Monday, March 7, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Shredding (Number the Fourth After the First)

Yes, this is the final Unfortunate Shredding. If that brings you hope that I will soon move on to topics less inconsequential than shredder warning signs, good for you I suppose. Don't count on it, though. If the concept of "Number the Last" is painful to you, put down your mathematics books and go outside right now.

There is only so much even I can do with the warning labels on a shredder as it turns out. This final picture is really the one that started the whole thing, but I had to save it for last. There are so many things going on in the picture and so many ways to interpret them that the possibilities simply boggle the mind.

I'll start by analyzing the picture with science. It worked for Batman. A casual glance will tell you that this is a baby, or a strangely dressed crawling midget I suppose, but Occam's Razor dictates that we should accept the simpler explanation. If you pause to examine the picture in more detail, you may notice a drip of liquid originating from the child's right little finger, and some unknown substance clinging to it's head.

Small children are generally known for getting into things and having a sweet tooth. So this warning might stem from an incident involving a child who managed to overturn a container of molasses on himself, then crawled off to gum up the family shredder. Naturally this would be grounds for suing the company, because there were no explicit warnings about allowing syrup sodden children near their machinery.

The above explanation would be acceptable, except that it is based on a stereotype. As we all know, science cannot accept stereotypes or even such a menial concept as common sense. Therefore, another explanation is required. While it I find it tempting to say that this is caution against children infested with head crabs, the simplest interpretation would be that you shouldn't put babies in the shredder. It appears to make them glum.

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