OK, it's a hammer. It's a claw hammer, even! So what?
Last week I broke the handle of SISP's hammer when I tried hammering something with it. Hmmm. So I decided to buy a replacement and went to a hand tool emporium in Trivandrum. In the UK it's easy to buy replacement wooden shafts and you can here too - only, it seems, you have to carve them yourself from a chunk of wood! No thanks, life's too short. So I bought a claw hammer. I paid Rs.140 or about £1.75, which I later discovered was about twice what it should be. Even later, I discovered the shaft was broken. I hadn't spotted it in the shop because there was plastic over it - all I did was check it for weight and balance. Bastard!
I decided the shopkeeper guy wasn't going to stitch me up twice so today was the day of returning the hammer. It was almost too easy. He got out a new hammer as if to swap good for bad. He looked at it and compared it with mine. Then he made the mistake of trying to say I'd used mine (there was not a mark on it!) and went and fetched a lump of wood for me to whittle into a handle. No Bloody Way, Matey Boy! I picked up the new hammer and kept it out of his reach. With the other hand I pointed at his face and told him he could go take a hike with his lump of wood. I think he got the gist if not the literal translation. And with that, I strode out of the shop.
Well, it was one stride actually - it was only a little shop. But whatever, I felt quite pleased with myself! In India there's no consumer protection and if something turns out to be duff, too bad, you chose to buy it. Caveat Emptor and all that. That's why Indians scrutinise everything before buying it. And chances are, this hammer had already been rejected several times before he thought he'd try his luck in passing it off onto me. I could be wrong, of course, he might be totally innocent, but this is one thing I'm not going to lose sleep over!