Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Warning! Warning!

Driving to work this morning, I saw something that I am still struggling to comprehend.

It’s bin day today*. This means it looks like the favelas round here as people pile up bags and boxes all week until the final, flyblown climax on a Tuesday morning when the bin men spend a happy hour or three picking up chicken bones that the nine thousand cats in the area have left strewn around the closes and cul-de-sacs and the whole process begins again.


As I drove past one particular house a cardboard box caught my eye. It was from a hoovery-type thing, or a pressure washer or something. The thing that astonished me, however, was the admonition in big white letters on the side of the box:


I am finding it hard to process the thinking that went into getting that printed on the side of a box. I mean, things like footballs, or yo-yos, or other people’s children aside, shouldn’t everything have this warning on it? What, specifically, about that product rendered it especially unsuitable for throwing on the floor? I don’t know about you, but when I’m carrying something, the not-dropping-it part is pretty much a given. Of course, I usually drop whatever-it-is anyway, but that’s not for the want of a great big warning telling me I didn’t ought to, really.

Think of the implications. Our car should have a warning on the dashboard telling me not to crash it. Doors should be marked “Door should be opened before through passage is attempted”. What about my shower? There’s nothing on to it warning me to ensure the water is running before washing commences. I might go home tonight and stick my head in the oven** – there’s nothing on it to say that perhaps I shouldn’t.

The world has, clearly, gone mad. Korean despots and the war in Iraq be buggered – this is a sure sign that we are living in the final days. I’m off to add another layer to my tinfoil hat and, if you value your life and those of your loved ones, I advise you to do the same.

* This in itself sends my mind into spirals – when they build new houses, who tells the dustmen? Do they have a special person at the council offices who’s in charge of planning and re-planning and endlessly juggling routes for the poor bin men? Round here, new phases of developments get released all the time. How do they keep up? Poor bin men. They should have tried harder at school.

** Shut up.


Blogger cuppa chimed in with...

Think this goes along the lines of someone shouting 'careful!' when you are up a ladder or walking along a wall. 'Oh, ok, thanks', now that you have shouted the complete obvious i will be careful and pay attention!!

24 October, 2006 19:54  
Blogger The Murphmeister chimed in with...

Put a sign on your local Council Offices.

"Warning May contain Nuts".

I've got it stitched to my Y-Fronts anyway. And "Do not Drop".

24 October, 2006 21:18  
Anonymous Ole Phat Stu chimed in with...

You wrote :-
Doors should be marked “Door should be opened before through passage is attempted”.

Having once run into/through an unmarked glass door, I would certainly agree with THAT.

OTOH, maybe there should be an IQ test on each voting slip (the USA votes on the 7th).

25 October, 2006 05:51  
Anonymous AFC 30K chimed in with...

yes there are special departments that deal with all the new developments to ensure the waste gets collected. They don't always work though and it normally takes a few weeks for the route to settle down and the bins emptied regularly. Working for a housebuilder it's crap (pun intended) that we have to deal with regularly

It's very sad that I know that, but you did ask.

25 October, 2006 08:48  
Blogger Betty chimed in with...

Blimey, your binmen actually pick up chicken bones that have been left out by cats! A lot more classy than our refuse collectors, who do their best to leave at least half of the rubbish strewn around the streets after they've don the rounds, particularly for the recycling collection.

25 October, 2006 09:02  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

I'm with Betty. Our binmen see it as a point of honour to only remove half the rubbish and to arrange the remaining half artfully along the pavement and, if possible, up the bonnet of your car.

Bless 'em.

25 October, 2006 09:35  
Anonymous Angelina chimed in with...

Our bin men also have an aversion to the recycling bags - is there seperate men for different coloured bags? Or are the bin men supposed to collect everything, but have a strange allergy to orange bags?

This is all very mysterious. I may make it my mission to find out (great blog by the way).

*Dons fake moustache and glasses*

25 October, 2006 09:48  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

My local supermarket has a sign saying 'thank you for not taking your trolley past this point'. Well, uh, ok, no problem, but I really wasn't going to anyway. Cos it leads to the canal. And not to the car park. Or the town.

25 October, 2006 10:51  
Blogger Kissing just for practice chimed in with...

I was putting the tea (or dinner if you're a Southerner) in the oven last night, when I turned to see my doctor partner gingerly biting into a raw potato. In response to my laughter and question: what are you doing?

He said, indignantly, "It says on the packet can be eaten hot or cold...".

Cooked, darling. Cooked.

That's why they state the obvious...

25 October, 2006 11:34  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

i took the sticky label off one of my medications ('do not use if allergic to peanuts') and put it on my dryer in such a way that it looked stock. i cannot tell you how I've enjoyed watching people stopping to examine it for minutes at a stretch. at our last barbecue it caused a backup in the hallway. nobody, nobody asked about it, though...they just stood there quietly, looking at it.
god i love my life!

25 October, 2006 16:46  
Blogger treespotter chimed in with...

what it really means is, of course, should you choose to drop it anyway, it WILL have repercussions or serious consequences and probably even qualifies for a lawsuit ("But Your Honour, we have clearly marked the friggin box and she dropped it anyway!").

or something.

25 October, 2006 18:57  
Blogger Mudlark chimed in with...

A sign above the handle on the doorway from the office to the car inspection bay at my local transport authority advises: "To open door, turn handle".

I'm almost certain it's not a joke.

I'm also puzzled by the tag on my hair dryer: "Do not use in a bathroom".

Sadly, I do believe it's all about litigation. Recently a young man in my country was awarded huge damages against a local council, because the sign at the beach merely pointed out the presence of shifting sandbars. It failed to alert the public to the possibility of serious injury resulting from diving head first into six inches of water.

26 October, 2006 07:44  
Anonymous pink chimed in with...

my house was once new, and after 3 weeks of no rubbish collection, i went out to tell them myself that there were in fact two new houses on the block.

the council didnt tell them. but then, i wouldnt expect them to. because if they were actually any fucking use at all they wouldn't be the council, would they?

28 October, 2006 15:15  
Blogger zanna chimed in with...

best sign I ever saw. On a patch of grass with nothing else anywhere near it............"Please do not throw stones at this sign".............

Ps I like my binman

30 October, 2006 12:38  

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