[Joe Chip] vigorously strode to the apt door, turned the knob and pulled on the release bolt.
The door refused to open. It said, 'Five cents please.'
He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. 'I'll pay you tomorrow,' he told the door. Agin he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight. 'What I pay you,' he informed it, 'is in the nature of a gratuity; I don't have to pay you.'
'I think otherwise,' the door said. 'Look in the purchase contract you signed when you bought this conapt.'
In his desk drawer he found the contract; since signing it he had found it necessary to refer to the document many times. Sure enough; payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip.
'You discover I'm right,' the door said. It sounded smug.
From the drawer behind the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt's money-gulping door.
'I'll sue you,' the door said, as the first screw fell out.
Joe Chip said, 'I've never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.'
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