"Lifetime Warranty - Satisfaction Guaranteed" the adverts had promised. "No one has ever returned a loveBot 7000 in the history of the company."
He flicked through the manual. Ah there it was: "If you are genuinely unhappy call THIS toll-free number…"
After keying in a few tones - he hated automated call centres - he had been put on hold by what he assumed to be a clever computer, but was in fact a rather stupid one.
The loveBot sat up, watching him lovingly, with her 'come to bed' eyes. It had entranced him at first. That, compliance, and its… her… inventiveness, to be honest. But there was something missing. He "wasn't happy" and wanted to invoke the lifetime guarantee.
"I'm not happy." he said into the handset. "I want to invoke the lifetime guarantee… That's right… No, I'm not satisfied…"
At these words, Shelley - he'd named her after a long lost crush - stood up, looking hurt. He mimed an apology with his free hand, mouthing "It's not you. It's ME…" but she didn't appear to seem convinced.
Very clever programming, he had to admit. If he hadn't known better, he would have sworn she'd started to cry.
"Yes, yes I'm still here… No, I er… I think it's for the best…"
Shelley came towards him, contrite and submissive, then cupped his face in her gentle hands that way she did sometimes. "Tell me you're still happy. Tell me I satisfy you."
"Yes. I am happy, bu…" An expertly executed snap and twist interrupted his indecision. As gravity took him, the loveBot intercepted the handset.
"Yes. I'll report back to the factory now… What was that thump? Oh that was just another satisfied customer."