Warranties Losing Value
by John Norberg, humor columnist s

We need to replace the shingles on our house.

The roof is only 12 years old. It's way too soon to go. But it's one of those things that happen in life. Nothing lasts forever. Things go bad and have to be replaced like shingles, transmissions, water heaters and cardiac arteries.

I just wish the shingles had lasted longer.

The roofer came out the other day and looked things over.

Me: "What do you think?"

Roofer: "It's real bad. Are you prepared for the truth?"

Me: "Give it go me straight."

Roofer: "Do own a raincoat?"

Me: "Of course. I wear it for fly fishing in the rain, watching football games in the rain."

Roofer: "Well, if I were you I'd start wearing it over your pajamas on rainy nights."

Me: "So you think we need to replace the shingles?"

Roofer: "That all depends on how good your raincoat is."

This will be the third roof we've put on various houses.

There are different grades of shingles. You can get shingles with a 50-year warranty, a 30-year warranty, a 20-year warranty. The longer the warranty, the better the shingles and the more they cost.

I've always believed you get what you pay for in life. So I believed.

The 50-year shingles would be best. They would be more expensive in the short run, but they would last until 2055.

Me: "Wait a minute! Do you know how old I am? I'm 57 years old. In 2055, I'll be 107!"

Roofer: "And you'll still have a darned good roof."

Me: "If I live to be 107, I won't care what kind of roof I have. I don't need a 50-year roof. What about a 30-year warranty? With a 30 year warranty when the roof needs to be replaced, I'll be, let's see, 87!"

Roofer: "You're starting to look a lot older to me."

Me: "Do you know what this means? I've now reached the point in life where I'm buying a roof with a longer warranty than I have!"

I don't want to pay for a roof that's going to outlast me.

Me: "I can't decide what to do. I've got to talk about this with someone who's a lot smarter than I am."

Roofer: "Your wife?"

Me: "I'm going even smarter."

A few days passed.

Me: "So here's the way it is. I can get a 50-year roof that'll last until I'm 107, or a 30-year roof with a warranty until I'm 87. But maybe all I really need is something cheap for the short run. What do you think? What's the answer?"

Doctor: "Just our of curiosity, do you take your medical questions to your roofer?"

Me: "If they can warranty shingles, you ought to be able to warranty a body. Do I need a 50-year roof?"

Doctor: "No."

Me: "Am I good for 30?"

Doctor: "Have you cut down on ice cream like I warned you?"

Me: "Can I least get a 20-year warranty?"

Doctor: "You want the truth? In my professional medical opinion, you've got a few loose shingles flapping in the breeze."

The more I think about it, that raincoat is very comfortable.

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