Door Closer

Scene: An iron-monger’s shop in Paris.

Enter M. Alphonse Allais, the obscure French humorist.

Ironmonger: Good morning – can I help you?

Allais: Good morning – I want to buy a door-closer.

Ironmonger: Ah, one of those gadgets with a spring, that you fix on a door so that it closes by itself?

Allais: Yes – but not too expensive, if possible.

Ironmonger: One medium-price automatic door-closer, then.

Allais: As long as it’s not too complicated and fiddly.

Ironmonger: Of course not, sir. Just a cheap, simple automatic door-closer.

Allais: Yes, please. But I don’t want one of those really strong ones that pulls the door shut before you’re halfway through.

Ironmonger: I know, some of them can almost tear your jacket off. So what you want is a simple, reasonably priced automatic door-closer with gentle action. Is that it?

Allais: Absolutely. Not too gentle, though – I’ve seen some that work very slowly.

Ironmonger: I’ve seen those too – the door’s still half-open when you come back! What you’re looking for is a simple budget model, gentle-action quick-return door closer.

Allais: I think that covers it. As long as it isn’t too stiff. One or two brands seem to be so powerful that you have to push like mad to get the door open at all.

Ironmonger: Right! So what we’re after is a low-cost, straight-forward, gentle-action, quick-return, easy-to-operate automatic door closer.

Allais: Yes, that’s it! What have you got in stock like that?

Ironmonger: Sorry, we don’t do door-closers.

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