Let’s talk about all the stupid warning labels out there, like this one on the left. Or, “Do not take internally,” it will say on your spray deodorant, just in case you thought you’d start using the stuff as mouthwash.
You see these ‘Don’t Take Internally warnings everywhere: On your sunscreen. (Really? You don’t want to try swallowing it for a nicely bronzed set of lungs?) On your cleaning products… It seems so crazy – though come to think of it, my neighbor did just report to me in a text message that she recently sprayed some those famous foaming bubbles into her face, instead of the toilet. “You know the kind that sprays blue and turns white when everything is cleaned?” she texted me. Well I’m here to tell you it really does spray blue.. even on your eyes, face and teeth!”
You see it on hair coloring. – though come to think of it again, I did almost tint my insides a trendy Autumn Glory once in a dyeing mishap so comically awful even a shameless revealer such as I am cannot tell the story….. Well, maybe if you got me drunk. And if I were on my deathbed.
And you were dying too.
I made cookies last week from the kind of frozen kit school kids are always hawking door-to-door.
- “Preheat oven to 325,” the instructions read. OK, easy enough.
- “Bake 10 – 12 minutes.” Got it.
- “Do not burn cookies.”
‘Do not burn cookies?’ It might as well say “Listen, just stop now. Baking is beyond you.”
That one seemed to me the most insulting set of instructions yet – that is until last Saturday when the mail brought from my sister Nan in Florida an envelope.
It contained no letter but only the instructions that come with one of the many electric appliances we ladies use on our hair.
“Keep cord away from heated surfaces,” it said about this curling iron.
OK, fair enough.
“Do not touch hot surface of the appliance,” it said, which seems, you know, kind of obvious.
“Never drop or insert any object into any opening” it went on, and I’ll admit that one struck me as a little strange. Don’t try using this curling iron as a what, a piggy bank?
But the instruction Nan had highlighted with yellow marker was the best one of all.
Regarding this red-hot electric-cattle-prod of an appliance it actually said, “Do not use while sleeping.” How would you manage that even if you wanted to? is what I wonder. So do manufacturers include all these warnings because care for us? Because they worry about us, more than a roomful of brand-new parents? No, ladies and gents. It is because they don’t want to end up in court here in frontier-town America, where instead of the six-gun the latest weapon is – can anyone doubt it? – the lawsuit.