From the why-didn’t-I-think-to-write-this-book department:
I rant about stupid people on a regular basis here at SEB. Fortunately most stupid people only manage to harm themselves, but that doesn’t mean that their stupidity doesn’t have an impact on the rest of us.
Take warning labels, for example. Pick up any random product and chances are it has at least one warning label on it some place. Chances are also pretty good that the warning label will be for something you couldn’t imagine ever trying to do with said product. Black Cat Fireworks have the following warning printed on most of their labels:
- “Caution: flammable. Do not put in mouth.”
In my most fevered dreams I can’t begin to imagine a single solitary thing that would convince me that putting a firework in my mouth could ever be a good idea or something I’d want to do. Which brings me to this new book: Wearing of This Garment Does Not Enable You to Fly : 101 Real Dumb Warning Labels that was written by a couple of teenage guys (Jeff Koon and Andy Powell) who spent a lot of time walking around stores staring at warning labels.
Jeff and I take our responsibility as “exposers of the dumb” pretty seriously. We searched high and low shelves for these warnings. And we endured some adversity. As we walked through stores closely examining each and every product for dumb warnings, we became magnets for rent-a-cops. Of course, we are teenage guys, which seems invariably to arouse the suspicion of all security personnel in towns small and large. That was not the only peril of warning-shopping: there was always the looming risk of someone you know actually catching you in the act. “It’s for my book” simply doesn’t cut it when youre caught in a Wal-Mart holding a bag of adult diapers.—Excerpt on MSNBC.com
I’ve only had a chance to thumb through the book at a local store for a few moments, but it looks like it’s both very amusing and very disturbing at the same time. Disturbing in the I-can’t-believe-they-thought-to-warn-people-not-to-do-this sort of way. I plan to pick the book up myself as a handy reference to how America’s obsession with being as stupid as possible in hopes of filing a lawsuit against a huge corporation with lots of cash someday has become almost a National Past Time and resulted in some of the most ridiculous warning labels to become a legal necessity.