Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Warning Labels

Have we gotten to such a point in this country that everyone is stupid, or is it just that everyone  assumes everyone else is stupid?

I've been thinking about this for a while.  As you all know, we recently moved and bought a shit-ton of furniture and appliances for the new place.  The warning labels on all of that was ridiculous.  But this morning was the last prompt for this post.

My coffee carafe says "Do Not Hold Over People" (among other various warnings).  Umm, yeah.  Well, that screws up my plans for the weekend.  I was hoping to walk around holding a pot of hot coffee over people's heads and threatening them until they did my bidding.

When assembling the bookcases - all five of them - I was faced time and again with the warning to make sure I affixed the shelves TO THE WALL.  (How are you supposed to move your furniture around if it's all tacked to the wall?)  You know because children can climb on them and pull them over.  Someone could get hurt.  If I still had little kids and caught them so much as thinking about climbing on my bookcases, they would get hurt. I think if my daughter stops by she can attest to the truth of that.

The stove had the same warning - with big ass brackets.  Gotta screw the stove to the wall, because ya know, if you climb on the door when it's open, the stove could tip over.  (Or like if you were roasting a fifty pound turkey and pulled the tray out too far...  Rii-iight.)

Seriously, people? 

Shit happens in the world.  Usually shit happens to people doing something they know better then to be doing.  Or to kids whose parents are too stupid* to watch them like hawks - because kids need to be watched the way a Red Tail would scope out a mouse.  Of course, there were still times when we were kids we did stupid things - specifically when our parents weren't looking because, hey, we knew if we did it while the folks were around, they'd stop us and we'd get in trouble.

For instance, when I was like 6 or 7, I tried to stick a piece of wire into an electrical socket.  I didn't think anyone was around.  Thought I could do this little experiment without consequence.  WRONG.  Dad freaked.  Yelled at me.  Threatened a spanking if I ever pulled that shit again.  In my defense, I thought I was safe because the wire was insulated.  (Comes from being the daughter of an electronics salesman.)  But it was a stoopid thing to even try.

Our parents were trying to protect us, as much as they could without keeping us in a bubble.  That's kind of the parents' job until the kid is old enough to know better.  Once they're old enough to know better, they're on their own.  It's really not anyone else's job to make sure we don't do something stupid and get ourselves killed after that.

It is not the job of the bookshelf manufacturer.  It is not the job of Mr. Coffee.  It certainly isn't Kenmore's job.

Okay, now it's your turn.  What's something totally stupid you did as a child?  Did you get away with it or did your parents or life teach you a lesson from it?


*Yeah, pretty sure I'm gonna take heat over that.  Not every parent whose kid gets hurt doing something stupid is also stupid, but you have to admit the probability is higher than it used to be.


  1. I made my parents breakfast before they got up when I was five. Toast (not too dangerous) and hot chocolate...since this was before microwaves I had to stand on a chair and heat it over an open flame.
    I've been burning myself in the kitchen ever since....

  2. LOL, JB. That sounds like something I'd do. I was always lighting candles and cooking things (or burning things) over them. And if I tried to count the scars from all the burns I've had... Sheesh.

  3. Most of those warnings come about because someone brought a lawsuit to court--and won, or cost the company money to defend.

    Not that some products don't need warnings, but we shouldn't replace common sense for a label on a machine.

    Re: parenting
    I totally agree. Protect your child, but don't insulate him. That only creates a weaker generation of crybabies who go to court for every stupid thing they do.

  4. Warning labels provide me endless hours of amusement. I always find them funny.

    However, I would suggest you attach your bookshelves to the wall... lol. That one is serious. It just takes a mounting bracket (I believe it's called), and they come off easily enough so you can move the shelves around later. But seriously, I've had bookshelves that were so full they would tip forward precariously.

  5. Uhm...Does doing a swan dive off the roof of the house count? My brother and I earned Coke-n-candy money that way. Seven years older, he'd make the bet, I'd make the dive. And then we'd go up to the gas station a block away to get our goodies. What can I say? Stupid is as stupid does.

    Unfortunately, Maria is right. All those warning labels came about because lawyers figured out there was money to be made in stupidity. I always figured stupidity was how the gene pool evened out. *shrug*

    You can tell a kid that fire is hot but until they get burned, they probably aren't going to believe you. That said, a parent needs to mitigate the burn and be ready with first aid.

  6. I can indeed verify that she would have killed me if I tried to climb the bookshelves. And not just bookshelves either, she was pretty much against the climbing of anything unstable and/or covered in heavy things. (She can so strict, right?)