[Posted by Crabby]
So you may have seen them already, but the annual "Wacky Warning" awards have been announced! (Unfortunately Healthbolt beat us to it, not being quite as slacky about the wacky.)
What are the awards about? Well, these are the often hilarious product warnings designed to protect imbeciles from hurting themselves. And there are plenty of them, because manufacturers have been traumatized by losing too many ridiculous lawsuits, and stick them on to everything. (Apparently even imbeciles can hire smart lawyers).
Some of this year's winners: a label on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that says: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."
Also, a baby stroller with what looks to be about an eight inch square storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag."
And a letter opener that says: "Caution: Safety goggles recommended."
Previous awards are great too. A pair of shin guards with the warning: “Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover.” Or, a cartridge for a laser printer with: “Do not eat toner.” And how about the label on the kid's scooter that cautions: "This product moves when used!"
You've probably seen other warnings yourself and marveled. The advisory (also a past winner) against using hair dryers while asleep was widely distributed--notice you still see these a lot? Do large numbers of people really sleepwalk into the bathroom and start styling their hair? And would a warning really help them at that point if they're asleep?
Or even more scary, perhaps there are people actually stupid enough to think: "Gosh, I just showered but now I'm sleepy. I don't want to go to bed with wet hair and wake up tomorrow looking like a giant mushroom... Hmm, perhaps I'll plug in my hairdryer, set it on my pillow, and then go to sleep all night with it on?"
The mind boggles.
Another personal favorite: at the retirement community where the Lobster's mother lives, all the trash dumpsters sternly caution residents not to "play on or around." Reading the sign, it's hard not to envision the 80 year old residents tossing aside their walkers and leaping into the dumpsters and jumping off the sides, just for a lark!
But as fun as these awards are, there were a couple of annoying things about them.
***WARNING: WHINING AHEAD!***
(Which should be a Warning Winner, because this is Cranky Fitness, and it goes without saying!)
First off: the grand prize winner wasn't all that stupid! It was a tractor with a warning not to leave the seat without lowering the big shovel thing first and turning of the engine. Otherwise, apparently it can crash down and crush you. Well... that actually seems like something a hurried or only moderately half-assed construction worker might be tempted to do. What got it the award? It was the title above the explanation: "Avoid Death!"
Well, yeah, if that was the entire content of the warning, it would be really stupid. (Or, really smart, depending on how you think about it). But it wasn't--it was right above the instructions on how to do just that. "Avoid death" just doesn't seem all that "wacky" when you're screwing around with construction equipment. It is the opinion of at least one half of Cranky Fitness that the tractor warning did not deserve first place.
And the second complaint? The name.
"Wacky Warnings." Yuck. (And the subtitle of the companion book: is "The 101 Stupidest, Silliest and Wackiest Warning Labels Ever!")
Can we just stipulate that "Wacky" is a dumb word? The word "wacky" is itself usually a warning: it's often used by copywriters pumping up stuff that's awful, or people who just naturally have a lame sense of humor. Unless you enjoy circus clowns and fart jokes and people slipping on banana peels, it's generally best to avoid "wacky."
"Zany" is awful too. At least they didn't say "zany."
Anyway, the sad thing is, for every dumb warning you see, you know there's usually some reason it got there. Like at the zoo, "please don't climb over fence into Tiger Cage?" Yeah some idiot, (more than one actually) did that and got chewed up. (The Giant Panda cage too, 'cause they look so cuddly. They're not.)
So have a great, safe weekend, don't go climbing into any wild animal cages--and don't say Cranky Fitness didn't warn you!