March 13, 2010

Warning: Person on the Street More Litigous than He Appears

I was working on a project this morning that involved a woodburner.  This awesome tool has a very sharp, precise and scalding hot tip.  How sharp?  Well, before I plugged it in this morning (thank GOD) I dropped it, and the tip impaled itself into the linoleum and left a small hole.  If it had been plugged in at the time, I would've burned a lovely hole there too.

So as I was plugging it in, I noticed what the tag said that was attached to the plug.  It says, and I quote:

"This appliance has a polarized plug (one blade is wider than the other).  To reduce the risk of electric shock, this plug is intended to fit in a polarized outlet only one way.  If the plug does not fit fully in the outlet, reverse the plug.  If it still does not fit, contact a qualified electrician.  Do not modify the plug in any way."

Are you SERIOUS?  My first thought was, how stupid do they think I am?  But of course, we all know that this has nothing to do with people's idiocy.  Much.

About 10 years ago or so, there was a book that came out called "The Warning Label Book: Warning: Reading This Book May Cause Spontaneous, Uncontrollable Laughter".  And yeah, it's pretty funny.  It's basically a book of stupid warning labels that come with products.  One of my favorites is a warning label from a windshield cover: "Warning:  Never drive with the windshield cover on your windshield.".  How bad has it gotten that we have to warn people about these types of things!?

Apparently, pretty bad.  If you're up as early as Brian and me, you know that lawyers spend a LOT of money running ads like "Have you been seriously hurt in a car accident?" and "If you or someone you know died or was seriously injured using the pain patch Blahblahblah, call us.  You may be entitled to a large cash award."

So you see, it really has nothing to do with people being that dumb; it has everything to do with people (and some lawyers) trying to make some easy cash.

Now, before you jump on me for ripping on lawyers, I said some lawyers.  I have friends that are lawyers, but they're not THIS type of lawyer (read: ambulance chasers).  And yes, some class-action lawsuits should indeed happen for the benefit of everyone that was wronged.   I'm talking about the type of people who sip scalding hot coffee and sue for millions when it burns them.  I'm talking about the type of people who sue because the baby in the E*Trade ads is clearly ripping off their persona (yes, this is real..WTH?!?).

Remember back when we could play with metal Tonka trucks?  Or when aspirin came without tamper-proof caps?  Or when there were actually people with common sense who wouldn't obviously try to futz with the plug on a woodburner so it will fit in their apparently 19th century home (I'm only assuming someone tried to do this, and that's why the warning label was placed there)?  And in case you're wondering, yes - the warning label doesn't end there.  There is another entire paragraph about how this WOODBURNER is extremely hot and could cause burns or fire.  I know you're all relieved that we've been duly warned.

Before I sign off, I suggest that you make your OWN warning label!  It's really fun.  The one that I made is the image above.  :D

No comments:

Post a Comment