Sunday, 19 June 2011

No Sick People Here, Thanks

Wish I'd seen this for myself. I like:
  • the fact they felt the need to show both sexes.
  • the man supporting himself against a wall.
  • that the artist made it clear neither person is enjoying it.
  • the obvious omission of showing the other symptom.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

My God - It's Full of Grass

These are the helpful icons on the back of a lawnmower. In the efforts to cope with the Tower of Babel societies we increasingly find ourselves in, the humble mower has introduced some mysterious, and some very graphic (no pun intended), symbols.

I get that the wordless book is telling us to RTM, and that we should unplug before doing any maintenance. The highly stylised cloud (it looks like a hat) tells us not to mow the grass when it's raining. Thereafter, it all gets either vague or just plain brutal.

Stop the world, I want to get off... They've had to resort to some English here, because they couldn't find any other way to tell you it needs to stop! You know, that thing that goes round.

That's gotta hurt. This seems so horrendous, and yet it does happen. What strikes me as particularly odd though is that there are only two severed fingers in the top symbol, yet the person is clearly missing more. Obviously someone didn't learn their lesson.

Oh the humanity. I never want this to happen to me. The quick reactions of the person may mean they save at least one limb, but I doubt they'll ever mow again.

I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that. This one foxes me completely, but I've seen it on several mowers. Sometimes the obelisk is larger, sometimes the humanoid isn't floating, but always they are inextricably linked by a double-headed arrow.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Tealight of Terror

I bought a tealight holder from Tesco over the summer. It's like a mug, except it doesn't have a handle. And it's got loads of holes in the side. So, not much like a mug.

It came with a little tag featuring several iconic warnings. Sixteen in fact. For one little tealight holder.

Well, in truth, the warnings are all about candles. Fire is supposed to be one of mankind's earliest discoveries, yet we still haven't mastered it.

You can't really blame the second guy for leaving his giant candle unattended; the heat was probably getting too much for him.

Here's the obligatory "keep away from children". This kid looks mightily pleased with themselves, maybe because they've managed to grow sideburns at such a tender age. We're probably also being told to keep candles away from angry animals; but what animal is that? Is that a snake?

Does anyone pay attention to this? You'd need bigger birthday cakes for a start.

Not only are we one curtain short, but the one shown is too short for the window. I like the valance though, you don't see enough of those.

Nice belt. If you look really close, you can see the bat symbol on the buckle.

I thought this was a book at first: "Don't read by candlelight." I guess it's an open window, and those are either fumes or a breeze. Funnily enough, that's why I wanted a tealight holder.

I have no idea what this one is warning me about. The sun suggests outside or daytime. Is that a cooker on the left? Chimenea? And a television? Or an aquarium with an aerial? Whatever this is, I hope I don't do it.

No, not just "Don't hold the candle while it's lit." Look at the flame; we've not seen it bending like that since the open window warning. The person holding it is running. A definite no-no.

Another tough one. There's not even a candle in this one. Something to do with airflow? Seriously, I just wanted something to put citronella candles in to keep away the bugs. I know they don't work, but I thought I'd try it anyway.

Tealights don't tend to do this. Nice attention to detail, though, with the flame staying realistically upright.

I don't get this one either. What is that windsock on the left doing to that candle? It looks like some magical vortex.

Don't hock a loogie to extinguish your candle. Use the butterfly net provided.

Ah, chemical symbols, designer's last hope when you're not allowed to colour in. That's a mighty drop coming from that jug. I can vouch for this warning; I once got a tiny tealight to puff out a giant fireball just by dribbling water on it. Nearly took my face off. Won't do that again with H2O. I'll stick to C8H18.

This one must be important - it's got its own exclamation mark. But I don't know what it means. The windsock is back, though, and the candle isn't happy about it.

At first I thought the flame was being lifted off the candle with some magic stick. I guess it's saying, "Don't light with a match," which rather scuppers my plans.

That's probably a spent match, rather than a bent sperm. It's a wise warning: put enough fuel into a tealight and you can really get it boiling. I've cracked a couple of tealight holders that way. Which is where we came in...

I noticed Tesco was selling a scissor and knife sharpener in their "hey, it's only a pound!" bit. I checked the tag. Not a single warning.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Match Box - Sage of Our Times

I love this guy. Look at his little face! You'll find him staring back at you, in abject terror, from the back of most boxes of matches. What a perfect rendition of a parent's worst nightmare in symbolic form. It's not enough that they have to tell us that fire kills children (yes, even children!), but that this is an element of DANGER! Caps and everything. They're shouting, because the message is really important.

In case we have trouble understanding English, they show us as much of the horror as they think we can bear, with a stick figure being attacked by bits of the Liberal Democrats symbol (what Clive James once referred to as the seven-winged flying worm).
The look of terror on the guy's face (I'm guessing it's a guy, but I should point out that fire kills girls too) hammers the point home that what is happening to him is not a Good ThingTM.

They could have gone this way with cigarette packets. But they didn't. I guess if deaths from match abuse goes unabated, they may have to get really graphical on those boxes too.
Matchboxes are full of handy tips, and I'm not just talking about those bobbles on the end of the little sticks. As well as the obligatory death-for-children-awaits-inside warning, mine also tells me to:
  • Keep in a dry place.
  • Keep away from children.
  • Strike gently and away from the body.
This last is, presumably, to leave as little visible marking as possible, and avoid self-injury on the rebound. But stick to the second recommendation and you'll never need to smack the little beggars anyway.