Roots toque letter

January 3, 2006

Robert Sarner Director of Communication & Public Affairs

Dear Mr. Sarner,

First let me apologize, as I do realize that I might have directed this email to the wrong person and department, but the Roots website is surprisingly lacking in contact information, and I wasn’t sure where to send it — by email or post. Please forward this email as appropriate.

To Whom It May Concern:

I wasn’t quite sure how to put this letter together for it to make sense and being an easy read (especially in the eggnog season and all). Do try to bear with me while I try to work out my thoughts. It’s important to me as an ardent Roots customer that I make my opinion known about one of your products, as I believe it to be a serious health hazard without a proper warning label.

This past Christmas my loving wife gave me a red Roots toque as a gift. I did appreciate her present, as I have been a loyal Roots customer (probably even a fan) for many years. Heck, I even keep my monies in my Roots wallet when I go shopping for genuine Roots athletics wear at my favorite Roots store in the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping center. Ok, I had hoped for a new chainsaw for Christmas as I had been exceptionally good in 2006, but her giving me a Roots toque for my main gift was all right I guess… I was moderately pleased, I would say.

In any case, back to the health hazards of Roots toques. Yesterday, I was out in my backyard throwing pinecones at squirrels while wearing my new Roots toque and something very strange happened… At first my ears got nice and warm, then the warmth spread to my whole head – I suddenly starting feeling comfortable. Cozy even! This has never happened to me on a January afternoon in Montreal.

I guess everything would have been all fine and dandy if my story ended there, but it doesn’t… As I was feeling exceptionally comfortable, I took my coat off and then my sweater and then a few minutes later, my jeans. I was still feeling great 45 minutes later in my Roots toque, boots, boxers and hand-knitted mittens. I’m not bragging, but I have to say that I must have sent at least 14 squirrels limping with my pinecone projectiles! But there was this one fat squirrel, with beady eyes and perfect whiskers, at the top of the tree that had been taunting me all afternoon that I just hadn’t been able to get to.

As I was feeling so exceptionally comfortable in my Roots toque, I figured I would take the fight to the fat squirrel directly. I kicked off my boots, threw off my hand-knitted mittens, dropped my boxers and proceeded to climb the tree. I figure I made it about three-quarters way up the tree when I felt this bone-crushing cold coming over me. My fingers started going numb, and I completely lost the feeling in my toes. Both my knees (not only the surgically repaired one) started making this odd squeaking sound. Too late did I realize that my Roots toque had lulled me into this false sense of invincibility… I was doomed…

I was too cold to move, I couldn’t climb up or down! I sat in the tree shivering for what felt like hours. Even though my Roots toque kept my head warm, the rest of my naked body did not cope very well with the frigid temperatures (and I’m Scandinavian!)

I vaguely remember falling… And something happening with my Roots toque — I think it was glowing? I believe I heard the fat squirrel snickering, children screaming and something or someone dancing… It might have been a goblin or a fireman… I’m not quite sure what or who it was.

After coming to my senses (wrapped-up in a sleeping bag and stuffed on top of our fireplace mantle) - the first thing I asked for was my Roots toque. However, no one had seen it…

I have lost my Roots toque and I only have a vicious cold to show for it! Yes, I will probably buy yet another Roots toque when I recover (but only if you follow up on my suggestion below, as I anticipate Roots doing) but the point behind this whole letter is that it could have all been perfectly avoidable with some foresight in product labeling by Roots in the first place.

To sum it up: I would ask that Roots please show some corporate responsibility. I do know that integrity and responsibility are the corner stones of the company (which is why I even bothered sending this email in the first place, as I know it will be looked at and my feedback valued) so, please, add warning labels to your toques! Surely, I can’t be the first person that has gone through this?

Here is my suggestion for a Roots toque warning label:

Warning! Wearing this headwear will make you feel comfortable. Cozy even! However, it doesn’t make you invincible. Even though your ears and whole head are warm – wearing other clothing is greatly encouraged – Roots.

Eagerly awaiting your response. Please do hurry, as our whole family is going for our big tobogganing excursion in a couple of weeks and I need new headwear. I would yet again love to buy a Roots toque but I first want to see how you will be following up on my suggestion for a warning label.


P.S. If someone happens to (by a million to one chance) send in a red Roots toque with the initials “R.K” on the label – it’s probably mine. I would love it if you would let me know if something shows up? You may simply leave it with the receptionist and I will try to have one of my Torontonian friends pick it up for me.

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