Ever since the great Tainted Peanut Butter Scare of 2007, we've been taking back jars of peanut butter. Singles, doubles and triples and one woman who must have been buying for a soccer team and brought back six jars. The common theme here is that people have been bringing back the JARS -- either half-eaten or not opened.
ConAgra told consumers they could take the peanut butter back to retailers (Yes, I know, I got this wrong the first time I wrote about it) or mail the LIDS back to ConAgra for a refund.
Well, Sunday I got one particularly dim bulb of a suburban housefrau who managed to make total hash of the "get money for your tainted peanut butter" instructions. She was obviously totally not listening all that well to the instructions on the Today show.
Big Momma waddles up and throws a Winn-Dixie bag full of the lids to peanut butter jars on the counter in front of me. This particularly unpreposessing character has on navy blue sweatpants (the elastic is obviously long gone but still doing its level best to contain the gelatinous mounds of flesh in each monster thigh), a ratty circa '98 "I GAVE BLOOD" T-shirt and a black and red plaid flannel shirt. Incongrously, she's got a tiny pink purse barely large enough to hold a cell phone. And an attitude meant for a corporate head-hunter.
HER: "I wanna return these."
ME: (After looking in the bag) "Ma'am, we can't take back these lids. We've got to have the whole jar."
HER: "Whaddayamean? That's bad peanut butter and I wanna get some money back."
ME: "Ma'am. You can return the JARS of peanut butter to stores. You can MAIL the LIDS back to ConAgra for a refund. But you can't return just the LIDS to a store. I'm sorry."
HER: "Well that ain't right."
ME: "Ma'am, I'm sorry."
HER: "Well you mean to tell me that I can't get my money back even though I bought all them jars of bad peanut butter here?"
ME: "No ma'am. You can mail the lids back to ConAgra and they will give you your money back. But I can't return the lids here."
HER: "So if I wanna get my money back, I gotta go home and dig around in my nasty trash for some messed-up peanut butter."
ME: "If you want your money back from Wal-Mart, we've got to have the jar. Or you can MAIL THE LIDS back to ConAgra."
HER: "Why should I dig around in the trash? You better take these back right now."
ME: "No ma'am. You can mail them in."
HER: "I don't want to do that."
ME: "I'm sorry. We're not going to take back the lids."
HER: "Well this was just a waste of my time."
FYI: If you've still not returned your peanut butter, here's the full instructions from the ConAgra Web site.