Encyclopedia watched quizzically as Cadmus Turner glared at a large tree just outside of the Brown Detective Agency. Cadmus snarled at the tree and then began wrestling it. The “fight” went on for a minute until Cadmus gave up when his pants fell down.
Cadmus explained to Encyclopedia that he had just downed four bottles of Hercules’s Strength Tonic, but he wasn’t feeling any of the results. He believed that he had been ripped off and he wanted Encyclopedia to look into things for him.
The two biked down to the fruit stand where Cadmus had bought the tonic. A crowd of children gathered around as two older boys were about to start their demonstration. One of the boys was Wilford Wiggins – a high school dropout, just sayin’ – and Mike O’Malley. Mike was from another town. He was dressed in an old, beat up suit that fit around his large frame pretty well.
Mike did some pushups, and took off his suit jacket and shirt and showed off his muscles. Wilford began the pitch. “Can you believe Mike weighed only 100 pounds a year ago?” Wilford explained that in just one year, he gained another 100 pounds in solid muscle, and he had Hercules’s Strength Tonic to thank for it.
Bugs, who was at the demonstration and was displaying an odd amount of intelligence for him, asked Wilford that if this stuff was so good, then why didn’t they sell it at stores? Wilford explained that Mike had spent every penny he had on developing the tonic. He even pointed out that he had been wearing the same suit for two years because he couldn’t afford a new one.
That was all Bugs needed to hear. He was sold. Wilford explained that all it took was a teaspoon of the stuff a day and that four bottles should last someone a year. Doing some quick math, that means that each bottle is about a pint.
Encyclopedia told the group of children to hold on to their money, because the stuff didn’t work. Mike didn’t gain 100 pounds in a year. If he had, then a suit he got two years earlier wouldn’t have been able to still fit him. Cadmus got his money returned to him.
Mike’s suit aside, it could be argued that Wilford and Mike wouldn’t have to return the money back to Cadmus. Cadmus’ argument was that he bought a product that didn’t work, but what Cadmus didn’t tell Encyclopedia is that though he was instructed to take one teaspoon a day, he drank a year’s worth all at once. Cadmus ignored the directions and in doing so, he surrendered the right to claim that the product didn’t work.
The story glosses over the more important fact that Cadmus is incredibly lucky that the tonic actually didn’t work. If it did work, Cadmus could have, at worst, killed himself downing a year’s worth of tonic all at once. Cadmus didn’t want to wait an entire year to see results, but that’s too freakin’ bad. There’s a reason why the following never happens:
DOCTOR: You’re going to have to come in for several rounds of chemotherapy.
CANCER PATIENT: I don’t want to have to wait that long. Why don’t you just give me all of it at once?
DOCTOR: Sounds good to me.
If Encyclopedia was as the model of clear thinking and responsibility he thinks he was, he should have chided Cadmus for not taking medication as directed.