Elody’s Hats were very fine hats, if a bit pricey. People trekked from all over just to try them on, and perhaps buy one if they were feeling ostentatious.
Elody made many types of hats. Fedoras and cloches, ascots and berets. She even made the occasional ball cap.
Tourists always stopped by her hat shop, and nearly every country had someone who had an Elody Hat. They were stylish, sleek, and always well-made; any Elody hat didn’t break.
The day a hat broke, then, was a sad day indeed.
The wearer, a young man in a well-to-do area with a highly successful tech company, had been wearing his Elody Hat improperly – she always gave strict instruction on proper care and wear of her hats – and tugged on it daily, a nervous habit from childhood he never quite broke. Midway through a sporting event, one team of which he supported and cheered for, his Elody Hat came apart. The event was enough to end up on the jumbo-tron in the stadium.
Elody, upon hearing about this, offered to fix the hat or make a new one, at no charge, while simultaneously passively chastising him for his improper use. The man, however, would have none of it. He opened his own hat shop across the street from Elody’s Hats, charging a fraction of the price that Elody did, copying the styles if not the quality, and paying a pittance to the hat-makers.
At first, it worked. Elody’s business dropped precipitously. But she was prepared for this, always saving for a rainy day or week. She rode the brief wave of public fervour, and as the truth about the tech mogul’s treatment of the garment, over-zealous business style, and low pay to illegal workers came out, people switched allegiance, many buying Elody’s hats simply out of spite. She used the boon to rebuild her savings.
When the dust finally settled, the tech mogul closed his shop, and even offered a half-assed apology, in the form of the latest version of his software – the most bloated and malware infected, and least utile version – to Elody at no charge. She smiled graciously, thanked him, and put the code for a free download in her filing cabinet, a token from another victory.