At the Government Appliance Store year 2020:
Salesman: Excuse me ma’am, you cannot buy that without a license.
Customer: What? It’s just a toaster…
Salesman: But it is a six slice toaster. It has high-capacity toasting capability. That is a military grade toaster. No one needs a toaster that size. Perhaps I could interest you in an egg timer instead?
Customer: But my family likes toast, just like my forefathers liked toast. I need a six slice toaster. I don’t need an egg timer.
Salesman: (Sigh) Do you know how dangerous toasters are? The crumbs collect in the bottom tray, and can explode in a fireball. People stick forks in them without unplugging first. I would just as soon they be outlawed altogether. No one needs toast. But, it is your right to buy one…we just need to do a background check first, ma’am. The law requires we obtain your record regarding toaster responsibility. Name?
Customer: I have never committed any kind of toasting crime! Are you denying me the right to toast for my family of six without government approval?
Salesman: Hmmm. Family of six? You know, that is at least two more than the Recommended Infant Production (RIP) Rate. Would you like to schedule an Elective Elimination of Kin (EEK) procedure as long as you’re here? It is quickly and easily taken care of to bring you into compliance with RIP.
Customer: What are you talking about? You mean kill two of my kids?
Salesman: Now, now, now, don’t be inflammatory. We don’t like to speak of it in those terms ma’am. We prefer to call this “post-uterine large scale tissue removal.”
Salesman: (chuckling) Ma’am, those have been banned since 2014. They have been implicated in many fatal house-fires. We here at the Government Appliance Store pride ourselves on protecting every family, while of course, protecting the rights of the recreational toaster.
Customer: But I just want to take care of my family. How can I toast my bread?
Salesman: We feel that toasting your bread is a freedom that is just too dangerous nowadays without certain training programs and safeguards in place. Do you know how many children have been senselessly slaughtered by toasters used improperly? For the good of the many, the toast of a few must be sacrificed. And who really needs a 6 slice toaster anyway? The two slice toaster can be reloaded with only minor inconvenience, and is clearly less of a kitchen fire threat, as study after study has demonstrated.
Customer: Fine. I’ll get the two slice toaster.
Salesman: Of course! We are not trying to remove all toaster rights. You will need to sign up for one of our twelve month toaster training courses, and of course, we still need that background check, and license.
Customer: For a toaster? But I just voted and all I had to do was tell them my name. They didn’t even request a photo ID.
Salesman: (waits, while tapping fingers on counter.) Your point?
Customer: OK. After I fill out the paperwork, can you just put it in a bag and let me get out of here?
Salesman: Do you have a conceal and carry toaster permit?
Customer: For crying out loud! You are behaving as though I intend to use my toaster to kill people!
Salesman: Ma’am, all appliances have the capacity to be weaponized in the wrong hands. All we are doing here is protecting the people. That’s our job. We will leave no kitchen unprotected in our quest to eradicate the chance of even one house fire.
Customer: Never mind. I will just buy the toaster on the internet. (turns to leave)
(Instant loud sound of aircraft hovering overhead and powerful lights flooding over customer)
Broadcast from overhead: Please, put your hands in the air and step away from the toaster!
Customer: (cowering) What’s that!?
Salesman: Better do as it says. That is the Unmanned Surveillance and Enforcement Drone (USED). It is triggered by any combination of words that suggest the criminal intends to avoid regulations and get toasters without using proper channels.
Customer: What happens if I don’t comply?
Salesman: Good news! Drone attacks will waive the fee for Effective Elimination of Kin!
First they came for the toaster oven,
and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t have a toaster oven.
Then they came for the food processor,
and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t own a food processor.
Then they came for the toasters,
and I didn’t speak out because I could live without a toaster.
Then they came for breakfast,
and there was no appliance left to cook for me….
By: Vicky Kaseorg
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