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In a world without Sir Walter Raleigh potatoes wouldn’t have become popular.As a consequence, Lee Copeman wouldn’t have invented the potato masher in 1847. Instead, he would’ve had to apply his invention to the smoothing of concrete instead, removing the lumps with his hand held device.

One of several thousand letters of complaint received by Lee Copeman inventor of the concrete masher:

Dear Lee Copeman (we hope you rot in Hell where you won’t be able to cope man!)

We spent years raising funds here at the Michigan Athletics Association to build a state of the art concrete running track at our new stadium in Detroit. Just as the lanes – our pride and joy – were being laid our chief architect read about your new product, the concrete masher, designed to remove lumps from concrete. For an extra outlay of $1.25 per masher it seemed we’d be guaranteed to possess the smoothest and most envied running track in the world and attract the best athletes on the planet to compete upon it. Nice to dream, isn’t it?

Instead, Copeman, that $1.25 per masher has bought us a ticket to a nightmare. Your invention has completely ruined this stadium and instead of being the envy of the World, we are the laughing stock. In mashing out the lumps in the laid concrete, following your product’s instructions, our construction workers found that as the cement dried the masher became firmly stuck in it. So now instead of having the smoothest concrete running track on Earth, we have something that wouldn’t look out of place on an assault course for the marines. Copeman, there are masher handles sticking out all over the place. From a distance it looks like a cemetery, and it sounds like it too because any athletes who venture inside are struck dumb and then burst out in tears.

We have tried to remedy the problem. We have tried removing them, but they’re embedded so firmly that King Arthur would not be able to extract the dratted things. Due to all yhe complaints, the company producing your confounded mashers has laughingly issued a product recall. How the heck do they expect anyone to be able to return them? Unless they sold a batch to Hercules, of course! So we have to try and make do. Let metell you some of the things that have occurred.

In the 100 yards dash Leopold Montgomery was on course to smash the world record when after 92 yards he was tripped by the protruding handle of one of your mashers and ended up smashing his ankle and hip instead. We also tried introducing a new event called the 400 yard hurdles, in which athletes ran around the track and jumped over the handles. But unfortunately the mashers are not uniformly or equally spread. Their distribution is totally arbitrary. For instance, in Lane 3 there are 16 concrete mashers embedded in the track whereas alongside it in Lane 4 there is only one! This has led to fights amongst the athletes at the starting line when it has been announced what lane they’ve been drawn in, and several athletes have pulled out when they’ve received an unfavourable draw. I wish they could pull out your damned mashers instead!

We intend to sue your backside, Copeman. I’d also like to kick you there too. If you choose to run away I hope you are in Lane 3!!!!

Wendell Fellucci, Secretary of The Michigan Athletics Commission.

WANTED

DEAD or alive

$20,000 REWARD

LEE COPEMAN

For inventing the most annoying product of all time. North American architecture cannot now hope to compete with that of our European cousins with masher handles sticking out all over the place.

An extra $5,000 will be awarded if you kill him using one of his own mashers. We don’t really want him captured alive as the prisons now have easy escape routes because the high walls have mashers sticking out like steps every few feet!

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