AmanaTards, By Ted Rosen, Bellingham, Washington

I had to share this phone call I received with y'all. We all know how dumb some folks can be, but this woman scored so high on my "dumb-caller" meter that the needle wrapped around the retaining pin.

This is not verbatim, but it's pretty damn close:

"ring-ring! ring-ring!"

Me: Hello! Eee-lectronic Service!

Caller: Hello. I think my microwave needs to get fixed.

Me: OK, What happened? Did it stop heating food or is it just dead?

Caller: Well, actually, it has a hole in it.

Me: A hole? Where? In the cavity -er- the inside where the food goes?

Caller: Yes. Right in the back of the inside, near the bottom.

Me: Does this hole go all the way through the metal?

Caller: Yes, it does, but that's not the problem.

Me: Actually, that sounds like a big problem to me.

Caller: Oh no. It's run for years like that.

Me: (stunned silence)

Caller: The hole goes all the way through, it's about a half inch by a half inch. But it worked fine until my boyfriend worked on it.

Me: Ma'am, I don't think it's advisable for you to run that microwave under any conditions.

Caller: Well, I can't now! It won't work!

Me: No, really ma'am. I think you should replace that microwave. Unplug it, clip the power cord so no one else will use it and throw it away. Then get a new one.

Caller: But it's a good microwave!

Me: Ma'am, I would strongly advise against repairing this microwave.

Caller: Oh, I dunno! It's a good brand! Let me tell you what happened, OK? My boyfriend tried to fix the hole by putting some JB Weld in there. D'ya know what that JB Weld stuff is?

Me: (Hand over my eyes) Yes.

Caller: Well, he put that stuff in and let it dry out. Then we tried the microwave but a bolt of lightning sparked inside and now it don't work at all.

Me: Ma'am, I cannot stress how dangerous this microwave is. Let me ask you: did the hole go right through the metal?

Caller: Yes.

Me: So you could see the inside of the microwave from the vent holes in the back?

Caller: Well, I guess you probably could, yes.

Me: Ma'am, I don't know how to break this to you, but you've been exposing yourself to some fairly high levels of microwave radiation.

Caller: Is that bad?

Me: It isn't good.

Caller: Will that stuff hurt me? I mean, don't the manufacturers fix it so it won't hurt you? How could they do that?

Me: Well, the manufacturers do take steps to make sure the door is shut very tight before the microwave will work. This keeps it from accidentally leaking.

Caller: You mean I've been radiated? And my kids?

Me: Well, the radiation loses power quickly the farther it goes from the microwave. If you were standing close to it while it cooked, that's probably worse than going to another room.

Caller: I can't remember if I've done that or not. Should I see a doctor?

Me: Well, I don't think you'll set off a Geiger counter or anything. I'm not sure what the effects might be; I'm no doctor.

Caller: But what about the microwave? Can it be fixed?

Me: Ma'am, you best unplug that thing, clip the cord so no one else tries to use it, throw it out and buy a new one. Really.

Caller: But why? It's a good microwave! Can't you fix it?

Me: Well ma'am, for one thing, the integrity of the cavity has been compromised. Once I fix the blown components, you'll still have a destroyed cavity. Throw it out.

Caller: But my boyfriend removed all the JB Weld. The hole looks just like it did before he put that stuff in there.

Me: Ma'am, I'm being quite serious about this. That microwave is dangerous. Do not fix it. Throw it out and buy a new one.

Caller: I don't see why you can't fix it.

Me: Ma'am I cannot replace an entire cavity. It would cost more than a new microwave. Buy a new one and throw that thing out.

Caller: (sighs) Oh, well. I guess I'll have to if you won't fix it.

Me: I'm being quite serious, ma'am. That thing is dangerous.

Caller: Oh, I dunno. It worked fine until my boyfriend got a hold of it.

Me: Ma'am, that thing is dangerous. I cannot fix that hole and I wouldn't want you to use it again even if I could. That microwave is an accident waiting to happen. Throw it away and buy a new one. Really.

Caller: Oh, well. I'll see what I can do. If I have to, I'll buy a new one. Goodbye.

Me: Goodbye.

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