Here’s a question… when did we, humans, mankind, become so blatantly stupid? I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a comedian talking about a car battery and how, just under the list of maintenance items is a small warning that says “Caution. Do not drink battery acid.” The comedian made a joke of it and asked “Who does this?” but my first thought was “Why are warnings like this necessary?"
On many small appliances, such as curling irons, hair dryers, etc., are labels that either say, or have a picture that instructs you not put it in a bathtub full of water while it’s plugged in. On a can of hairspray or a can of foaming bathroom cleaner is a warning label that says “For external use only. Avoid spraying in eyes.” On microwaveable food products, and now on many coffee cups you get from fast food restaurants and coffee shops, is a warning that says “Caution. Contents may be hot.” Have we as a people really become that stupid that we have to be warned of the obvious?
There are some people I have met (or seen on the news) for whom the answer is definitely “Yes.” If not, these labels would never have been created in the first place. There have been cases of people, many of them Darwin Award candidates, who have done exactly the things these labels warn about. And some attorneys got extremely rich because of it. Thus, the main reason we have so many different warning labels today. The hot coffee incident at McDonalds’ a few years ago, when the woman spilled hot coffee on herself and won an incredible amount of money in the lawsuit, made companies put warning labels on anything and everything they manufacture to prevent future lawsuits by people who could possibly find a way to hurt themselves with a particular product.
Some are so ridiculously funny though one has to wonder why it’s necessary to have a label. For example – microwaveable food products. The instructions tell you to put it in the microwave and heat on high for so many minutes. Then, after that is a warning that says “Caution – contents may be hot.” If the people purchasing these products are really so stupid they have to be told that after you heat something in the microwave it could be hot, what are they doing with money and out of the house, much less operating a microwave?
How many people (who are not mentally ill) do you know who drink battery acid or spray chemicals in their eyes intentionally? I’ve gotten hairspray in my eye accidentally and I can tell you, I’d never do it on purpose. Nor would I pour drain cleaner in my mouth and swallow it. What kind of people do this besides children, who don’t know any better and need to be protected, and someone who is mentally ill? Answer? No one. But people also have to be protected from lawyers.
Many people don’t understand that when someone gets a large settlement in a lawsuit chances are the attorney is going to get more money than the victim. That’s why practicing law is such a lucrative business and why you have so many injury and wrongful death attorneys. There are big bucks to be made when someone gets injured or killed and there’s always someone to sue, even if the victim hurts or kills himself. Lawyers could possibly be the greatest threat to human intelligence yet people continue to pay them exorbitant amounts of money to allow them to profit from being stupid.
Anyone who has never read anything from “The Darwin Awards” should do so at their earliest convenience. You will be amazed by just how incredibly stupid some people can be and worried that they are still walking around in society.
Bottom line – stupidity is alive and well in the world today and even manufacturing companies know it. It can be a lucrative business for some and it’s great entertainment for others, particularly since Al Gore created the internet and thus, Youtube. Youtube is better than “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and you can watch it anytime.
So read those warning labels on the products you buy and smile when you remember there’s a person or persons out there who actually made that label necessary.