Archive for June, 2007

Repairing New Things

June 4th, 2007

I am now starting my second week of performing a brand new show, and no matter how much I rehearse at home before hand, the show always changes dramatically during the first 20 performances in front of a REAL audience.

I was discussing this with Tim Sonefelt and Barry Mitchell and as soon as I told them that I finished my first show they both said “So, are you heading straight to the hardware store, or to Wal-Mart first?”

It was funny because I WAS headed straight to the hardware store. I also had a list of things that I needed to do once I got home. Most of them revolved around fixing things that were BRAND NEW.

I have a small “beach tent” in the show and the rubber covers on the ends of the tent poles came off when I disassembled it the very first time. During the show I discovered that a box I use to produce items (seemingly from nowhere) had a major flaw that I fixed with a hot glue gun.

These are easy repairs, but I wonder why the manufacturers (who obviously know more about their products than I do) couldn’t just spend a few extra pennies and make the things at the factory in a way that they would last past the first use or so.

There is a part of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that stipulates products have an implied warranty of merchantability. This means that, regardless of whether any warranties are stated or not, if a manufacturer sells something he is obligated to warranty that it is AT LEAST good enough to do what it is designed to do.

This seems like a “Duh!” statement and a law that wouldn’t really need to be on the books. But it is a regular thing for me to buy something and immediately try to figure out how to repair it BEFORE I use it, so that I don’t have to deal with it breaking in the middle of a show.

This is why people who understand quality don’t mind paying a bit more. If you buy cheap, you’re still going to pay a lot. You’ll just have to endure the hassle of paying for it after it breaks on you. And you’ll still end up with a cheaper version.