- Airplane safety procedures. Do you know how to inflate that life preserver if the plane plummets into the freezing Pacific Ocean?
- The “do not top off” gas pump warning. Other than the fact that someone can probably turn your car into a bonfire from the trail of gas trickling down the concrete, you not only just wasted several cents, but you’re gonna have to wipe the gas off the side of your car unless you relish damaging that expensive paint job.
- Wearing safety goggles. It’s probably best to say adios to looking cool and hola to keeping your eyes in your sockets where they belong.
- Metal objects in electrical sockets. Because you will, in fact, get a shock. Sure, the sound is kind of fun, but the scare is not worth it.
- Letting steam out of the popcorn bag slowly. It’s amazing how much hot compressed air really does burn like a freaking furnace to the face.
- Touching hot pans. Remember when Mom used to nag nag nag about not touching the pan on the heated element? And then, years later, as an adult – you did? Call your mom. Right now. And say you’re sorry.
- Utilizing the toilet waste receptacles. My gosh, please. I get that you’re done, but I haven’t started yet and there’s a big piece of hospital bed paper sitting halfway inside the toilet and your bum has been on it and I really don’t want to touch it. Oh, and for the love of Pete, it’s not like they need a sign to say this, but please flush. Is it really so technical? I hope you washed your hands! Don’t even get me started on flow days…
- Reading IKEA instructions. This is mandatory. Unless you like sitting in your living-room with a small army of L-screws, bolts, wing nuts, square nuts, carriage bolts, hex bolts (now I don’t even know what I’m saying) and thread cutting machine screws with plenty of time to rip your own hair out.
- Mixing colors and whites in the wash. However, if – like me – you do it enough times, someone else will eventually take over the laundry because he doesn’t appreciate pink boxer shorts.
- Microwave heating instructions. Because if it can cook a cat, it can burn your meal.
- Washing labels. Cashmere sweater + hot water + dryer = Barbie sweater.
- Signs about not feeding the animals. You’re just giving them an entitlement complex. It’s bad enough in America, must we inflict this kind of self-indulgent laziness on the animal kingdom, too? Plus, as an added bonus, you might get your hand chomped off.
- Test instructions. They really do throw in a curve-ball when they tell you any answer letter but “C”. Alternatively, using pencil or a specific color of pen and getting 0/100 because the scanner couldn’t read your ink.
- Hazardous Materials warnings. Well, if you’re wondering why your fingers are melting off, you might want to go back and check the label a little more thoroughly this time.
- Danger warnings. Really? If my parachute’s not totally secure and double checked, it’s possible I might actually die if I hit the ground at 90 miles per hour? Well, that’s good to know. How else can this little adventure go wrong?
- Reading ingredient labels. It only takes one peanut allergy and a frantic drive to the ER for anaphylactic shock to encourage you to check those food labels.
- Movie theater etiquette clips. I get it. They’re not funny. They try, but they’re not. Now, you may not care that you’re not supposed to be texting, talking, laughing, encouraging your infant to scream during an R-Rated horror movie, or toss your popcorn around, but it’s a safe bet that someone nearby will inform you…with extreme physical prejudice…if you cheese them off badly enough. If there was a public movie-theater shaming system, I’d contribute to it gladly. And anonymously.
- “By appointment only” signs. You only need to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous time sinks to make a mental note and do your homework next time.
- Higher education deadlines. They really do not care if you miss them. At all. Really. They’ll happily take your money and give you the F, not enroll you in the class, and/or not let you graduate. Plus, you’re in college now. Srsly?
- Instructions on ANY government form. Because they also don’t care if you didn’t fill it out correctly. They don’t even have to answer the phone so you’ll probably end up screaming at a recorded message.
- One size does NOT fit all. Sorry, the label just lied to you. They can say it in a million different ways and for a million different items, but it is NOT TRUE.
- Warning signs about walking on ice-covered lakes. We’ve all seen the movies where people fall through the ice, get trapped underneath, and can only stare helplessly at the sky through the thick layer of frozen water as they panic and drown. If that isn’t the freakiest way to die dumbly, I don’t know what is. (Actually, if you give me a few minutes, I can probably come up with a few things.)
- Q-Tips in your ears. Actually, I don’t know why not. My friend’s mom in elementary school used bobby pins in her daughter’s ears to get out the wax. This seems far kinder. And I wouldn’t want to put my elbow in my ear, even if I could.
- Mixing bleach and toilet bowl cleaner warnings. While the fecal stains may be make their way off your toilet bowl, your dead body on the side of the toilet probably isn’t worth it. Combining the two produces a deadly chlorine gas. Maybe it would be better to clean the toilet bowl a little more regularly. Or poop at a friend’s house.
- This Side Up. From fax to photocopies, nothing screams newb like receiving a blank document. Especially if it’s a hundred pages and you went off to get a coffee.
- Expiration dates. Unless you’re a fan of plenty of diseases, it’s probably a good idea to pay attention to these. They’re not “best before” dates, but expiration dates. As in “expire”. As in “don’t eat it unless you’re desperate” and even then, have that clean toilet bowl ready.
- Flight Times and Gate Numbers. There’s nothing more fun than running, last-minute, for a flight and discovering it left an hour ago, the gate changed to the other side of the airport, or the flight was yesterday.
- Pop-Up Messages. Your computer is probably trying to tell you something. Like, for instance, “do you want to delete all files and erase the hard drive?” is probably something worth reading before you mindlessly click that “OK” button.
- Staring at the sun. Because you could, like, go blind or something. Then you can’t stare at it anymore what with those damaged retinas.
- Backing over traffic spikes. Sure, there’s that teeny tiny part of you that is exhilarated while you drive forward over these things, but imagine the ridiculous amount of tire damage you’d cause if you backed over them. Maybe the pop! sound would be worth it. For half a nanosecond. Then you’d just feel dumb.
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