I think when you find yourself reading a full, legal warranty, it’s safe to say you’ve got too much time on your hands.

On the other hand, I discovered that warranties can make for a thrilling read, full of unexpected twists and turns.  For example, the one I was reading was a store add-on warranty for furniture purchases.

On the surface it may sound dull.  However, included early-on in the coverage explanation was this sentence:

            “Complete stain coverage for stains including (but not limited to): Food, beverage, and/or human bodily fluids.”

They had my full and undivided attention at that point.

I don’t know where your brain went when you read that, but my brain said, (very matter-of-factly) “So, if we murder someone on our new couch and they bleed on it, this store will replace the sofa for free.  That’s a good deal for only $10 more!”

Maybe you think I’m crazy, but it’s a 2 year protection plan, which means I’d have plenty of time to figure out the other important details, like body disposal, a convincing alibi, character witnesses, and reasonably-priced movers (for the sofa, not the body.)(Although, now that I think about it…)  For only $10!

I would also argue that I am the sane one and it’s the people who write the warranties that are a little bit off.  They’re the ones who brought up human bodily fluids.  And blood is the least gross of all the human bodily fluids.

(Pause here and break into small groups to discuss other kinds of human bodily fluids and rate their grossness levels.)

Further down this same warranty was the description of things the warranty didn’t cover.

That’s when we really started to go down the rabbit hole.

I don’t know what these people do in their spare time, but I am both scared and jealous of their lives after having read the things they could think up that would damage furniture in such a way that the store would not replace it.  I mean, when the bar is set at “worse than covered in unspecified human bodily fluids”, where do you even go from there?

I will tell you where they went from there: to places I had never previously considered.  And I’ve dressed a block of cheese up like a fortune teller.  There’s not a lot of places my imagination hasn’t at least found on a map.

Some actual examples of damage not covered by the warranty (I swear these are all 100% real):

-Damage caused by claws, jaws, and beaks.  No, seriously.  They used those 3 words.  In other words, if you own or rent a griffin, do not waste your money on this warranty.  Also, if you have the misfortune of getting attacked by a werewolf, do yourself a favor and try to move the fight away from your new furniture.

-Collision.  This makes me feel like I’m missing out on what sounds like a really exciting part of furniture ownership.  My furniture has always been overwhelmingly stationary.  How do  people have furniture with collision damage?  And how does it happen so often that stores are like, “Look, we just can’t afford to cover this anymore!”  Do other people strap furniture to the fronts of their cars, drive to opposite ends of the block, and then joust at each other?  And why don’t they invite me?

-Liability of injury or death to a person.  I brought this one up to point out that they’re not saying they WON’T replace the sofa if we murder someone on it (and yes, I said ‘we’, because you are in this as deep as I am now and if I go down, I am taking you with me!)  They just said they aren’t liable for it.  Which is fair.

-Damage caused by war, civil war, riot, rebellion, or hostilities.  First of all, how many people tried to get away the old excuse, “I know the warranty doesn’t cover damage caused by war, but this was damage caused by a CIVIL war.  Totally different!”?  Secondly, if you’re going to spill red wine on my new couch, don’t be rude while you do or that hostility could void my warranty.

-Burns exceeding 1 inch in length.  Do you know why?  I honestly can’t figure this one out (and I came up with furniture car jousting)(patent pending).  Best I can think of: People were trying to pass off their cremated pets’ remains as their burned up sofa to get a 2nd sofa free.  Also: yet another way to legally discriminate against people who own flame-throwers.  If I owned a flame thrower, I wouldn’t stand for it!  I’d call the NCAA immediately!

-Stains of unknown origin.  This is the title of the next book I’m going to write.  Or maybe a heavy metal band I’ll start.

Also, since we’re in this together, I’ll be happy to provide you with a back-story for any stains you don’t recognize so you can still be covered by the warranty.

Also, maybe this is obvious, but this last clause means you do have to KNOW the person you’re murdering, at least casually, in order for the warranty to be in effect.  How embarrassing would it be if you brought in, say, your sofa covered in blood stains (within 30 days of the occurrence of the stain, which is also required by the warranty) and the clerk asks, “Where did these stains come from?” and you’re left stuttering, “I think he said his mother was German.  Or was it Dutch?”  Warranty voided.  Rookie mistake.


This really opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed: the magical, mysterious, and often seedy world of store warranties.  Those people do not mess around.  Or maybe they mess around too much and that’s how they end up with so much collision damage to their credenzas.

Nothing left to say except: may all your stains have convincing origin stories!