First Disclosure: I would like to get just ONE order for one of my “Laughing…” books as a result of my Friday Frivolity blogs. I’ve been blogging stories for almost 5 years and have not had even one measly order for a book from a blog. I’m going to discontinue this blog very soon and would like to finally get an order. I’ll even offer free shipping…just comment to this story with your e-address.
Second Disclosure: This particular story, “Full Disclosure” is from Laughing While Shopping
Ever read the small print on a package? It’s getting more distressing for me as the years wear on. Oh sure, it’s troubling because of my diminishing eyesight, but also from diminished capacity to understand the rationale for much of the small print. Such was certainly the case when we left a major home improvement store.
It wasn’t that long ago that I’d go buy bolts and nuts out of bins. Yup, I’m old enough to remember hardware stores on the corner. Those neighborhood proprietors would stock fasteners in ceiling-to-floor walls of drawers, drop-down wooden bins or stave & hoop barrels. If you are too young to remember those barrels, they’re arched slats held together by steel bands—mostly used today as decorative planters spilling dirt and bloom into the yard. Back in my adolescent years, my grandpa often took me to the hardware store where he’d grab what he needed from a barrel or bin, toss it in a paper sack and proceed to the cashier.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t all that long ago and there still are a few hometown hardware stores. However, I think those days of buy only what you need are gone. Today, such hardware items are in baggies, shrink wrap or blister packs. Yesterday…not yesteryear…Sue and I bought a pair of brass machine screws and two plastic nuts and washers all neatly packaged in a plastic bag.
I was happy we found exactly what I needed. Often the marketing of such items is seemingly packaged with the intent of overstocking. Not their shelves…my storage bins! Nevertheless, most of my family would testify that overstocking my storage bins is my delight, not my displeasure.
But, I digress from my story. These were packaged precisely sufficient for my need.
I guess Sue was bored as we drove away. In itself, that’s quite disparaging as to my ability to entertain her. Aside from that, she likes to read. First she read the shocking news that I had not purchased a toy. Ahhhh, more precisely, the BAG which contained the nuts and bolts was not a toy.
Aw, gee whiz, …and to think I almost bought a dozen bolts just to get enough bags to fill with beans for my bean-bag-toss game. Oh rats, they went on to nix the thought of refilling the bag in Warning Number 2. Once I had removed the hardware, I could not refill the bag with anything. No beans, no rice, no dinner leftovers…nothin’.
Before I could recover from this no recycle for personal use caveat, Sue continued with even more distressing, specifically-stated cautions. Would you believe we can’t use the empty bag in a baby’s crib? For what purpose? You’d have to staple a hundred of them together to make a sheet. Of course… there was at least some temptation…the packaging was a delightful baby blue.
Oh, but there’s more about this simple little purchase that annoyed me. I fully realize the diverse ethnicity in the United States has caused lots of things today to be printed in multiple languages. That fact doesn’t trouble me. Predictably, the package’s Identifications, Features, and Instructions were in both English and Spanish. No big deal.
What, then, was so abrasive to me? The Warnings, which I just highlighted as foolishness, were only in English. Apparently the packagers figured only Anglo-Saxon descendants would be dumb enough to toss all their scrap plastic bags into a kid’s playpen.
Hold on…, don’t toss this book in the basket just yet. The worst is yet to come. As Sue neared the end of her perusal of the bag, she exclaimed: “Ohhhh… My… Goodness! Ed, we’ve got to keep this bag.”
You do remember that I mentioned Sue reading thou shalt not keep the bag for any purpose. I will testify without duress, Sue is not predisposed to disobedience. Okay …alright …if the truth be known, she does indeed tear off all the “Do Not Remove under penalty of law” tags. However, such actions are mitigated by trying to satisfy some residual teenage rebellious attitude still swirling in her head. But, why would she suggest we save a tiny, plastic, perforated, non-zip-lock baggie in flagrant violation of regulations clearly stipulated…in ENGLISH? The answer lies in the producer: Keeney Mfg. Co.
For those of you who are not aware of Sue’s heritage, she began life as a Keeney.
See, I told you the implications of small print are often very perplexing to me.