The Foundation for Fair Civil Justice, a tort-reform group, recently announced the winners of its 12th annual "Wacky Warning Label" contest. While I dislike the word "wacky" almost as much as "Ahmadinejad," they do come up with some very funny labels so I waive my objection to the term once a year.
This year's winning label was attached to a product called "The Off-Road Commode," a toilet seat that is designed to attach to the trailer hitch of a truck. It seems doubtful to me that this product is really necessary, but I'm pretty sure that the warning "Not for use on moving vehicles" is not needed.
Among the runners-up:
- An information booklet that reads, "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet";
- The warning, "Always use this product with adult supervision," a label that appears on the underside of a cereal bowl; and
- A warning provided with a 1" by 4" LCD panel, reading, "Do not eat the LCD panel."
Speaking of labels, here's one I saw recently (and blurrily, through my iPhone camera) in an elevator at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles:
I wasn't alarmed at all until this label tried to reassure me that, if the doors didn't open, there would be "little danger of running out of air or of this elevator dropping uncontrollably." Pessimist's translation: there is at least some danger of this. Frankly, if you're going to give me these tidbits I would like to have all the details, such as just how much time I might have in this glass coffin before I die like a bug in a jar:
SHOULD THE ELEVATOR DOORS FAIL TO OPEN
DO NOT BECOME ALARMED.
THIS ELEVATOR CONTAINS ENOUGH AIR FOR ONE
PERSON TO SURVIVE FOR UP TO NINETY MINUTES.
DIVIDE NINETY BY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THIS
ELEVATOR TO DETERMINE GROUP SURVIVAL TIME.
ELEVATOR COMPANIES ARE ON CALL SO THERE IS
LITTLE DANGER YOU WILL HAVE TO DRAW STRAWS.
Give me the necessary information up front so that I can plan accordingly.