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Madeleine Begun Kane,
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Madeleine Begun Kane


During this year's annual shareholders' meeting, Ford Motor Co. made some surprising admissions about the environmental and safety problems of SUVs. Ford's refreshing attack of corporate honesty has inspired at least one other manufacturer to make some confessions of its own:

"Our product poses hazards, and we have no idea what to do about it." This astonishing statement was made yesterday by Bored Cart Co. Chairman William "Bill" Bored Jr., during the supermarket cart maker's annual shareholders meeting.

The great-grandson of the company's founder, Bill Bored noted that its SUB (Shop Until Broke) shopping carts are "three times as large as they were in 1975 and pose serious hazards to users and pedestrians alike."

"Our SUBs are very popular and profitable," Bill Bored said, after distributing a 98-page book, "Connecting With Customers," which explains the health and environmental hazards of Bored's giant SUB cart line. "But we're embarrassed to admit that they're difficult to maneuver and much too wide for most supermarket aisles."

"Shoppers are constantly crashing the carts into other consumers. And when they're not knocking down human beings, they're plowing into merchandise displays, turning soup and tuna cans into flying missiles. The accident rate in supermarkets using our SUB wagons is so high, that personal injury law firms routinely post paralegals at check-out registers to hand out business cards."

As shareholders listened in horror, Bored continued, "To make matters even worse, our SUBs are so deep that users under 5 foot 10 frequently wrench their backs while bending down to lift their purchases out of the carts."

So is Bored discontinuing its SUB cart line? Not so fast! Bored cautioned that while supermarket chain store owners consistently said in market surveys that they want more environmentally responsible products, they are unwilling to pay more for them or to sacrifice features.

He continued: "We have to keep producing them. They're our most profitable product, and chiropractors have a very powerful lobby. Besides, if we don't sell them, our competitors will. Competitors who, unlike the Bored Cart Co., aren't interested in protecting the public from this serious menace."

"So we plan to keep selling our SUBs, while simultaneously working on ways to make them safer, including the voluntary installation of bumpers and bicycle horns. In the meantime, we figure that going public with this will show how well-meaning we are and will help mitigate jury awards, thereby boosting our bottom line."

Bored's speech concluded to thundering applause, applause that echoed long after he climbed into a Bored SUB and was wheeled -- without serious injury -- out of the packed hall.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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