“Amazon Prime’s Dating Marketplace for the Socially Inept [beta],” by Keith R. Fentonmiller

Oct 7th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Joe Sundberg: Middle-Aged Ex-Lawyer with Passion for Pre-2009 Elevator Regulations[1] and a Knack for Power Washing

3.2 out of 5 stars    3 ratings
List Price: $199.99
Price: $99.00 prime FREE Returns (except for add-on items)

Product Description

Are you seeking a soulmate and also fed up with your grime-covered home exterior? Well, lend Joe a power washer[2] and get ready to be wooed by his encyclopedic knowledge of what some call “the golden age of hoisting mechanism jurisprudence.”[3]

1 Joe surrendered his law license in 2008. His legal musings are offered solely for entertainment purposes.
2 Joe does not come equipped with a power washer at this time.
3 No one calls it that but Joe. See also note 1.

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Customer reviews

S Tyler
3.0 out of 5 stars
I didn’t find love in an elevator, but my mailbox (mostly) sparkles

Verified Purchase

My estranged husband is a coveted speaker on the elevator law circuit and a power-washing enthusiast. He recently ran off with an escalator mechanic half his age. In my desperation, I ordered Joe Sundberg for a love affair and a thorough power wash of my mailbox and driveway. Thanks to Prime shipping, Joe arrived promptly at my front door with a beaten-up power washer in tow. (I understand Joe no longer comes equipped with one.)

Joe couldn’t get the power washer started. He consulted the online manual, the manufacturer’s help forum, and DIY YouTube channels—a tedious endeavor on a 3G phone. I had an inkling about the problem, but I stayed mum. I worried Joe, like my husband, might take my unsolicited opinion on mechanical matters as a challenge to his masculinity. But four frustrating hours of slow-loading web pages and buffering videos prodded my inner lioness awake. I spoke up. If my suggestion ruffled Joe’s feathers, he didn’t let on. Without the slightest hesitation, he grabbed the end of the power cord and plugged it into the wall outlet. His wand throbbed to life.

Joe blasted my filthy mailbox with abandon. I was shocked that a worn-out power washer like Joe’s could produce such a vigorous stream. My pent-up tension drained away with the grimy waste water. And Joe was just getting started. He focused a tight jet at the spot where my mailbox joins the support post. Wow, what a jolt that was. It had taken my husband a decade of fumbling around to locate that spot, but Joe zeroed in on it right away. My neck and face flushed with heat. I nearly fainted. It had been so long since my last power washing, and my mailbox was just so, so dirty.

Joe had cleaned about two-thirds of the mailbox when he suddenly arched his back and howled like a wild animal. I assumed he was really into the cleaning like I was, so I answered with a howl of my own. I’d completely misread his signals. He winced and choked out the words “slipped… lumbar… disc,” then crumpled into a heap on the driveway. The washer hose fell limp against his thigh.

But all was not lost. Although lying corpse-like, Joe could still manipulate his mouth like a pro. His oral magic took the form of a three-hour exegesis on elevator codes from 1938 to 2008. The minutiae poured from his thin lips in an unrelenting torrent. What stamina! And his droning voice was eerily similar to the Schindler single-speed traction elevator my husband and I had ridden over and over, day and night, on our honeymoon. Was this a sign Joe and I were meant to be? I got my answer in the Q&A that followed.

While basking in the informational afterglow, I casually asked Joe about the 2009 Uniform Dumbwaiter Code. My husband and I had shared many a laugh over that brazen but futile attempt to reconcile conflicting local ordinances. Joe had no comment whatsoever. He truly is ignorant when it comes to post-2008 elevator regulations. I’d known this from the product description, of course. I just figured I could overlook Joe’s “little problem.” But that was before my inner lioness roared to life again. A liberated woman does not settle for a man whose elevator expertise peters out twelve floors shy of the penthouse.

Joe seemed to register my disappointment. He clambered to his feet and started rolling the power washer away. He didn’t get far, though, as he hadn’t unplugged it. He turned to me, eyes wet with tears, and said in a shaky voice, “Expect a refund in five business days.” Poor Joe was trembling like a leaf. He exuded the unvarnished agony of a man with a broken heart—that and the agony of a bulging lumbar disc. I had to put him out of his misery. I negotiated him down to an on-the-spot refund and ushered him off the property.


L Tribe
1.5 out of 5 stars
Huge disappointment in a small package

Verified Purchase

I ordered Joe Sundberg’s romance/exterior-maintenance package based on the bang-up job he’d done on two-thirds of my neighbor’s mailbox. I’ve been practicing elevator law since 2009, so Joe’s obsolete legal expertise wasn’t a dealbreaker.

Things went south right off the bat. Joe arrived with a bucket and sponge but no power washer, mumbling some excuse about an “ownership dispute.” Then Joe said he doesn’t swing my way, which was not at all clear from the product description. He offered a refund, which I declined for two reasons. First, Joe was giving off a vaguely closeted vibe. Second, my order for Joe had included a $4.99 oven mitt as an add-on item. Amazon would’ve socked me with a five dollar shipping charge had I returned Joe without the mitt.

It was a hot, sunny day, so Joe removed his shirt before cleaning my house exterior. Joe’s body is stunningly doughy. I once handled a pro bono case for a sex offender who’d opted for chemical castration in lieu of prison. Joe’s flesh looked like that guy’s after a year of estrogen treatments. Joe’s cleaning capacity also left much to be desired. He hadn’t brought a ladder, and his arms are extremely short. His tiny, androgynous hands couldn’t reach any area higher than five feet.

I returned Joe, kept the oven mitt, and absorbed the five dollar shipping charge. I have no regrets. Had it not been for Joe, I’d never have crossed paths with the best darn oven mitt on the internet for under ten dollars. For that reason, I added half a star to Joe’s rating.


H Shum
5.0 out of 5 stars
That’s who had it!

Joe is my former neighbor. He “borrowed” my power washer ten years ago.

FTC Disclosure: I made this post and agreed not to press charges in exchange for Joe returning my power washer.


Keith R. Fentonmiller works as a consumer protection attorney for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Before graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, he toured with a professional comedy troupe, writing and performing sketch comedy. He published his debut novel, Life Indigo: Kasper Mützenmacher’s Cursed Hat (Curiosity Quills), in 2017. His next novel, Fate Accompli: The Water Nymph Gospels, Book 1, is forthcoming from Ellysian Press in 2021.

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