"Yup, there's definitely water damage," the lanky young man said as he shined a pencil flashlight into the port of Harry's dead smart phone. The man's shirt said 'Wizard' which was further emphasized by his large blue hat with silver moons and stars.
"Like I said, it fell in a river and I need to replace it," Harry said as he looked around the Wunder Electronics Store. It was packed with shoppers, as it always was. And everywhere were the 'Wunder Wizards' in their purple shirts and hats, assisting customers.
"Sir?" Harry's wizard was looking at him expectantly.
"I'm sorry, did you ask me a question?"
The wizard's nostrils flared in annoyance. "I said, why would you put your phone in such a dangerous position?"
Harry shrugged. "It was an accident. I was fishing with my son, and it fell out of my pocket."
"We sell waterproof phone caddies that would have saved your phone. Why wasn't it in one of those?"
Harry frowned. "I don't own one."
"Why not?" the wizard pressed.
"Why does it matter?" Harry asked.
"I'll ask the questions here, sir."
Harry had to admit, he felt a little confused by the wizard's attitude. Then he understood. Striking a conciliatory tone, he said, "You know, when I was in college I had to work a job that made me wear a ridiculous hat too..."
The wizard's face flushed and his eyes widened. Harry realized he miscalculated. The wizard drew himself up to his full height and declared, "It is an honor to wear the sorcerer's hat. I attended three days of training and passed the Wunder Wizard Challenge to win it."
"Yes, yes, of course," Harry said in a calming tone.
"It is a privilege to wear the hat, just as it is a privilege, not a right, to own a wizPhone. WizPhones deserve respect and proper care and so far I am not seeing any indication that you are capable of providing your phone either."
"Now just a dog gone minute. All I want is to replace my phone. Are you saying you won't sell me one?"
"That is indeed, what I am saying." the wizard replied.
Harry was speechless. He opened his mouth, shut it, and opened again like a fish out of water. Finally he said, "I would like to speak to your manager."
"I'm here sir," said a squeaky little voice from behind him.
Harry turned to confront a woman dressed in a large ball gown with puffy sleeves and a silver crown on her blonde hair. She held a wand in her hand and dashes of glitter decorated her cheeks.
"I think you're taking the theme a little too seriously," Harry said. Then he shook his head, "Never mind. I need to replace my phone."
"I am aware of your demands," the woman said. "But I'm afraid I agree with my young apprentice. Our phones deserve loving homes where they will be cared for and nurtured. You have a very dark aura about you. We would be very sad Wunder employees if we were to put another phone in jeopardy with such a shoddy owner. Good day to you sir."
"This is ridiculous!"
The woman stepped closer to Harry, and only the substantial hoops of her gown prevented her from being nose to nose with him. Speaking in a soft voice, she said, "Sir, I have said good day. Please don't make me summon the Ogres to have you removed."
"The Ogres? Who are they?" Harry asked.
"The employees who are neither intelligent, nor nice, enough to serve as wizards. They have other, um, talents that you really don't want to know about. So, why don't you depart while you still have the full use of your limbs, and go buy yourself one of those shoddy, cheap phones from the slummy kiosks at the other end of the mall."
"One more thing, dear. This a lifetime ban from Wunder stores. Your face has been scanned and uploaded into every Wunder store database in the world and online. If you ever attempt to purchase one of our products or enter one of our stores, well, just don't."
Harry nodded slowly, turned on his heel, and left the Wunder store never to return again.
THE END copyright 2013 John Lance