Skis On Escalators

Warning: This is a long post.  Prepare yourself accordingly.

When I was recently on “vacation” I came to an important realization.  Now this may come as a complete surprise to most of you, and I’m sure it’s a totally unique thought, but, the thing is, I really enjoy the freedom of staying home and doing whatever the hell I want.

Understand that I thought long and hard before writing that last sentence. You know, you have to be careful when phrasing things lest you fall prey to the “Be Careful What You Wish For” gods…  Because of course, if I wrote something like, “I wish I didn’t have to work every day!” I would be fired next week.  And it’s not that I’m terrifically lazy or hate the idea of “work.”  I actually like my job (knocking on wood), and for once, on the last days of my “vacation”, I wasn’t actually sinking into a depression about returning to the office.

The thing is, not spending my hours at the office affords me time to do the things I enjoy. This is a shocking revelation, I know.  I had the leisure time to write, shampoo the rug, and think about all the other things I should have been doing with my spare time, such as organizing old photos (the kind that sit in a box, not in my computer) and cleaning out my email, when in fact I was watching bad crap on t.v. and playing Facebook games.

I always say to myself that I’m going to set aside time each day to do some writing (when I’m not on vacation), and, as you may have noticed, I’m not very good at that.  And that’s really ridiculous, because this is something that I enjoy.  But it is also “work.”  If you think I just sit down and take 20 minutes to ramble on and hit “publish,” you would be mistaken.  Since I’m a bit anal about English stuff, I do quite a bit of re-reading and editing before I hit that sacred button.  And part of that is my fault, because, this is a blog, after all, it’s not a submission for Pulitzer consideration.

Anyway, who wants to hear about that?  I have a few random items to share, which are earthshakingly important, and I’d better mention them now.

I happen to be one of those sorts who reads instruction/warning manuals which accompany newly purchased products.  It’s not a religious thing, particularly on items for which I need no instruction/warning, such as shoes, or mixing bowls… but generally I will take a gander, sometimes just to see if there is anything stupid in the “Warning” section.

So, a while back, much to my horror, I purchased some Crocs (sorry, to all you Croc-lovers out there..).  You know, those rubber clog shoe things.  Now, you can take some comfort in the fact that it wasn’t actually the rubber clog version that I purchased, it was a sandal with a heel version.  And, while I almost threw them down on the floor and hissed when I saw the label on the shoe box, I threw all caution to the wind and bought them, anyway.  Because they look pretty sturdy, and they don’t show too much toe, and, I don’t like toes.  Not even my own.

Anyway, fast forward to sitting at home and noticing the little placard attached to the shoes.  I know that I am always way behind in sensationalist news, so, the following will not likely be surprising to any of you, but, the placard contains an extensive warning about wearing one’s Crocs whilst utilizing escalators.  I read this multiple times, and checked the other side of the placard to see if I had missed anything, and indeed, I had not.

I wondered how it would be possible that some rounded rubbery thing with no straight or sticking-out edges could get caught in an escalator grate.  Skis, I imagine, might get caught in an escalator grate.  Or perhaps flip flops, which shouldn’t be worn in public on an escalator, anyway.  Much like skis.  But round rubbery ball-like accoutrements seem an unlikely escalator hazard.

After some investigation, and some active imagination, I admit, I still couldn’t figure it out.  Now, I didn’t read all of the 1,837 entries related to my “Crocs warning label” search, but the ones I did read all included stories of kids suffering toe injuries due to the nefarious flexibile grip type qualities native to the shoe.  Lawsuits citing “failure to warn” cropped up, and hence, the little placard attached to my yet unworn, and apparently dangerous, shoes.

Now, you’ve heard me mention this at least once before, but, let’s talk about the whole “failure to warn” idea.  Interestingly enough, one of the articles I read indicated the following:  When a product is inherently dangerous when used in a certain way, such as a hairdryer used in water, manufacturers are required to warn users of potential hazards. If they fail to do so, or if they do not effectively communicate the risk of injury or danger, then they can be considered legally responsible for harm that occurs as a result of the insufficient warning.*  

I said “interestingly enough” because the other warning label I noticed recently was the one attached to my curling iron, which stated “Do Not Use While Bathing.”  It was a placard attached right next to the plug: Conair is very serious about making sure their customers see the warning (I’m betting it’s because someone sued them over the fact that the original warning was in the Instruction Manual, and not easily readable with arrows and flashing lights surrounding it).

Now, I’m not sure about you Womenfolk out there (or you Men with long, fancy hairdo’s), but I’ve known for a very long time that a hairdryer (or an iron, of any kind) does not belong in, on, or around a bathtub.  I would say that I’ve known this since, oh, around the age of 3.  This was back in the day when you knew instinctively that a fast-food cup of coffee was hot and that a bag of peanuts may contain peanuts.  In addition to knowing that I should never throw the hair dryer in the bathtub just for fun, I also knew that it was pretty irrational to attempt styling one’s hair whilst in the bathtub (I admit, I was pretty wise at the age of 3).

What’s further interesting here, about the curling iron warning, is that you normally do not curl your hair while it’s wet.  Which means that, if you have half a brain, you would let it air dry or use a blow dryer first.  Which further means that, if you’re in the tub, and about to use the curling iron, you may have already made the massive mistake of using the hair dryer in the tub.  I submit that the warning label for the curling iron should read: DO NOT USE WHILE BATHING (AND ALSO, DO NOT BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR BEFOREHAND.  WHILE IN THE TUB, WE MEAN.  YOU SHOULD BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR BEFORE USING THE CURLING IRON, IN GENERAL, BUT DO IT OUTSIDE OF THE TUB.  GET IT?  OUTSIDE THE TUB.  AT LEAST 10 FEET AWAY.)

They also might want to add that one should shampoo and possibly condition one’s hair before using any electric styling products.  Perhaps add a little styling oil or mousse in the drying preparation.  This will save them the potential for a Bad Hairday Lawsuit.

Okay, I’m done with my rant.  It’s a little sad to see what we’ve become.  Though I suppose it does make for some good daily exercise in the shaking-of-the-head routine.  And, it also gives me something to write about.  For that, I suppose, I am thankful.

Anyway, I’m off to make a grilled cheese sandwich with my electric frying pan in the bathtub whilst wearing my new Crocs.  As long as I’m not on an escalator, I think I’ll be safe.

Thanks for reading!

*http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=25349

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