By | Tuesday, December 21, 2010 Leave a Comment
Tis is the season to shop. A new computer printer. A set of matching steak knives. A box of chocolate truffles in the shape of little snowmen. A lamp, a desk, chair, a duster, a set of jumper cables, wrapping paper, scissors, and tape. It's great! But guess what - each of these things is going to come with an owner's manual. And that owner's manual is going to spend most of its pages warning you of the hazards of using the product.

Don't shine that flashlight in your eyes! Don't tilt too far back in your chair! By no means should you attach those jumper cables to your testicles (without adult supervision!) I just received a car charger for my cell phone. It's owner's manual warns that it should not be used underwater. Sage advice. Next time I drive my car into a lake I'll be sure to unplug my iPhone first.

I think these owner's manual should come with their own warnings. "Warning: by the time you get done flipping through all the pages of warnings in this manual, you will have forgotten what you're trying to learn how to do." Also, "Warning: we've used so much paper, and spent so much money printing the warnings in this manual that we didn't have room to put in the information you're looking for."

I think it is time to institute the new handy-dandy "Universal CYA Product Warning (tm)":

WARNING: if you use this product, whether as directed or not, you and everyone you know will die a horrible death in shrieking agony!
I say, just put that on the cover of every owner's manual in bright red block letters and then let the contents of the manual consists of information that might actually be useful.

You have been warned.
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