Fred looked at one brand offering a twelve-year warranty on its product. The clerk pointed to another brand and said, “This product has a lifetime warranty.”
Fred checked the price of the competing brand. The brand with the lifetime warranty was twice as expensive as the twelve-year.
“I’m eighty-six years old,” Fred said to the clerk. “You think I’m going to out-live a twelve-year warranty?”
“Hmm,” the clerk replied. “You have a point.”
Fred bought the twelve-year coating.
The next morning, Fred got on the roof and began applying the thick gooey material with a roller. Nadine stood in the yard, cell phone in one hand and Fred’s do-not-resuscitate directive in the other, keeping vigil, ready to call emergency services if Fred fell off the roof.
Maxine came out of her house, crossed the street and stood next to Nadine. “What’s he doing now?”
“Coating the roof, but not to worry, Maxine, I have things under control if he does.” Nadine flourished her cell phone and the do-not-resuscitate directive.
Maxine stepped back, looked up at Fred and shouted, “You’re an old man. What do you think you are doing up there? If you fall off don’t expect me to send you a get-well card.” Maxine crossed the street and went into her house.
Fred finished coating the roof, climbed down the ladder and sat in a rocking chair on the shaded patio. Nadine brought a pitcher of iced tea, poured two glasses and handed one to Fred.
Fred took a drink. “Mm, good.”
They sat quietly for a few moments, enjoying the refreshingly cool liquid and the quiet of a summer afternoon. Finally, Nadine spoke. “You know Maxine is never going to forgive you for not falling off the roof. You deprived her of the opportunity to jeer and say, See, I told you!”
Fred smiled. “Maybe I’ll fall off the roof the next time I’m up there, but she’s got a long wait. I just got a twelve-year warranty on life today.” Fred took another drink and sighed contentedly.