Saturday, May 22, 2010


Americans love warning signs. They come in all shapes and colors (actually both the signs and the Americans). They are designed for folks whose intelligence ranges from genius to that of an onion ring. Some have said that the biggest players in the warning sign game are lawyers or folks who love watching reruns of the hit TV show Matlock. Ours is a very litigious society (and don't even get me started on a discussion of tort reform). Only in America could someone order a hot coffee, spill said hot coffee on their nether regions, sue the company for selling them the hot coffee, and make enough money off of their own mistake to make Donald "The Hair" Trump blush. This single lawsuit required every cup o' Joe sold in the U.S. of A. to carry a warning beacon that weighed roughly as much as a mature Schnauzer. The coffee was hot and they had to be sure to tell us, ..., or else! Of course the famed 1992 coffee burn suit gave rise to a number of follow-on, copy-cat-type law suits. As a result, the number and content of warning labels on our products has gotten totally out of hand. I include a few that I have come across below:
  • On coffee cups : warning - contents may be hot;
  • On windshield sun screen : do not drive motor vehicle with sun shield in place;
  • Plastic bags on toys: warning - this bag is not a toy;
  • Wetnap : tear open package and use;
  • Blow dryer : do not use while sleeping;
  • Household iron : Do not iron clothes while wearing them;
  • Mineral water : suitable for vegetarians;
  • Screw-top cap : twist to open;
  • Toilet plunger : do no use near power lines;
  • Aspirin : do not take if allergic to aspirin;
  • Sleep aid : may cause drowsiness;
  • Electronic road sign : ignore this sign;
  • Jigsaw puzzles : Some assembly required;
  • Lawnmower : do not place hands or feet under mower when it is running;
  • Chainsaw : do not attempt to stop chain with your hands;
  • Peanut butter : may contain nuts or nut products;
  • Portable stroller : remove infant before folding for storage.