I believe it was comedian Bill Engvall who covered the topic of warning labels in one of his stand-up routines a few years back. I’m sure he’s not the only one. This is, after all, a subject of great interest and import. Think about it: have you ever wondered why the makers of frozen food feel the need to include the warning, “COOK BEFORE EATING” on their packaging? Or why food establishments who sell coffee insist on telling you “THE BEVERAGE YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENJOY IS VERY HOT!”? Have you ever been tempted to eat those little packages of silica gel inside your shoe boxes or new electronic equipment? Of course not. But apparently someone has–and that someone has probably also attempted to eat frozen pizza and wash it down with boiling hot coffee. And that’s why we have warning labels, right? Because some people are too stupid to be walking around loose on the streets just can’t be bothered to make sense of the world in which they live.
Or at least that’s what I used to think. And then I knocked an entire bottle of Zyr.tec into my open toilet. No, there was nothing but water in the toilet at the time, and yes, I got as many out as I could salvage, and yes, I do realize how disgustingly gross that is. Please understand: flushing an entire bottle of Zyr.tec would have been a devastating loss for me, because this was before said allergy medication had gone OTC, and I was still paying a large sum for my prescription, and also because without it I cannot breathe. Or eat cantaloupe. Or wear eyeliner and mascara. So yeah, motivated by allergic misery, I fished it out and I took it. That’s right. I took toilet-water soaked allergy medication. And you know what, it didn’t work anymore. The whole next day I had itchy, watery eyes and I sneezed 3 billion times. I ate toilet water and it wasn’t even worth it. I had to buy a whole new bottle.
So if, in the future, a warning label appears on the Zyr.tec packaging that says something like, “This product is not effective once it has been in your toilet,” you’ll know where that one started.
What potential warning labels have you inspired in your own life?