Product Labeling Gone Awry


I just popped something in the microwave oven. While it cooked, I read the instructions on the package. How dumb is the average person? Why is the last line of the heating instructions, “Remove carefully; product will be hot.” Really?! I hope the heck so! I thought that was the point of putting the blasted thing in the microwave.

Are people really removing items from the microwave with their teeth? Is bobbing for french fries a new fad that I haven’t caught on to yet? I’m sure the CYA of packaging idiocy hasn’t reached its pinnacle. It’s only going to get worse.

Every McDonald’s drive through now as a sticker on the window which reads, “Coffee served extremely hot!” All because some litigious idiot thought she could speed away from the window with the lid off, trying to mix in her cream and sugar while driving with her knees. The only award that this woman deserves is a Darwin Award.

Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting packaging instructions and the purpose behind each.

This gem was found in the toilet at a sports complex: “Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking.” I guess when they’re charging $6.50 for a bottle of water some poor, dehydrated soul might get desperate.

“Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover.” This one needs some more instructions. I can see some idiot duct taping shin pads to their head and suing when they do not function adequately as a helmet. Hopefully the person that tries this is already wearing a helmet.

From a cardboard, foldout sun-shield for your car: “Do not drive with sun-shield in place.” But the sun is so bright. The oncoming headlights are blinding. If there is justice, this person is not wearing their seatbelt either. In a perfect world, the person that needs this won’t understand the flashing lights at the railroad crossing.

From a laser printer toner cartridge: “Do not eat toner.” But what if I need to print something on a roll of toilet paper?

On a can of pepper spray: “May irritate eyes.” This goes hand-in-hand with my microwave instructions. I thought that was the point of this product.

On a butcher knife: “Please keep out of children.” This gaff is probably the results of poorly translated instructions from a foreign language, but we’ve all thought about it at one time. It’s the ultimate timeout.

Found on a curling iron: “For external use only!” I don’t even want to get into details on this one. Actually, since this is still in litigation, my lawyer advises me not to comment.

From a helmet-mounted mirror for cyclists: “Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you.” This one had me in stitches imagining a rider suddenly shocked at the on-coming traffic in the mirror. This warning was written for the guy who drowned trying to save his reflection in the lake.

On a produce package: “Please store in the cold section of the refrigerator.” As opposed to the section of the refrigerator where you cook?

Found on breath mints: “Not for weight control.” I guess fresh breath can lead to pregnancy.

On a stroller: “Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage.” But it would be so convenient to stow Jr under the bed for the night.

“Do not iron clothes on body.” But it’s cheaper than going to the tattoo parlor.

On a box of hammers: “May be harmful if swallowed.” The obvious joke here is that you have to be dumb as a box of hammers to need this warning.

From a chainsaw manual: “Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand.” Or leg or neck or dog or neighbor…well neighbor might be alright. Turn that music down!

Nytol sleep aid: “Warning: May cause drowsiness.” So might this article.

Stamped on the barrel of a .22 caliber rifle: “Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death.” Really?! So might regular use. I thought that was the point of using a gun.

From a picture frame: “Not to be used as a personal flotation device.” You deserve to drown.

On a box of fireworks: “Do not put in mouth.” You deserve to die.

From a cordless phone: “Do not put lit candles on phone.” Who did this? Someone was just trying to set the mood for phone sex, I guess.

On a TV remote control: “Not dishwasher safe.” Oh come on now!

From a wristwatch pamphlet: “Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants.” Now we’ve reached the end of absurdity. A wristwatch as underwear?! How do you even do that? There has to be an emergency room x-ray floating around that explains this.

Thank you corporate lawyers for saving us from ourselves. Greater thanks to the pioneers who paved the way for modern product labeling by burning, scalding, and electrocuting themselves to make the world a safer place. Trees don’t have labels, but I somehow figured out how to cut one down, chop it up, and build a fire without burning down my house. I’ll read the label when my common sense fails.

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5 Comments

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  1. FACT: the stupid out-breed the intelligent. Therefore, they will be the majority of consumers (if not already). Soon, Coke bottles will bear the warning “Open Other End” on the bottoms!

  2. My laptop needs a warning label: Don’t try to scroll down while laughing.

  3. It’s amazing we get through the day! What did we do before lawyers?

  4. Hi.
    I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers
    and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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