Screwing The System

There is an episode of the Simpsons where Homer needs to have a crayon reinserted into his brain by Moe to return him to his normal state of stupidity.

Don’t ask about the plot, I only explain it to explain the quotes forthcoming. As Moe reinserts the crayon, he tries to determine if he’s gotten the crayon far enough in.

Homer: Further, you pucilanimous pilsner-pusher!

Moe: Okay, okay (whacks crayon further into Homer’s nose).

Homer: De-fense! *grunt grunt* De-fense!

Moe: Well, that’s pretty dumb…(whacks crayon again)

Homer: Extended warranty? How can I lose?!

Moe: Perfect.

And here we reach my point: Extended warranties are generally thought of as the playground of the paranoid and the incredibly stupid.

And by and large, they’re not really a good investment. Most major appliances will only break long after the warranty runs out, and most technological objects will be replaced by the next fashionable gizmo before the warranty expires.

This is why, of course, these places can afford to sell these warranties. “Sure, we’ll sell you something that you more than likely won’t need to use until it’s invalid!”

Sometimes, however, the odds fall in your favor. Especially with the Best Buy corporation.

I had already managed to get my last three portable CD players replaced under Best Buy product replacement plans, which pretty much cover anything except hitting your product with a sledgehammer.

But CD players, it’s not as big a deal. They tend to get bounced around a lot, and thus break a lot more often. Their warranties are cheaper.

I, however, seem to have an innate ability to attract things that break. That’s why I generally end up buying extended warranties for expensive things. Like my TV.

So when a mysterious red spot appeared on my TV screen and refused to vacate the premises, I called Best Buy. They sent a technician over to see what he could do to fix it.

The verdict: Well, it could be fixed if I got a new cathode ray tube. The CRT, for those who don’t know electronics at all, is basically the entire television set with the exception of the plastic casing.

The cost of ordering and installing this part was 75 bucks more than I paid for my entire television set. So, Best Buy, doing the math, said, okay, go exchange it for a new one.

So now, for the princely sum of the $12 difference between what I initially paid for my old set and what I the new one was priced at, I have a brand new flat-screen TV.

I even ended up with a free 4-year warranty when the store that I returned it to’s computer accidentally credited me for the full term of the warranty instead of the half that was left on my old TV.

I’d like to think that validates every penny I’ve thrown away on shit that actually worked, and most of the pennies I’ll throw away in the future.

Because after this shit, “Extended warranty? How can I lose?!” is now my appliance-shopping motto.

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