Having already visited a pharmacy, a supermarket and a hardware store, I was beginning to despair of locating any more places to find products with 800-number consumer complaint lines. What a fool I was. I had neglected the most fertile ground of all.
American Eagle Outfitters
(Illustration by Eric Shansby)
Me: I passed your store in the mall, and I couldn't even bring myself to go in. Are you guys actually selling clothing for eagles?
Me: Clothing will seriously impair their aerodynamics. These magnificent animals will get hurt.
Brian: Well, the eagle is just part of our logo.
Me: I've seen this sort of thing before, putting sweaters on dogs or diapers on horses. It's ridiculous. It's got to stop. I am outraged.
Brian: Listen, we just sell clothing. It's not for animals.
Me: Good. Eagles should be free. We don't want people to start dressing them up.
Brian: Right. We're not planning on it.
The Sharper Image
Me: I was in the mall, and I saw your talking picture frame. What is the concept of this product?
Darryl: Basically, you put a picture in there and record something about the picture. So if someone says, "Hey, that's a nice picture, what's it about?" you can tell them, "Just push the button!" And then it says, "This is me and my wife when we were, you know, wherever . . ."