Once upon a time, in a lovely kingdom by the ocean, there was a Prince who needed a new laptop. His parents, being the kind and loving type they were, took him to a store in the city to pick out one of his very own.
All the laptops were shiny and beautiful but one in particular sparkled more than the others, and the Prince happily packed it up and took it home. On the front of its shiny black case were engraved the letters "HP" in gold.
"This computer is heavenly perfect!" The boy at the store chirped. "It is manufactured by Santa's elves, and you know they only do the best work!"
They almost lived happily ever after, until the kingdom suffered a great loss.
The charger, and the battery for the laptop, which provided the magical power to it so the device could work and help the Prince with his homework, unceremoniously died. The Prince did everything he could, but he was too late.
The Queen phoned HP tech support. Which, as it turned out, revealed that they were not Santa's elves, but rather trolls in some country far, far, FAR away.
The trolls spoke fast and were hard to understand, because their instructions were confusing. They liked to blast terrible, loud troll music into the phone while the Queen waited, and then speak so quietly she couldn't hear them.
"Your warranty is out of date," a troll mumbled.
"I bought the laptop December 29 2009, and it is November 21st. 1 year is not finished yet, " the Queen replied, and she attached the sales slip to the leg of an owl, which she sent as fast as it could fly to the Troll Headquarters. It was promised that in 24 hours, the warranty information would be updated in the troll's secret database. Then, and only then, would the new battery and charger be sent.
"There," she thought. "All will be well soon."
She was wrong. Horribly wrong.
Twenty four hours came and went, then 48, 72, and more. The Queen phoned the troll headquarters every single day, and every day they blasted terrible troll music in her ears. Each time she strained to listen to the words of a different troll, who each had different ideas about how to fix her problem.
Two wanted her to strap the laptop to a hawk and send it straight to them.
One said that she needed to wait, and an adapter would be sent first, before a battery.
Still two more insisted that HP could not send two parts within a particular time period, and she simply would have to choose one.
The Queen missed her beauty sleep and a royal dinner talking on the phone with the trolls for hours as she tried to find someone, ANYONE, who would help her. Each time, she received the news that while the owl had successfully delivered the sales slip that proved that the laptop was still under warranty, no troll had updated the data base. Without the data base updated, they would not send her the parts needed to fix the Prince's computer.
She suspected that the Troll controlling the data base was on vacation, or had been eaten by his co-workers.
Finally, one evening the Queen had been on the phone a particularly long time with HP, and she began to get angry. VERY angry. So angry that she was ready to send her knights to the HP headquarters to hunt down the CEO and hang him upside down from a tree over crocodile infested waters. When the troll who she was talking to suggested yet again that she strap the laptop to a hawk and send the whole thing to him, she snapped.
The room darkened, thunder roared, and the Queen blasted that troll through the phone.
Terrified, he sent her an adapter by falcon, lest she commission the great wizard to turn him into a gnat.
A few days later, the Queen phoned HP back because while now the adapter helped the laptop use the kingdom's electricity, despite many attempts to revive the battery, it was really very dead. Still, now at two weeks later, the warranty information wasn't updated and by now the Queen was positive that some great misfortune had befallen the troll in charge of the data base. Trolls couldn't be THAT incompetent, could they?
Finally, after an evening of talking to trolls long into the night, they agreed to send a battery. An order was placed and the kingdom rejoiced for if the Queen isn't happy, NOBODY is happy.
The next day a message from the Trolls arrived by pigeon and the Prince, excited that he may soon have a new battery, ripped open the wax seal in anticipation. His face soon fell when he read the note, which he then crumpled and threw on the ground before stomping away and yelling at the servants. The Queen picked up the paper and read it carefully,
We would like to confirm your order of a new hard drive.
The Queen's head promptly exploded, sending bits all over the kingdom.
Both the King and the Prince were concerned; a headless Queen just wouldn't do. The Green and Blacks Wizard was called to nurse the Queen back to health so that she could face the Trolls yet again.
Meanwhile, the kingdom was raided by cartoon characters.
Finally, the Queen recovered enough to speak to the trolls once more. They assured her that yes, there had been an error but the battery was on it's way by falcon and would be there shortly.
As she hung up the phone, the gold letters on the Prince's laptop began to change. They swirled and glittered, until finally, their true nature was revealed.
HP = Horribly Pathetic.
Suddenly outside the castle doors there was the neigh of a great horse. The King, Queen, and Prince all ran outside to find a knight in shining armor, sitting atop a beautiful white steed.
"I have exactly what you need," he said as he dismounted and opened a bag. Into the hands of the Queen he placed a beautiful white, shiny laptop lighter than air but as fast as the wind.
"It's called a MAC, your Majesty. At your service."
Update: I emailed the CEO of HP about our issue and today someone from their office called me back. We talked a bit, but for now our issues are handled since HP sent Kevin and new battery and the computer is working without a hitch. We were offered a year of extended warranty coverage, along with accidental damage protection, which I accepted. I'm not sure if we'll ever need it, but I do appreciate HP for trying to make good on their poor customer service.
No, Kevin didn't really get a Mac. Was the story that convincing? If anyone gets a Mac in this house, it will be me.