Monday, November 28, 2005

More curious trends in packaging

As I’ve probably noted, I read too many labels. I’m probably wired to read the label of whatever is nearby, since I’ve been doing it since I could read. I was probably the only first grader who was suggesting “monosodium glutamate” as a spelling word. (And the fact that I was consuming monosodium glutamate probably explained a few things about my first grade life, as well.)

So I read labels. And sometimes I read instruction manuals.

And that’s probably a good thing, since we just acquired a new electric skillet for the commissary here in 19 Minutes World Media Headquarters, and it came with Some Assembly Required. I was pretty sure the assembly involved attaching the handles with the screws that were also included, but I figured I should check the instructions, just to make sure. Fortunately, the Rival Electric Skillet came with the following helpful instructions:

Header Bands: RIVAL Wave: 100% PMS 647 Blue with black overprint which starts at 32% black at the lowest point of the wave and ends in 0% black 3/4 of the way up the total height of the wave.

NOTE: when printing, the PMS 647 MUST lay down first, before the process colors to achieve the gradient black overprint.
The instructions were also translated into Japanese and included a diagram, in case they weren’t clear enough.

So now, my only fear about using the new electric skillet is that it may have beem produced by painters with PMS, and thus might spit ingredients back out at me without warning, or criticize my choice of seasoning.

My label-reading habit also came in handy on my trip to the grocery store this evening, as I looked for dish soap. Otherwise, I never would have discovered the only soap with a built-in inferiority complex:

Maybe it’ll clean your dishes, maybe not.

Sometimes, though, this label-reading thing can get in the way of my life. I speak now of the Kleenex Anti-Viral tissues I returned with from this same shopping trip. I’d never seen a box of tissues that included Directions for Use. I’d also never seen a box of tissues that threatened me with arrest:

It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. Use only as a facial tissue.
A little research revealed that this dates back to HR 2001-00076, the Statutory Nasal Ejection and Expectoration Zeroing Effort Act, which sought to prevent potential terrorist cells from weaponizing facial tissues.

I assume this little-known law is also why the Kleenex box also includes directions for Storage and Disposal:

Store in a dry area. Dispose of used tissues promptly. Do not reuse empty container.
This direction, I’m sure, vaguely disappoints all the people out there hoping to set the World Record for Largest Used Kleenex Collection, but it’s probably a better option than saving all the Kleenex, only to have Federal Agents break down your door and take you to Paper Products Prison.

And finally, my personal grooming products are talking to me again. Another stick of Degree anti-perspirant, another message carved into it. This time, it was:

Take the Risk”.
Which, to me, sounds like a dare not to use anti-perspirant. But I’m going to use it, anyway. Just in case there’s another little-known Federal law out there.

1 comment:

Carol Davidson said...

This is one of the strangest posts I've ever read.

Personally, I only buy the Viral Tissues.