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Friday Fun

I’m off to teach at a writers’ conference, so I thought I’d leave you with some inspiration for the weekend. If this whole “getting published” thing doesn’t work out, you could always get a job writing instructions on the packages of commonly used products. Just think, you could be responsible for gems like this!
On Sears hairdryer:
Do not use while sleeping.
(But… that’s the only time I have to work on my hair.)
On a package of pasta after the cooking instructions:
Put on fork and eat.
(No. Really?)
On a bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
(The shoplifter special.)
On a bar of Dial soap:

Directions: Use like regular soap.
(And that would be how?)

On some Swann frozen dinners:
Serving suggestion: Defrost.
(But it’s just a suggestion.)

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box):
Do not turn upside down.
(Too late.)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
Product will be hot after heating.
(Are you sure? Let’s experiment.)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
Do not iron clothes on body.
(But wouldn’t that save more time?)

On Boot’s Children’s cough medicine:
Do not drive car or operate machinery.
(We could reduce the construction accidents if we just kept those 5-year-olds with colds off those fork lifts.)

On Nytol sleep aid:
Warning: may cause drowsiness.
(One would hope.)

On artificial bacon:
Real artificial bacon bits.
(So we don’t get fake fake bacon. Oh no, we get real fake bacon.)

On a Korean kitchen knife:
Warning: Keep out of children.
(Think something got lost in the translation?)

On a string of Christmas lights:
For indoor or outdoor use only.
(As opposed to….)

On Sainsbury’s peanuts:
Warning: contains nuts.
(But no peas?)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
Instructions: open packet, eat nuts.
(Somebody got paid big bucks to write this one..)

On a Swedish chainsaw:
Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands.
(Raise your hand if you’ve tried this.)

On a child’s Superman costume:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.
(That’s right, destroy a universal childhood belief.)

Got anything funny to leave in the comments today? Go for it – I could use some laughs.

Have a good weekend!

P.S. This was an email-forward that my 13-year-old sent me, so I have no idea of the source or whether these are true. And the parenthetical comments came with the email.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

67 Comments

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  18. Dianne Dykstra on March 21, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    >I was reminded of this post yesterday. On the back of the container of liquid hand soap:

    Brand name: American Fare
    Small print on back label: Made in Canada

    Thanks Kmart! LOL



  19. natalie on March 14, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    >I was out of town this weekend and just saw this. Ironically, I found one of these last week: while opening a bottle of Midol, I happened to read the warning label, and it said, "Do not use if you have an enlarged prostate."

    I immediately called my best friend to ask, "Who with a prostate is taking Midol???"



  20. Mahak Jain on March 13, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    >LOL, cracked me up. Try this for a laugh, if you haven't already seen it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fc-crEFDw&feature=player_embedded#at=29



  21. patti.mallett_pp on March 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    >Thanks, Son, those laughs felt so Great!! And thanks, Rachelle, for passing them on. (Hope you're having a super week-end!!)



  22. BonSue Brandvik on March 13, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    >These are great. Two of my additional favorites are:
    1) I live in Florida & bought a silver reflective sunshade for the front windshield. The package instructed me to remove it before driving! duh..
    2) An ad for a $300 tire in the newspaper included the helpful notation: Not actual size – as if I thought a 3-inch tall tire cost $300.
    Of course, everyone goes to extremes to try to make themselves "lawsuit-proof", but honestly!!



  23. Misha on March 13, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    >I've been doing ironing wrong this whole time. No wonder it hurt!

    These were so much fun to read~ thanks for the smile!



  24. Leigh D'Ansey on March 13, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    >I guess I better take off my Superman costume….



  25. JoEtta on March 12, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    >So Hemingway and Faulkner walk into a bar… ๐Ÿ˜‰



  26. Susan on March 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    >We saw some funny English translations when visiting Japan. One we enjoyed was a warning posted by our room in a traditional Japanese hotel: "In case of fire, please follow instructions and behave yourself."



  27. kangaroobee on March 12, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    >Hilarious! The only thing I can think of like that off the top of my head is the old folks home adverts up the street. 'Are you snowed in? Come and join us'

    Yes I'm snowed in but a shovel is preferable to an old folks home thanks anyway ๐Ÿ™‚



  28. Camille Eide on March 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    >LOL, really. My twisted humor laughed hardest at the chainssaw one.

    I recently bought a coffeemaker that included this helpful advice on the troubleshooting page of the user's manual:

    PROBLEM: The coffeemaker only brews water. POSSIBLE CAUSE: There are no coffee grounds in the filter basket. SOLUTION: Add the desired amt of coffee.

    I feel safer knowing there are people working hard to warn us of these things.



  29. Carol Riggs on March 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    >LOL–thanks for the Saturday morning chuckles. ๐Ÿ™‚



  30. Jackie on March 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    >Can't resist sharing this anecdote on food labelling.
    A class of convent school children were filing along the self-service line for lunch. Next to a bowl of red,shiny apples was a large notice: 'Only take ONE. Remember, God is watching.' Further along the line, next to a plate of chocolate chip cookies, another notice was propped, this time written in a childish hand: 'Take all you want. God is watching the apples.'



  31. marion on March 12, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    >Many considerate restaurant owners in Luxor Egypt provide English menus. Sometimes hard to decipher, though. "Lamp shops". That's one of the easier ones. For lamb chops, of course.



  32. Dee White on March 12, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    >These are hilarious. I think my favourite is a sign at a wildlife safari park that said:

    "Elephants please stay in cars."



  33. Dee White on March 12, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    >These are hilarious. I think my favourite is a sign at a wildlife safari park that said:

    "Elephants please stay in cars."



  34. roatanvortex on March 11, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    >Where I live on the Island of Roatan, Honduras, fortunately we can get by just fine without most of the listed products. However, the one for instructions on how to eat pasta, it would have to include how to get rid of the bugs before cooking!



  35. Jil on March 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    >I bought a swimsuit with the tag, "Do not wear in sunlight"

    I can only swim at night or in winter?



  36. Jan Markley on March 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    >Those are hilarious – thanks! I guess I won't be heading to the top of the Calgary Tower with my Superman costume!



  37. Rebecca Stroud on March 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    >On a bag of hash browns that required frequent turning: Keep covered at all times except when stirring.



  38. Cynthia Herron on March 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    >Well, Rachelle, it only took me about 4 hrs to set up a blog. Our children thought THAT was pretty funny!



  39. Katlen on March 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    >I thought those were great!



  40. Karen on March 11, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    >Thanks for the giggle on a day when the news is so horrendous. Just one brief "edit" for the Swedish chainsaw comment:

    "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands."
    (Raise your stump if you've tried this.)



  41. Beth on March 11, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    >I want to know how many of these were the result of someone actually doing these.



  42. Joy Nicholas on March 11, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    >Growing up overseas and traveling frequently, I saw so many hilarious signs I can't even remember them all right now. But I recently saw a sign taped to a toilet in a gas station that said (complete with quote marks and comma), "Please Flush, It". It's not as funny as these, but there was enough in those three little words to make me laugh.

    Also, not really instructional but funny, I saw a huge banner at one of those truck stop restaurants: "Kids With Gas Eat Free." (Hmmmm… "Show 'em what you got kids!")

    Thanks for the laughs!



  43. Loree Huebner on March 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    >I did actually see the "do not use while sleeping" on instructions for a flat iron.



  44. Stephanie Reed on March 11, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    >"On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
    Do not iron clothes on body.
    (But wouldn't that save more time?)"

    My college friend Theresa came to school many times with a sheepish grin and a burn scar on her neck from where she tried to iron blouse collars while wearing them. Many times.



  45. Jean Ann Williams on March 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    >I laughed myself to tears. So great, Rachelle. I'll read them to my hubby.



  46. Sally Bradley on March 11, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    >Love the Tiramisu one! Actually, I wonder if these prove that they didn't hire a real writer. ๐Ÿ™‚



  47. Ben Spendlove on March 11, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    >Oh, I already have a job writing instructions. Sometimes the word "duh" slips in as I'm writing.

    Ad shown next to search results:
    Looking for infant diarrhea?
    Find what you're looking for at eBay!

    Guess what the search term was. (And no, we didn't find any infant diarrhea on eBay.)



  48. Casey on March 11, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    >Oh that is just toooo FuNnY!! I love the Tiramisu one!! Oh what a good laugh, thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚



  49. Mary P on March 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    >These were great. Thanks so much for sharing!
    My personal favorite is the notice my parents found on a tricycle box while shopping for my three-year-old sister's birthday:
    Child not included.
    (Do you have one of these in blond?)
    One has to wonder…



  50. Christine on March 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    >These are hilarious! I don't have a warning like that to share, but maybe some of these were written by kids. My sister teaches K-4. This week one of her kids told her, "I wish my ears would fall off so I could eat them." Despite the warning signals going off in her head, she sighed and asked the question anyway. "Why?" He looked at her as if she were out of her mind and answered, "Because I'm hungry." Duh. Why else would you want to eat your ears?

    Thanks for the comic relief on a Friday morning. Travel safe to your conference!



  51. Courtney Koschel on March 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    >Thank you so much for this! I got a good laugh out of all of these. I read them out loud to my husband as he got ready for work and it helped him wake up in a good mood =) Happy Friday!



  52. ravenlaw on March 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    >This post was a nice way to start the day. But really, who would do some of these crazy things? I remember reading a microwave instruction booklet that included this tidbit:

    "Caution. Do not put live animals inside."

    What? And I was laughing. Months later, I read about a lady who put her little dog inside a microwave to dry it. Hello?

    And then she tried to sue the company? There's a set of genes that ought to go up for the Darwinian Awards.

    Laurel W.



  53. Monica-Marie Holtkamp on March 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    >MY personal fave on a curling iron: Do not use internally. (Hmmm…how many people TRIED this before they were forced to put that labelling on it?)



  54. A3Writer on March 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    >"H.P. Lovecraft's First Days as a Substitute Teacher at Arkham Junior High School" http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2011/3/7casey.html



  55. Kathleen@so much to say on March 11, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    >That's hilarious! Thanks for sharing.



  56. Lisa Jordan on March 11, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    >Thanks for the Friday morning giggle after a very long week!!



  57. Tami Boesiger on March 11, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    >Thanks for the laugh this morning Rachelle. Your comments were just as funny as the blurbs. Love it.

    Have a great weekend!



  58. S.P. Bowers on March 11, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    >Unfortunately some of the warnings like "product will be hot after heating" and "Do not iron clothes on body" are there because someone did and sued the company. My husband is an engineer and often tells me about the ridiculous warnings they have to put on things because of people hurting themselves and coming after the company for money. He always says every time they build something that is idiot proof they build a better idiot.



  59. Susanna Leonard Hill on March 11, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    >These are hysterical. Thanks for the laugh ๐Ÿ™‚



  60. Katie Ganshert on March 11, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    >I've got nothin' – but those were hilarious!



  61. Wendy Paine Miller on March 11, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    >I canโ€™t pick a favorite, the soap, the kitchen knifeโ€”those are all excellent! This is why I love people. Cracking up.

    My fancy bathroom hand soap has horsetail and hops listed in the ingredients. I remember thinking that was funny, but thatโ€™s nothing compared to these.

    Hope the conference goes well!
    ~ Wendy



  62. Rick Barry on March 11, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    >My main work has been taking me to Eastern Europe since 1987. From a sign posted inside the door of a Moscow hotel room in that decade: "If this is your first trip to the Soviet Union, you're welcome to it!"

    And I spotted this little gem mounted above the stool in a men's room at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey: "To help us save water, please flush twice." (Huh?)

    Before I began traveling, I never realized how many frustrated comedians have ended up working as translators. ๐Ÿ™‚



  63. Lisa Vooght on March 11, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    >Oddly enough, there's a TV show called "My Strange Addiction", and one of the broadcasts featured a woman who couldn't sleep without her blow dryer (running full blast!). This despite the fact that she'd burned herself at least twice. For a laugh, one of my favourite new sites is at http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com
    which showcases some of the questionable corrections/substitutions made by autocorrect. Have a good day!



  64. otin on March 11, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    >I always laugh at the viagra ads that say if you get a four hour erection you should see a doctor. That would be the last place that I would go! lol



  65. Gail Crane on March 11, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    >You've just given me a really good laugh. What a lovely way to begin the day!
    Thank you.



  66. Rosemary Gemmell on March 11, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    >They are so funny and frustratingly true! Those I can't stand are the packs of raw meat that tell you the cooking instructions are on the reverse but they mean on the reverse of the actual vacum-sealed lid – which has to be opened first to find out when to put the oven on.

    Have a good weekend, Rachelle. I'm also going to a writing conference for the weekend, here in Scotland. Great to get away from the computer for a while and be with other writers.



  67. Christine Tyler on March 11, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    >Something funny? If you like writing/publishing, you might like this:

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/193313/family-guy-brian-writes-a-bestseller?c=Comedy

    It's a Family Guy episode in which the dog writes a bestseller. (Warning: some language and a sexual innuendo with a penguin)



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