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The Xenophile Historian

K. U. P.

(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)

Dubious Product Warning Labels

Many of the lawyers on the previous page have probably been on cases involving people who were injured because they used a consumer's product incorrectly. Some products have warning labels that can save lives, like the famous "keep out of the reach of children," but you have to wonder about others. I suspect some people are kept employed doing nothing but writing/designing product warning labels, and they don't all work for OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Health Administration). You can also bet that if there's a need for a warning label, somebody must have done what they warn you against doing. Can you imagine the lawsuits that produced these? My comments follow each one.

Bottle of flavored milk:
After opening, keep upright.
(I can only drink it with a straw, right?)

Blow Dryer:
Warning: Do not use while sleeping.
(There goes one of my favorite time savers.)

Vacuum Cleaner:
1. Do not use to pick up gasoline or flammable liquids
2. Do not use to pick up anything that is currently burning.
3. Do not use to unclog toilets.
(But they showed it picking up a bowling ball on TV!)

Energizer AAA 4 Pack:
If swallowed, promptly see doctor.
(If you don't see the doctor, you'll keep going, and going . . .)

Christmas Lights:
Warning: For indoor or outdoor use only.
(I guess that means they'll work anywhere.)

Pepper Spray:
Caution: Never aim spray at your own eyes.
(Meaning: You can't try it before you buy it.)

Zippo Lighter:
Warning: Do not ignite in face.
(And you thought only tobacco was hazardous to your health.)

Rowenta Iron:
Warning: Never iron clothes on the body.
(There goes another time saver.)

This camera will only work when film is inside.
(No wonder my pictures didn't turn out.)

Nytol Sleep Aid:
Warning: May cause drowsiness.
(Meaning: No refunds if it doesn't work.)

Liquid Plummer:
Warning: Do not reuse the bottle to store beverages.
(Because when the bars are closed, people will drink anything.)

Toilet Plunger:
Caution: Do not use near power lines.
(I'm not even going to ask.)

Miller Lite:
Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
(If you didn't know that, it's not yet Miller time for you.)

Sainsbury's Mineral Water:
Suitable for vegetarians.
(Did you hear that, mineral rights activists?)

Air Conditioner:
Caution: Avoid dropping air conditioners out of windows.
(How am I supposed to catch the armadillo under my windowsill, then?)

On a hotel-provided shower cap in a box:
Fits one head.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #1.)

On the bottom of a box of Tesco's Tirimisu (a fancy Italian desert):
Do not turn upside down.
(If you can read the label, you've already goofed it.)

Hellman's Fat Free Honey Dijon Dressing:
On cap: Twist to Open.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #2.)

Little Ones Baby Lotion:
Keep away from children.
(Ah, it's for the other kind of babes!)

Hair Coloring:
Do not use as an ice cream topping.
(But the red one looks so yummy!)

Clairol Herbal Essences Maximum Hold Hairspray:
WARNING: Do not smoke until hair is dry.
(This gives a new meaning to the term "controlled burn.")

Bath & Body Works Peppermint Foot Spray:
CAUTION: Avoid contact with face, eyes, and broken skin.
(But you just said I can't use the pepper spray, either.)

Directions: Tear open packet and use.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #3.)

Cabot's Vitamin E Chamomile Anti-Stress Bath Calming Bath Soak:
For adult use only.
(Because this is a family website, we can't show you how to use it.)

On the bag containing a McDonald's Power Rangers toy:
WARNING: This bag is not a toy.
(You could have fooled me, sometimes the bag is more fun than the toy.)

On a bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
(Only shoplifters qualify.)

On a bar of Dial soap:
Directions: Use like regular soap.
(Anybody got directions for regular soap?)

On some Swanson frozen dinners:
Serving suggestions: Defrost.
(But what if I like it cold?)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
Product will be hot after heating.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #4.)

On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine:
Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.
(And in what state are five-year-olds with colds allowed to drive?)

On a Korean kitchen knife:
Warning -- keep out of children.
(A good idea!)

On a Japanese food processor:
Not to be used for the other use.
(Maybe I shouldn't ask, but what's the other use?)

On a can of Sainsbury's peanuts:
Warning: Contains nuts.
(Conspiracy theorists are wondering what's really in the can.)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.
(Step 3: Fly Delta.)

On a child's Superman costume:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
(Don't blame the company, blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chain saw:
Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals.
(If you're into body-piercing, there are better ways to do it.)

On a bottle of Palmolive Dishwashing liquid:
Do not use on food.
(Hey, Mom, we're out of syrup! It's okay, honey, just grab the Palmolive!)

On a tube of Crest Toothpaste:
If swallowed contact poison control.
(It's the truth! Everyone who has ever swallowed toothpaste will die eventually, sometimes more than fifty years later.)

On a bottle of ALL laundry detergent:
Remove clothing before distributing in washing machine.
(Meaning: Do not wash kids in washing machine.)

On ice machine in Sands Hotel lobby:
Keep frozen or ice will turn to water.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #5.)

In a guide to setting up a new computer:
To avoid condensation forming, allow the boxes to warm up to room temperature before opening.
(Sensible, but the instruction was inside the box)

On a packet of Sunmaid raisins:
Why not try tossing over your favorite breakfast cereal?
(Quick, put this to music and get the California Raisins to sing it!)

In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles:
Open other end.
(I suppose if more people knew this, they wouldn't drink Pepsi instead.)

On a New Zealand insect spray:
This product not tested on animals.
(Approved by PETA, the Animal Liberation Front, and the cockroaches in your kitchen.)

On a Taiwanese shampoo:
Use repeatedly for severe damage.
(Well, my hair was getting too thick, anyway.)

On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists:
Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you.
(Somebody never figured this out, case #6.)

On a blanket from Taiwan:
Not to be used as protection from a tornado.
(If Dorothy had tried this in "The Wizard of Oz," the Wicked Witch of the East might still be alive today.)

In a public restroom on the outside of a continuous roll towel dispenser:
Maintenance operator: Failure to follow loading instructions could result in serious injury or death.
(Anyone who gets killed by a paper towel dispenser deserves an automatic nomination
for the Darwin Awards.)

On the outside of a citrus air freshener:
Precaution: Not for personal consumption.
(Don't sell it to consumers, then. It's as simple as that.)

In the instructions for a snow thrower:
Do not use snow thrower on surfaces above ground level such as roofs of residences.
(Does that go for riding lawn mowers, too?)

On a package containing a brand of modelling clay:
Warning: Not for use as earplugs.
(Besides, eating it on a dare is more fun.)

On a package containing candy gummy worms:
No cholesterol, no preservatives. A meal in itself.
(You mean kids don't have to eat their veggies after all?)

On the handle of a hammer:
Caution: Do not use this hammer to strike any solid object.
(I've got to put a dining table together. Should I use glue?)

On the inside of a pull-top lid of liquid radiator sealant:
Caution: Do not lick lid.
(But this is nature's way of weeding out dumb mechanics!)

On a lawnmower:
(Somebody never figured this out, case #7.)

On a curling iron:
"Do Not Insert Curling Iron Into Any Bodily Orifice."
(So what do I use to braid my nose hairs?)

On a bottle of bathtub cleaner:
"For best results, start with clean bathtub before use."
(And what would you recommend for that?)

On a container of lighter fluid:
"WARNING: Contents flammable!"
(Well, duh.)

On a bottle of hand lotion:
"Warning: Starts healing skin on contact."
(We can't have that happening, can we?)

On a box of household nails:
"CAUTION! - Do NOT swallow nails! May cause irritation!"
(Remember what your mother said? Don't bite your nails!)

On a bag of microwave popcorn:
Direction #1: Remove plastic.
(Sensible, but the bag is folded so that you cannot read the label until you remove the plastic.)

On a can of powdered infant formula:
"Mix with water before serving."
(Like I'm going to spoon it to my baby dry!)

On a can of Woolite carpet cleaner:
"Safe for carpets, too!"
(Glad you told me that.)

On a box of Frosted Cheerios:
"To close: place tab here."
(This was placed right underneath their slogan "Tastes so good this box never closes.")

On a plastic orange juice can:
"100% pure all-natural fresh-squeezed orange juice from concentrate."
(I bet it also says "Made in USA, oranges grown in Brazil.")

On a package of Lunchables Nachos:
"Dip chips in cheese and salsa."
(Somebody never figured this out, case #8.)

On a golf cart and on a wheelbarrow:
"Not for highway use."
(Darn, have you seen how much a new car costs these days?)

On a box of salt:
"Warning: High in sodium."
(For those who didn't study chemistry in school.)

On a hose nozzle:
"Do not spray into electrical outlet."
(But I can still squirt the electric fence, right?)

On a five-inch fishing lure with three hooks:
"Harmful if swallowed."
(Tell that to the fish, and I'll never catch anything again.)

On a sled:
"Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions."
(That certain snow condition even has a name. It's called "ice.")

On a baby stroller:
"Remove baby before folding."
(So you can put him or her on a fast-moving sled.)

On a 12-inch-high storage rack for compact disks:
"Do not use as a ladder."
(You know what this means. Somewhere, there is a label on a ladder that warns you not to use it as a CD rack.)

On a CD player:
"Do not use as a projectile in a catapult."
(No comment.)

On a bottle of drain cleaner:
"If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product."
(And if you think this warning makes any sense, you should definitely not be using this product.)

On Jabra Drive 'N' Talk, a speaker intended for use with cell phones in cars:
"Never operate your speakerphone while driving."
(Maybe they should have just named it "Jabra Talk.")

On a blow torch gas bottle:
"Contents may catch fire."
(Somebody never figured this out, case #9.)

On a sun shade for car dashboards:
"Do not drive with sun shield in place."
(If you use one of these, you'll have to wait for the sun to go down before you can drive.)

On an egg carton:
"This product may contain eggs."
(So that's what those things are!)

On the gas cap for a jet ski:
"Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level."
(If this is news to you, you are not legally permitted to operate this vehicle or, for that matter, leave the house.)

On Dremel Multipro rotary tools:
"This product is not intended for use as a dental drill."
(Because doctors and dentists are so expensive these days, you can't be too careful.)

On the website (not the product) for Apple's iPod Shuffle:
"Do not eat."
(Was this a joke or paranoia? Apple never told us.)

On Bialetti Casa Italiana's nonstick pans:
"Keep pet birds out of the kitchen when using this product."
(Sensible, because the fumes given off by hot teflon are poisonous to parrots and other birds. However, this warning could have been worded better. The Bialetti company got several calls from animal owners asking what it meant.)

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