Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do not attempt.

I just saw it again in a movie - our protagonists frantically one step ahead of a superhuman pursuer jump on to a motorcycle in desperation, but pause to put on a helmet. I say again because it's certainly not the first time.  Panicked fugitives stop to put on seat belts leaving any of the audience who had been carried along by the plot behind if all the phone numbers beginning with 555 haven't already.

A car rolls slowly down a beautiful leaf strewn autumn road, while the massage crawls across the bottom, admonishing us not to to do this yourself and that there is a trained professional at the wheel and the road is closed. Of course that's less ridiculous when the same warning is presented when the car drives out the back of an airplane, or off a bridge.  But who are we warning and would a warning have any effect on the guy who thinks his Toyota can fly?

Watching a show about asset recovery agents - repo men - who specialize in stealing helicopters and jets and even megayachts from people who have stopped making payments, I of course see the same warning. "Don't do this yourself." Damn, and I had my leather helmet and goggles on already.

Funny thing that we don't see these "trained professionals" things with movies about criminals or people who invade foreign countries - people who land on the moon, but hey.

I've already complained about instruction manuals for everything from q-tips to digital cameras that have 10 pages of warnings for every paragraph explaining how to use it. Don't use a hammer to clean your ears, don't stand on a wet floor and stick your tongue in a light socket while using this camera.

The stuff that's actually dangerous?  Not so much. Yes, I think one of the ceramic knives I bought for my wife said something like "don't cut yourself" but that's mild in today's America and of course it doesn't tell you to hire a chef and leave the cutting to her. No warning that "contents may be fattening" on my fridge or "don't use in the shower" on the toaster but then I didn't read the manuals. My cars' instruction books didn't suggest getting a chauffeur and there's no sign on my lawn relative to not cutting it myself. I'm willing to bet more people are hurt by power mowers than by cameras but none of this is about objective reality, is it?  But I could be wrong.

Maybe  I'm just reckless and irresponsible.  Maybe I should be more cautious about life in general. I'm considering putting up a sign over the front door - facing inwards.  How does "Don't go out  by yourself.  It's a jungle out there, for trained professionals only."

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