We are constantly amused and bemused over the modern world’s obsession to warn everyone of everything.
It seems peoplekind have recently lost the ability to think for themselves. To use common sense to avoid consequences of doing batshit crazy things. Stunts that our forebears would shudder to believe that any sane person could consider.
Do not put hands in fan. Do not eat silica gel. Keep arms and legs inside carriage while train is moving (I’d like to see how someone gets both their arms and legs outside the train window at the same time).
Remove internal packaging before turning on blender. Do not put fingers in blender. Do not operate (insert here any appliance) in water.
Slippery when wet. Do not iron shirt while wearing it.
If door does not open, do not enter. Don’t feed your baby to the crocodiles. Caution: please be aware that the balcony is not on ground level. Keep clear of propeller. May cause injury or death.
Petrol tank: Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level.
Label on bottle of dog medication: May cause drowsiness. Use care when operating a vehicle.
Okay, time to fess up. Which of you morons out there have made all these warnings necessary? Give us a show of hands, so we can count your fingers, and figure out who are the Evil Knievels out there…and why the rest of us have to be subjected to an endless barrage of patently obvious sources of risk.
Who was the Einstein who decided to put silica desiccant on their Weet-Bix? How many limbs were scraped from the train tunnel escarpments before the railways people found it necessary to warn against train surfing? Who has a video of the person who decided to ride their folding bicycle before locking in the folding mechanism?
Hands up, what’s left of them, of those who put their arm into the chute of the wood chipper?
I blame the Americans. They seem to need more warnings than the rest of us. Maybe it’s the liable suit-driven legal system? Or maybe it’s just that Americans are more creative, but they certainly require more discouragement than other nations.
They rate highly amongst the Darwin Award nominations and I guess any nation crazy enough to send persons to the moon must be a bit more risky/risqué than their conservative and careful fellow beings.
Although lately, the Russians, also lunatic space travellers, have also shown they’re capable of some pretty raw stupidity, the latest being of course the invasion of their neighbour country and risking the ire of NATO and its daunting collective firepower that is likely to respond eventually by vapourising comrades at an appalling rate. Maybe Ukraine should have posted a few more warning signs, like: ‘Don’t pull that trigger’ and ‘Hands off the Big Red Button, buddy’. If it still not clear, consider this: ‘Do not poke the sleeping bear’.
Here’s some more warnings, in case you didn’t already recognise the danger:
Wood stove instructions: Warning, surfaces may be hot. Note on Wheelbarrow: Not intended for highway use. Message on pushchair: Remove child before folding.
Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally. On a cordless hand tool: Not intended for use as a dental drill. Takeaway coffee cup: Avoid pouring on crotch area.
Be careful out there, and if you don’t feel you’re up to the task, ask for help. Don’t leave the house or go putting other citizens at risk from your dangerous behaviour. Stay away from the car if you’re unsure of your ability to sift stupid from obvious. Take the train or send the dog instead, as long as he’s medicated, and remind him to check the fuel in the tank. There’s a lighter in the glovebox.