I have a confession to make: Every once in a very, very rare while, I get things wrong.
I know this will come as a shock to those of you who have come to depend on my weekly missive as your source for trustworthy, accurate reporting. Especially those of you who use it to stay current on such vital topics as dog yoga, Groundhog Day, and floating dinosaurs.
However, I'm forced to admit that I messed up a few months ago. In my January 28th column, I made fun of warning labels. Indeed, in my arrogance I even went so far as to say some of them were silly and unnecessary.
In light of the following real-life incidents, I humbly offer my apologies for that humble opinion:
• Hot and apparently very cross buns: A woman in Texas was recently shot in the leg by her oven. Apparently a friend of hers had stashed a .357 calibre handgun inside the oven and forgot to tell her. When she turned the oven on, the gun overheated and released several rounds. As this is about the eighth such incident I've read about in as many months, apparently guns need a label that says: Do not store this loaded, potentially lethal weapon in an oven. Or a flaming fireplace. Or in your car's engine compartment. No, not in the furnace either.
• Blind no more: An amorous man was taken into custody to face fraud charges after his blind date did a simple Google search on him, found out he was wanted in Ohio, and called police. Required label: If trying to make a good first impression on the ladies, you might want to check out what sort of impression you've already made on the Internet.
• Up in smoke: A postal worker in Argentina who was cleaning up the office and burning the rubbish, accidentally burned £3000. Apparently he had tossed a box onto the burn pile, not realizing it was a money box full of the week's takings at the post office. Required warning label: Do not mail things through Argentina. Especially large boxes marked “Cash.”
• I just saw my dentist, thanks: A German man was hospitalized for, among other things, severe blood loss, after he tried to brush his Rottweiler's teeth. Required label: Four out of five veterinarians believe good dental hygiene is vital to a Rottweiler's health. A funeral for the fifth vet will be held on…
• Sorry Mom: An Austrian woman allowed her four-year-old son to put handcuffs on her. Amazingly, this four-year-old was then unable to unlock the handcuffs as he had lost the key. Authorities had to use an iron saw to cut her loose. Required label: If you think allowing a pre-schooler to handcuff you is a good idea, please give your offspring to children's services before they become teenagers. It's for your own good, as well as society's.
• Rebel with the wrong cause: Government officials in British Columbia recently decided that the best way to save the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot was to shoot several protected golden eagles. Warning label: Never trust a government to protect anything. You might be who they shoot.
• In his pockets: A thief in New Jersey stole two tiger python snakes by stuffing them into special pockets in his pants. He was driving home when one of the snakes got loose and bit him. Required label: If you're thinking of storing biting animals in your pants, please go ahead. The gene pool will not miss the contribution you can no longer make.
So dear readers, what do these incidents prove? Two things:
A) Even I can be wrong about something; and
B) Someone, somewhere, once really did iron clothes while wearing them.
To read more of Chandra's work, visit www.ChandraKClarke.com.