Friday Follies: ‘Wacky Warning Labels’ Contest Winners — or Losers

By January 5, 2007Friday Follies

Friday FolliesEvery year, NAM buddy Bob Dorigo Jones and the good folks at M-Law host a contest for the wackiest warning label they can find. It is now in its tenth year and every year they seem to get more and more entries from ever-vigilant folks on the lookout for stuff like the toilet bowl brush that says, “Do Not Use For Personal Hygiene.” Put down the brush…. Back away from the sink…. Spit….

Yesterday, the winners in the 10th Annual Wacky Warning Label Contest were announced:

  • First Prize went to Bob Wilkerson of Northville, Michigan for finding this warning label on a washing machine in a laundromat: “Do not put any person in this washer.” Yeah, but what if they’re dirty — like a trial lawyer….? Jus’ kiddin’.
  • Second Prize was for a warning on a personal watercraft that said, “Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level.” Yeah, don’t do that. Bad for your disposition.
  • Third Prize was a tie between a warning on a lottery ticket that said, “Do Not Iron” (wasn’t gonna…) and one on a cell phone that read, “Don’t try to dry your phone in a microwave oven.” Right — don’t put it in the dryer with the trial lawyer, neither.
  • Honorable Mention goes to a Yellow Book warning: “Please do not use this directory while operating a moving vehicle.” Or a watercraft after checking the fuel level with a match.
  • Pictures of all the winning (?) labels can be seen by clicking here.

    A new book from M-Law entitled, “Remove Child Before Folding” (an actual warning found on a child’s stroller) is a compilation of the many entries received over the ten years of this great contest. Makes for great reading — you can get a copy by clicking here.

    This is all very entertaining, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t note how un-funny this is at core. Hate to wreck a good Friday Follies buzz, but the sad fact is that all of these warning labels were driven by some actual or threatened litigation by trial lawyers just too greedy and over-reaching for their own — or society’s — good. And, guess who pays for all this foolishness? We all do, some with our wallets, some with our jobs.

    Got a good warning label? Click here to jump into next year’s contest. In the meantime, don’t forget to thank your local trial lawyer for this bit of levity and idiocy.