By John Matonich
I remember a movie that came out about 10 years ago. It was called “Idiocracy”. It was about a couple that was involved in an experiment involving human hibernation. They came out of their pods 500 years later only to find major changes in society. It seemed there was a major dumbing down of the human race and advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism was running rampant. It wasn’t a very good movie in my book, but the more I think about it, I have to wonder if the movie wasn’t a prelude to our future. It seems that common sense in many instances has disappeared.
I recently received an email that was titled “What happens when liability lawyers get involved.” It was a collection of real signs in real places that should make any normal person shake their head, but someone took the time to place them.
One sign was placed in a grocery store in front of a bin of salted peanuts in their shells. The sign read, “This product contains peanuts”. Really!! I never would have guessed that and should send a note of thanks to the store manager for the information.
Another sign was screwed to a fence enclosing an open fire stand situated in an outdoor eating area. This sign read, “Caution…Fire is Hot”. Given the fire was totally fenced in and no one could reach it without the fence falling over, I was still glad those who were eating there were certainly safe as long as they could read.
One of my favorites was a label on a hanger from a dry cleaning store the read, “Caution…Do Not Swallow”. It also had a picture of a stick figure with a hanger protruding out from his throat with a circle and slash over it. I guess the picture was there in case I couldn’t read the written warning. I do have to wonder though if there is someone out there who after reading the warning wanted to try just to see if it can be done.
Another was prominently placed on a coffee/latte vending machine. It read, “This vending machine does not have any cups. Please use your own cup. Do not cup your hands underneath it instead.” I sure hope it was meant to be humorous, but given some things people do, I am not so sure.
I think we have gotten carried away at times with warnings and signs. I suspect most clear headed folks just shake their heads and walk away without trying to touch the fire to be sure it is really hot. I hope that’s the case, but I may want to rent that movie one more time to see what we may be in for as a society.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: killbox