Wednesday, 2 March 2011


 Everyone is a comedian. I am not sure if the authorities at the US Consumer Products Safety Commission are as well or if I just have an imaginative departure from the agreed-upon standard grasp of the language. We are kept too safe, I think, and who couldn't foresee some risk inherent in a Johnny-Jump-Up or a bucket seat to take one's baby for a run, but I think reading the bullet-briefs without going into the explanation is much more scary and treacherous.
Just after Christmas there was a recall notice on certain mittens due to strangulation hazard (that's a popular theme) and I envisioned some demonic possession that caused the wearer to channel some murderous spirit, but it turned out the seasonal appliquรฉ work could come loose and someone might choke on them.
Caveat emptor--who would have thought that Tommy Bahama travel candles are a safe and viable product? Their advocacy, especially revealing hidden dangers and shoddy workmanship, is a welcome and necessary thing, even though many warning should come as little surprise.  Maybe the Consumer Safety Commission should have tried an iconic mascot. Most people that grew up with such characters as Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear--or even Mister ZIP and Reddy-Kilowatt--would be too embarrassed to make a foolish mistake in their presence. A safety mascot might have dissuaded some of these items ever being brought to store shelves to begin with, shoppers instilled with a little more common sense.