Shell Shocked: Lemon law now applies to faulty husbands
I had the craziest dream last night. I dreamt that my wife brought me before the Florida lemon law board to try to get me replaced. She dragged me away from the TV set where I was watching Don Draper start yet another new fling.
She threw me in her car and muttered, “This is the last straw. I either want my money back or a replacement. You are truly a lemon.”
Before I knew it we were standing before a panel of lemon experts who were trained to spot lemons before they did society any harm. The chairman of the lemon law board surveyed us and said, “Madame, this lemon board reviews complaints about automobiles, recreational vehicles, buses, trucks and geckos. Why are you here?”
My wife said, “Because my husband is a lemon. He’s not what he advertised himself to be before we got married. He said that he was rich, smart, savvy and perfect in every way. I bought all this. And when push came to shove, he was poor, dumb, clumsy and imperfect. If I can return a car under the lemon law, surely I can return a husband and get a new one.”
I began to squirm.
“Your honor, if I may,” I said.
The chairman interrupted.
“I’m not a judge, so please don’t call me ‘your honor.’ I’ve been appointed as chairman of the lemon law board by the governor. But our board does have the power to rule on violations of the lemon law, so you will both be heard.”
“Thank you, your honor, I mean, Mr. Chairman. My wife has been giving me a tough time ever since I turned down her offer to go shopping with her for a new skirt. She hates it when I don’t go shopping with her. I told her that I’m not an expert on skirts except for the brief period in my life when I was a skirt chaser before I met her.”
My wife jumped up.
“You see, Mr. Chairman? He has a way with words but he’s still just a smart aleck. He is a lemon if I’ve ever seen a lemon. He’s worse than a lemon car. His motor never starts, he constantly needs an oil change and he gets very few miles to the gallon. I want a new husband.”
The chairman of the lemon law board whispered to his fellow panel members.
“This is a first for us. We usually rule on lemon cars but never lemon husbands. I’m not even sure the law covers this category. This case may go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But let’s see if we can avoid lengthy litigation and resolve this matter in our chambers.”
The chairman turned to my wife and cleared his throat.
He said, “Madame, the Florida lemon laws state very clearly that if you’ve had a problem with a new car, you would need to bring it in for repair at least three times during the first eighteen months. If after that period of time a consumer still isn’t satisfied with a new car’s performance, a brand new car would replace the lemon.
“Have you turned your husband in for repair at least three times during the first eighteen months of marriage?”
My wife scoffed at the notion.
“I did indeed. He went for a colonoscopy, an MRI of his back and physical therapy for his knee. But he’s still a lemon.”
The chairman said, “I believe you’ve followed the letter of the lemon law. But since evaluating a human being as a potential lemon is a first for this board, we need to convene and come up with a solution.”
The committee moved to another chamber and while they were deliberating my wife started to throw pencils at me. The board returned just as my wife began to reach for paper clips.
The chairman said: “Madame, the lemon board has decided to send your husband out of the country for a year to determine if he can be properly repaired and pass the lemon test. We are assigning your husband to the Peace Corps in Somalia where he will work with rehabilitated pirates. This time apart will enable the two of you to work through your issues alone and think things through.
“If he’s still a lemon when he returns, then he will be remanded to a new lemon colony in ‘Ding’ Darling where he will spend the rest of his life in the company of other husbands who have been declared lemons. We sense that this will be the beginning of a new trend.”
By the time I was about to register a complaint about the unfairness of the ruling, I woke up and heard my wife cheerily saying: “Dear, would you like some lemon in your tea?”
Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.