I’ve had fun before at the expense of warnings like “Contains Nuts” on a container of nuts. It’s not a phenomenon limited to the United States. From the BBC via Perry de Havilland, Samizdata:
A supermarket chain has withdrawn bags of nuts – after failing to declare they may contain peanuts.
The Food Standards Agency issued an allergy alert saying the presence of peanuts was not declared on Booths’ own brand packets of monkey nuts.
“Monkey nuts” is the local name for peanuts sold in the shell, which to most of us are even more immediately identifiable as peanuts than those sold without. The Express rounds up a couple of reactions from Britons on the street:
Pensioner Peter Davy, 73, of Preston, fumed: “It says monkey nuts on the packet. What do they think is in it? Cheese?” Jenny Harpin, 56, said: “If I bought a bag of monkey nuts I wouldn’t be too surprised to find they contained nuts.”
The government agency inevitably took a different view: “Without the correct information on the packaging, people with an allergy to peanuts who might not know or make the connection between peanuts and monkey nuts, for example children, might eat the product and experience an adverse reaction.” More: Lowering the Bar.
Courtesy Michael Schearer:
(& welcome Above the Law, Free-Range Kids readers)
The Wacky Warning Label contest has chosen its annual finalists. Among them: “Caution: griddle surface may be hot during and after cooking.”
Abnormal Use interviews Bob Dorigo Jones, founder of the ever-popular Wacky Warning Labels contest.
Also, your dust mask “does not supply oxygen,” and do not neglect to remove the safety cover from your spa before using it or you might drown. [UPI] Are English-speakers actually more likely to choke on pen caps than speakers of other languages? Nah, it’s our law [PoL]
Sign spotted at Yarmouth station, UK [via @TimMontgomerie @wallaceme]
A recent anime (Japanese cartoon) portrays America as a land where pretty much any misadventure can be turned into grounds for a lawsuit. Siouxsie Law has the (funny? horrifying?) video clip, the plot line of which involves the catastrophic misuse of a microwave oven and its fictional legal consequences.
In case you didn’t know. [California Civil Justice]
“…Use Your Own” [Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing, seen on a hardwood floor sander, with picture]
I have a bit more to say about the “warning label on the U.S. Constitution” story in Diane Macedo’s FoxNews.com report today, which is getting a lot of readership. Original posts here and here (& welcome KTRH, Lars Larson listeners). Update: statement from Wilder Publications courtesy Distaff View of the World.
Speaking of warnings, Bob Dorigo Jones has picked the finalists for his 13th annual Wacky Warning Labels Contest (on a go-cart: “This product moves when used”) and I’ve got a post on that at Cato at Liberty.
The things you have to warn against these days [Ted at PoL]
I blogged at Cato at Liberty yesterday about a copy of the U.S. Constitution sold with a parental advisory warning (hat tip: reader Clark S.). According to the warning, it might be a good idea not to let kids read the nation’s founding document until having a discussion with them about how views on race, sex, etc. have changed since it was written. It’s just boilerplate, of course, as found on other books from the same publisher. More: Eugene Volokh and Damon Root, Reason “Hit and Run”. And reader L.S. points out that in their prefatory matter the publishers also purport to prohibit readers from using or reproducing the text of the Constitution without permission.
P.S. First Things commenter Jared: “I presume, in the interests of not being chauvinistic about the present, that which they publish written today also carries a similar warning label: ‘This book is a product of the cultural mores and prejudices of the early twenty-first century…’”
Funny warnings from Antenna Direct of Missouri [Consumerist] And Australian prawns (shrimp) are sold with a reassurance that the accompanying promotional material is “not implicitly or explicitly directed at minors, excluded persons, or vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.” [Hey, What Did I Miss? (Institute for Public Affairs)]
Bruce Nye has a photo of a pointless new warning McDonald’s has posted in California stores to avoid litigation. The warning seems to have a side safety benefit: by the time you finish reading it, your coffee won’t be hot any more.