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January 09, 2007
Lowest Common Denominators

I am sick and bloody tired of everything having to be dumbed-down so that the idiots among us can keep up. Case in point: today I opened up a new pack of cotton swabs, no problem there. As I was putting the package away, however, I noticed the information printed on the back.

CAUTION: Do not enter ear canal. Use only as directed. Entering the ear canal could cause injury. Keep out of reach of children.

Every pack of swabs you can buy in this country will have a similar warning. Yet, is there anyone using these things for anything other than plumbing the depths of auditory regions into which a pinkie finger cannot fit?

To clean ears, stroke swab gently around the outer surface of the ear.

Look, I could do that with a washcloth. I do do that with a washcloth. More to the point, though... who actually needs instructions for operating a cotton swab? How utterly stupid do you have to be to... to...

[Count to ten....]

I almost burst a blood vessel there.

To Open
Press in bottom center and pull up along perforation.

To Reclose
Return cover to original position, pressing in corners (1) to lock.

(Remember that "(1)" — we'll come back to it in a second.)

Now, maybe it's just me, but I figure that if people can't puzzle out how to open a package of swabs, perhaps they deserve to have dirty ears. For the riders of the short bus, however, our swab manufacturer has decided not only to tell us how to open the package, but also precisely what and where the bottom center is.

Oh, and how thoughtful it was of them to mark the corners (1).

If closing a pack of swabs is just too damn difficult to muddle through without directions — or without a hint of what is meant by "corners" — then perhaps spending one's free time every day playing "pick all the swabs up off the floor" is the right way for idiots to keep themselves out of the public arena, or to prevent them doing themselves (or more importantly, me) any harm.

Actually, I kind of wish people that amazingly stupid would take themselves out of the gene pool, but unfortunately when idiots go out in a blaze of ignorance, they tend to take innocent bystanders with them.

I swear, I want to pull out what's left of my hair.

Posted by Russ at 08:40 PM, January 9, 2007 in Idiots

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Now, now calm down darlin' or I might have to institute a suit against the company because you actually read the directions. Maybe they write those instructions because they've been sued. Could be couldn't it?

Posted by: Marge at January 9, 2007 09:55 PM

Indeed, I have no doubt that the warnings were put on there specifically because some moron sued after driving a swab into his eardrum with a hammer.

Stupidity is its own punishment... but sometimes it's a bit too lenient.

Posted by: Russ at January 9, 2007 10:08 PM

Yeah, some company is paranoid that they'll be sued because somebody will hurt themselves with those things. (Guess we're all on the same page here.)

I remember when I was a kid, my mom had no qualms whatsoever about sticking those things in my ear.

Posted by: Bigfoot at January 9, 2007 10:09 PM

My mom used a hairpin too! Whoa !

Posted by: Marge at January 10, 2007 05:11 PM

Not quite as bad as the warning on a shirt. 'Do not iron while wearing'. Guess that was for the really tough guys.

Posted by: Scrapiron at January 11, 2007 01:07 AM