Re: Instructions for Stupid People (was Allergic Reaction)

Subject: Re: Instructions for Stupid People (was Allergic Reaction)
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 1994 23:54:49 GMT

Somebody on alt.peeves mentioned up an old favorite of mine:
shampoo instructions. The label typically says something
like "Lather-Rinse-Repeat," but never how many times to repeat
or how to tell when you're done.

I suppose that people who are merely ordinary dumb would
quit, hopefully at the end of "Rinse," when they ran out of
hot water. But if somebody out there really is dumb enough
to need instructions for shampoo and yet is allowed to bathe
himself, he might *still be in there* after God knows how long:
prune-skinned, hypothermic, using the remains of his strength
to scrub in dutiful bewilderment at the raw and bleeding ruins
of his scalp while the last of his hair circles the drain.

And then there's flea shampoo. NOT A WORD about the hazard
potential of holding your cat down and pouring water on it.
Having three cats, I can state with authority that the
manufacturer's attention to the legal "duty to warn" is in
serious question.

My favorite instructions, though, are the ones I saw on
Trojans condom a few years ago. Using a prophylactic
properly involves 10 steps -- much harder than washing your
hair (3 steps, implicit unterminated DO loop notwithstanding)
and nearly as complex as giving up liquor (12 steps). Chances
are that they can't be made much simpler without improvements
in the user interface. The instructions conclude with "Never
re-use a condom," a microeconomic insight that, I must admit,
would never have occurred to me.

Yours from the national laboratory where a sign in the
cafeteria implores the scientists not to butter their bread
before putting it in the toaster,

"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"

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