Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fine Print



This little pouch was a gift, and I would have used it years ago had I known there was a four-panel, fully -illustrated, comprehensive instructional brochure waiting inside. With a phone number in Tokyo for further information in case I get hopelessly muddled. All this time I’ve been so intimidated with nagging questions – how do the pockets work, what is the purpose of the mesh divider, which way do I pull the zippers, can I eat the Silica Gel-- and so forth.

As the manufacturer says, “Please take a moment to read this for proper enjoyment of the product.” I certainly don’t want to improperly enjoy the product, not when we’ve just met anyway, so let’s fasten the safety goggles and be on our way.

This may look like a cheap little cloth thingy to you, but that just shows how much you know. Let me introduce you to the Nomad Cosmetic Case. "The material is 2mm thick urethane layer between two pieces of tear resistant, Rip-Stop Nylon.” We’re talking serious portable cosmetic conveyance tool here, scientifically calibrated.

“The shape and placement of the pockets were designed with your frequency of use and protection in mind.” As in, don’t mess with me brother, I’m packing.

“There are pockets designed to fit certain types of cosmetics perfectly, but we’ve also included open space for what is unique to you.” Yes, we women take our translucent powder seriously, but we have a playful side, too. The manufacturers realize we need space of our own, a place to explore and express our creativity.

“We paid particular attention to the size and position of the fasteners and handles for easy access.” But it’s also secure, right boys?

But then the warnings. Like those commercials, where some aged frat brothers on a yacht yuck it up because there’s finally a pill that lets them fuck all night. But, the voiceover softly cautions, there’s an equal chance they might end up spending the rest of the trip in the emergency ward, waving one long , and perhaps notable (individual results may vary), side-effect.

Similarly, I should not use my Nomad in the company of “water, alcohol, dirt, heat, and careless treatment.” And, more ominously, “Do not use this product for other than the intended use.” Hmm, I wonder if nefarious intent could turn that two-ounce pouch into a steamer trunk.

35 comments:

  1. It sounds like maybe you need to call in a favor from Petrea: please hold my pouch.

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  2. This is hysterical! Whatever you do, don't put a camera in that pouch. I think that's where my life started to get off course - when I started putting things into pouches and cases that they weren't intended for.

    About those frat boys in the emergency room... I've wondered about this. When do you actually head for the ER? At 3 hours? At 2 hours? Given that you're probably going to have to wait a minimum of a couple hours before they treat you, should you allow extra time for that? What if you're at the 4-hour mark, and you leave for the ER then? By the time you're seen, it could be 6 to 8 hours! Permanent damage! Imagine the scene: "BUT I MUST SEE A DOCTOR RIGHT NOW! MY ENTIRE FUTURE AND THE FUTURE OF OTHER GENERATIONS DEPENDS ON IT!!!!" "Just calm down and have a seat, sir. That is, if you're able to sit."

    WV: stingate - sounds like a real scandal.

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  3. And don't forget - do not put your head in the pouch no matter how much fun it sounds like it will be.

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  4. Too funny!
    Engrish...
    When you go to my place to pick up the award tomorrow, you can take either one. I can't decide if your blog is more photo or more text. you decide...
    oh yeah, the award doesn't come with any work involved!

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  5. Between Hiker and Mr. E...my computer is a mess!!! *&^*% that spewing!!!

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  6. Chieftess, mine is too. I have tears running down my face. I knew this post would drag Earl out early and often.

    KB, to add to Amy's sage advice........that thang ain't no toy. Don't be carelessly tossing it in baby cribs!

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  7. V: Early maybe. Often ... I'm not so sure...

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  8. Earl, I wonder about the drive to the hospital and the walk of shame from the parking lot.

    Thank you Pat! I know it's not photo. Amy and Virg, exactly! I was going to add something, but I'm sure it would be taken the wrong way. So you know me and discretion.

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  9. You're hilarious. There's someone sitting in a cubicle in Japan right now, getting paid to come up with those instructions, complete with illustrations. Which makes me wonder what kind of guide accompanies the little blue pills. Personally, I think you should write those. *smirk*

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  10. Remind me never to get into a quipping contest with Earl. And today, it’s everyone! Do you suppose that means the post is good comedy?

    I like Carolynn’s point too. What’s it like to get a gold watch for 30 or 40 years of writing such cautionary stuff in a Tokyo cubicle? (or an L.A. cubicle, for that matter).

    Using their own words against them is a pretty reliable weapon, isn't it. As for your own words, “yacht, yuck, fuck” in one sentence shows, again, the hardcore poet in you.

    And by all means, yes, take care with that Silica Gel. It can look like yogurt.

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  11. But what about the silica gel? What if you ate it? Would it put the silicon implant business out of operations? Have you ever been tempted to eat one?

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  12. A pouch with "open space"? How clever.

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  13. Hoisted on their own petard -- A cautionary tale

    JJ

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  14. KB, you obviously/luckily read the instructions upside down...Earl, you read my mind. How DOES one manage that particular situation? Is there a side entrance to avoid prosecution for indecent exposure? Do the ER docs have to undergo training on how to keep a straight face, the nurses from taking batting practice? Still, all in all, the walk of shame pales beside the cone of shame...

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  15. Nicely skewered, my friend. As someone who has had to write such crap professionally on occasion, I can totally feel the hot breath of the client on the back of some poor copywriter's neck.

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  16. Ok I think I'm done laughing now. The Nomad is obviously not for me. How can you not use a cosmetic case without the company of alcohol? Facing the mirror these days definitely requires liquid courage.

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  17. Paula, nurses taking BATTING PRACTICE!!! Talk about the unkindest CUT of all . . .
    And I thought you were a gentle soul.

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  18. Carolynn & Terry, I won't tell you what I've written to make a dime. Brenda, are you being disingenuous? And Banjo, you know Paula's a saucy wench. CT, my Nomad will learn to make nice with the alcohol or its traveling days are numbered.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Hiya (hilarious) Hiker!


    Wv::: spity

    It's the spity bag I had misused.

    tsk tsk

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  21. KB, Paula: Don't be so sure it's a walk of shame... not that it couldn't be. I imagine it would be more like a walk of stark fear. "Give me that shot right now, dammit!"

    Paula: I think the ER docs have seen a lot worse, and a lot more humorous than that, but batting practice? I'm gonna need to see a diagram of that!

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  22. Instructions: When I was a lad, I got an abacus, made in Japan, with an instruction booklet. On the cover of the booklet it says, "What brings comfort and convenience on your life." Later it explains that it is "easily operated, portable, cheaply available, and of trouble proof."

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  23. Hiker, "saucy" Paula? "Saucy?"

    Paula's a sadist and Earl's a masochist. Just when you think you know somebody a little . . .

    wv: subtl: not

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  24. I'm often late to these parties. Everybody's so witty today and I'm so tired. Amy, Earl, Susan C...everybody. But leave it to the Hiker to read the instructions on a make-up bag and come up with this.

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  25. Earl, when I was in Japan I learned that porn was everywhere. One of the funniest book titles I ever saw was "How To Sex".


    Oh, Banjo, flattery will get you everywhere...I was thinking of the old joke:
    Why do nursing homes give their patients Viagra?
    To keep them from rolling out of bed.

    wv
    savite

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  26. Hiker,
    I'd pay good money for somebody to call me a saucy wench. Damn.
    v

    Earl,
    I can't help you with the "often" thang. Sorry. I'm trying to come to terms with NEVER!

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  27. Ditto to Petrea. I love that you can take something mundane and transform it into the extraordinary. Actually, some of those instructions seem to suggest that the Nomad would be very much at home on one of those yachts.

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  28. Is the Nomad's pouch big enough to hold the cone of shame during the walk to the ER? Sort of like the opposite of a bum bag? But I guess that's using it other than for the intended use.

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  29. In my former copywriting days, I actually had to write stuff like that.

    Favorite line of this: "Can I eat the silica gel?"

    I love your wonderfully warped brain, brilliant one.

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  30. STOP ! All of you. I"m laughing uncontrollably at Bellis' remark now. I am getting this hilarious picture of that Nomad perched right on top of that thang like a hat! ( Cone of Shame~!) Oh she's soooooo on the next guest list for VDAY II.

    So if the hat don't fit, you must acquit!

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  31. So... it doesn't double as a flask? That's somewhat disappointing.

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  32. I can tell no one here is Nomad Cosmetic Bag worthy.

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  33. This is one of those times where I feel even too timid to respond. Your readers are just so durn clever -- almost as clever as you.

    WV: motucha, as in motucha my pouch and I will beat you with my handily stored lip gloss.

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  34. When I wrote an instruction manual for one of our machines recently, my lawyer advised me that I had to include safety warnings. My favorite is "Do not grip or grasp moving parts!" Really? Because I can't imagine anything more insane than having to tell someone not to grab an oversized drill bit while it's running. So, remember, Safety First! Use your pouch as intended. And always remember to hunt down those instructions for things you might have believed were intuitive.

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