Health and Fitness

Stupid Product Labels

I just can't believe some of the ridiculous things you can find on product labels these days. For instance, I've got a 2 ton floor jack with an adjustment screw on the side that has a plastic cap clamped right on the top of the adjustment screw with the words "Do Not Adjust" printed on it.

Now, if I'm not supposed to adjust it, why does it come with an adjustment screw? Hmmm?

But wait! There are far worse labels than this. That was just a simple one to get you warmed up.

The other day I bought a bottle of generic "aspirin". Now, you know how generic brands always ask you to compare them to name brand products. This one was no different. On the label of the generic "aspirin" it said to "compare to the main active ingredient in 'Bayer Aspirin'". Ok, fine, I thought, I'll compare the main active ingredient in this bottle of generic "aspirin" to the main active ingredient in a bottle of "Bayer Aspirin". So, I flip over the bottle of my generic "aspirin" to discover that its main active ingredient is: "aspirin".

Now, I didn't run back to the store to find a bottle of "Bayer Aspirin" so I could complete the comparison, but I'm thinking I already have a pretty good idea of what it is anyway.

Here's another example. My wife recently purchased a bottle of "Foaming Bubble Bath". Do you know what it says on this bottle? "For Adult Use Only".

For adult use only? What, does it dissolve kids or something? It's bubble bath for goodness sake! Are they afraid they will be held responsible if a small child floats away in a bubble?

"Where's your other daughter, I thought you had four kids?"

"Oh we did, but she took a bubble bath the other night and floated off up into the exhaust fan. Yeah, we started throwing her dinner in the bubble bath every night hoping it would float up to her and keep her alive.

"We know she's OK now, though, because a bubble came floating back last night with a note on it asking for a CD player and a cell phone."

Just exactly what is this bubble bath stuff made out of that it has to be for adult use only? That's what I'd like to know. All of this is made even more suspicious by another statement found on the bubble bath's label. "Pour generously into running water of your bath".

Now hold on there. I don't know about this "pouring generously" idea. I mean, if this stuff can dissolve a whole kid it might at least take an appendage or two off an adult. I don't want to sit back and relax in a hot bubble bath with my wife only to watch parts of our bodies floating off into the atmosphere. That doesn't exactly sound romantic if you know what I mean.

Here's another stupid product label for you. Maybe not in the same sense as these others, but still stupid in its own way.

Have you ever had to go to the dentist with a terrible toothache?

You haven't been able to eat anything solid for 3 days because you're in so much pain. Finally, you get in to see the dentist and he drills out a nasty root canal. It's very painful. He tells you not to chew on that tooth for a while, as if you needed reminded, and then sends you on your way with some really potent pain medication to help you deal with it.

You get home, your tooth is still throbbing in pain from the dentist visit, even though your lip is still numb. You're slobbering out the side of your mouth, trying to figure out how you're going to swallow the pain pills in the first place, and then you look at the label on the pill bottle and what does it say?

"Take with food."

Yeah, good idea.

Here's another one.

On a box of matches it says: "Safe, non-toxic head". Well, that's actually a bit of useful information for once. In fact, next time my wife uses a match to light up her cigarette I think I'll just tell her, "Hey Honey, why don't you smoke the match instead. It's got a safe, non-toxic head."

Here's one of my favorites. This has got to be one of the worst product labels ever written.

It's on a bottle of flea spray that we got for our dogs. Check this out. There are two sections on this label, "Directions" and "Cautions". In the Directions it says, "Fluff the hair while spraying so that the spray will penetrate to the skin and thoroughly wet it." In the Cautions it says: "Hazards to humans and domestic animals: Harmful if absorbed through the skin."

Say what?

But wait, there's more! Back to the Directions: "...making sure the animal's entire body is treated." Then, again in the Cautions: "Do not spray near eyes or genitalia. Avoid contact with the skin." Last time I checked, eyes, genitalia, and skin were all part of the body. You know, the Cautions on this bottle sure make it hard to follow the Directions.

What's worse, you know what else it says on this bottle? "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with it's labeling." Ha! Ha! Ha! Inconsistent with it's labeling? The whole label is as inconsistent as you can get! Also in the Cautions on this flea spray it says: "Do not use this product in or on electrical equipment."

Darn, and my table saw is just crawling with fleas, too.

Here's a couple more.

My wife's shampoo says it comes with "Active Fruit Concentrates". So, these are not the kind of fruits that are retired, sitting in easy chairs, reading the newspaper, constantly muttering about when the grandkids are going to come for a visit. No, these are "active" fruits, the kind that buy RVs, drive down to Florida, do the limbo, and whoop it up drinking margaritas at parties down on the beach.

Isn't it nice to know that using this shampoo will put active fruit concentrates in your hair that will be doing the "cha-cha-cha" all the way across your head?

Now get this. On the bottle of dish soap we have in the kitchen it says "Keep out of reach of children". What? Are they suggesting that I should have to do the dishes instead of the kids?! That's not only stupid, that's wrong!

Then, there's all those food products that have the following statement at the end of the microwave heating directions: "caution: contents may be hot." Duh? It's been in a microwave. Of course it's going to be hot!

Of course, the whole reason we have stupid product labels like this is because we have stupid people. For instance, you may have heard about the woman who made use of a vaginal contraceptive jelly by eating it on a piece of toast. I'm not making this up! This was real. She attempted to sue the manufacturer of the vaginal contraceptive jelly after she became pregnant claiming that not only was the product ineffective at preventing pregnancy but it gave her an upset stomach and tasted terrible!

So, I guess the manufacturer of this vaginal contraceptive jelly is supposed to include, "Do NOT eat product on toast" on it's label from now on?

What is the world coming to? I mean, do we really have to be warned about the obvious?

You buy a package of beef jerky from the store and written in big bold letters on the little package of desiccant thrown in with the jerky to keep the moisture down are the words, "DO NOT EAT!" So does that mean at some time some idiot reached into his bag of beef jerky, pulled out the desiccant package and said, "That's a funny looking piece of jerky" --- and then proceeded to eat it anyway!

It's beyond ridiculous what some product labels say these days, I'm telling you. They either state the obvious, warn against utter stupidity, or fly right in the face of common logic. But then, that pretty much sums up human nature, doesn't it? State the obvious, warn ourselves against how stupid an action is, and then proceed to do it anyway.

Reminds me of a lot of my college experiences actually.

So, I guess we'll have to continue to live with stupid product labels. Oh well, it could be worse. I mean, at least this way buying a bottle of flea spray will not only kill the fleas on your dog, it will provide you with a little entertainment as well. What could be better?

Other than intelligently written product labels, I mean.

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