this a death threat? If so, it doesn’t much matter. People in my line of work get those all the time. Usually, they’re written in crayon or extra-wide magic marker. And on napkins. And with no return address on the envelope.
But it sure does give one pause.
So if you don’t hear me for a few days… in lieu of flowers, send a contribution to your favorite can shaker in front of the big box store.
Which brings us to another question about the word “lifetime.” Which lifetime are they talking about when they offer a lifetime guarantee… not that anyone does much of that these days.
Do they mean YOUR lifetime or the lifetime of the product?
If the product, what is its life expectancy.
I have a 101-year old guitar whose maker offered a lifetime guarantee. Did it expire at the end of his life which was something like 50 years ago? Does it expire at the same time as my lifetime membership? If the thing is a century old and still works fine, what is ITS lifetime?
I’m also Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Our take on Don Imus will be posted on Friday. It ain’t gonna be pretty.
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