A group called Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch runs an annual contest to find the dumbest or least necessary warning labels, and it released its 2006 list today. The winners are:
- On a washing machine: "DO NOT put any person in this washer."
- On a personal watercraft: "Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level."
- (tie) On a Super Lotto ticket: "Do not iron," and on a cell phone, "Don't try to dry your phone in a microwave oven."
Honorable mention (but my favorite), found on a telephone directory: "Please do not use this directory while operating a moving vehicle."
A spokeswoman for the washing-machine manufacturer said she did not think the warning was wacky because a front-loading machine is "just at the right height for a 4-year-old." She did not specify who has been washing their 4-year-olds in front-loading washers, but from now on those people will be on notice.