Thursday, June 29, 2006

Screwing up chicken for the rest of us

This warning, on the cabinet-sized shredder at work, is one of my all-time favorite useless warnings:

How many Flock of Seagulls fans are going to drape their tresses over the grinding gears of the shredder?

Thanks to the death of common sense, there are all too many of these asinine warnings around, such as the warning that my coffee is going to be hot. I just ordered it extra hot, so if it doesn't scald my lips and sear the first 48 rows of my taste buds, I may just chopper in the lawyers, guns, and money, and file suit on the spot.

Are we really so thick that we don't understand that our coffee is going to be hot?

Do we really believe some Flock of Seagulls freakfan is going to run, run so far into the copy room and jam their flippy locks into the shredder? You might as well believe that I'm going to fly to Pluto by lighting my farts on fire.

Clearly, I harbor some disdain for the knuckleheads and their lawyers who forced someone to print those warnings on the shredder and my coffee cup. I don't like people who flap about, telling me that the sky is falling when it's really just the sun rising, and cause my coffee to cost more as a result. So it was with great pleasure when I read this in the NYTimes:

Just two weeks ago, Mr. Chan noted in his blog that this newspaper had recorded another lawsuit, filed by a nutrition advocacy group against the fast-food chain KFC, to get it to stop using partly hydrogenated oils.

"I recognize that there's a certain part of the population who don't know a steady fried chicken diet is bad for them. I feel bad for these people," Mr. Chan wrote. "However, these are probably the same people who don't put on their seatbelts and who suck down endless coffee during the day and Coors at night. So let's be honest with ourselves here. You're not going to save these people. You're just screwing up the chicken for the rest of us."

It's as though he read my mind, then said it the right way.

Not only do those people screw up chicken, they screw up nice things, like the gifts that 3B has been getting, all of which come with a warning that they could eventually kill him. You've seen them, the ones that clearly state, "If you try to swallow this product while it is on fire, dehydration, injuries, or death may result."

It's a teddy bear . . . OK, in our case, it's an ugly doll . . . got to love our friends. I know that this isn't a new complaint, and that I'm not the only one to come across this, but it's a bit unnerving to constantly be reminded that every item in 3B's room is potentially lethal. And, not only are these warnings screwing up the cuteness, but also there are no warnings for things that are actual hazards. For example, 3B's crib should have come with this warning:
"The mobile that comes with this crib has no instructions for installation. In their place we have included these drawings of two hands folding an origami stapler while performing an interpretive hand dance describing the flight of a flock of sandhill cranes over a fallow wheat field in a sudden snowstorm. In addition, the crib rail it attaches to is rounded, while the attachment space on the mobile is perfectly square, and just a bit smaller than the crib rail. Any attempt to properly install this mobile on this crib may result in agitation, frustration, inappropriate use of power tools, sweating, and cursing."


  1. Ah yes, more fear-based parenting. Like everything on earth couldn't maim or kill you if you tried hard enough.

    There's this thing in our culture that if any small number of people get hurt or killed, we must all fear and avoid it. So, even though Duncan had all his molars by the time he was 2, I was not supposed to let him eat raw carrot because he could choke.

    In theory I shouldn't let the kids go down the steps to the brook because they (the steps) are made of slate and if they (the kids) fell they could break their heads. I shouldn't let them get in the car because even with car seats they could be killed in a rollover. And what if while we were innocently taking a walk in the forest, a meteorite should fall on our heads?

    We should apparently just feed our kids strained oatmeal and swathe them in protective padding until they graduate high school or something.

  2. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Well said every last bit!!! The crib thing LOL ohh yeah I remember that, my husband cussed me two ways to sunday when I finally made him put all the baby stuff up. Have you done the change table or rocking chair yet? they are even more fun!!!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the mental image of a Flock of Seagulls freakfan caught by the hair in a copy machine.

    (And thanks for the reminder of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at my last post. I loved that book.)

  4. I love people who are just as intolerant of idiots as I am.

  5. Anonymous12:37 AM

    I love the little anti-moisture packets you get in boxes of electronics saying that they aren't edible and not to eat them. Yeah, because I was expecting a tasty treat from Sony with my TV purchase. Geeze.

  6. Isn't the root cause of this bollocks a litigation culture? We're starting down the same depressing journey that you in the States have already gone down. Ambulance Chasers? Tick. We've got them. Evil parasitic little fuckers trying to convince people that there is someone somewhere at fault and that they're sue-able and that there's no such thing as an accident any more.

    And soon we'll be in that situation where if someone keels over in the street, no one will try and help them because the family will sue if something goes wrong.

    So, what's the only rational response?

    Mass culls of lawyers. Let's club them to death with the bags of money they've made empoverishing society as a whole.

    You know it makes sense. C'mon, who's with me?

  7. s@bd: the greatest idiot, who I have the least tolerance for is myself, but I'll let someone else write about that. Probably 3B, when he's old enough.

    Samantha: when I was younger, I didn't know what "dessicant" meant or what silica was, and was baffled by those little packets, so whenever I got one, I pitched it into a dresser drawer. There are probably still a score or more of them in that drawer back at Mom's house. How about a clear label with instructions, such as, "This packet kept this product dry during shipping. Please discard it."

    D_to_B: I don't think that the bludgeoning will work. I believe that a wooden stake is required.