Re-run Stuff

Instructional Stuff

I went to the office breakroom to get a fresh cup o’ ice (my morning chew treat) and a cup of hot water for my pack of instant oatmeal (regularity has become important to me as I age) and noticed that the beverage vending machine has a pictorial to explain how to use the machine. There’s a little hand putting a little coin into the little slot. The next photo is of a little finger punching the little button. The last photo shows a can of soda in the “pick up your beverage” area of the machine. What’ll we do if the pictures get damaged?

I don’t recall ever learning from pictorial or written instruction how to buy a soda (or any other item) from a vending machine. I’m pretty sure I saw someone else do it at some point and just copied their behavior.

All shampoo bottles list instructions to lather… rinse… repeat. The words aren’t complicated, but one must be able to read the words to understand the instructions. Generally one has had at least a couple of shampoos before learning to read, so I would imagine anyone buying shampoo doesn’t need to be told how to wash their hair.

If we go to a grocery store and look at a photo illustrating any food package the words, “serving suggestion” will be in fine print somewhere near the bottom of the photo. Now, I’m not saying I’m brilliant, but even as a child I didn’t expect the package content to look exactly like the photo on the box. Why do our manufacturers have the need to let us know that the photo is a serving suggestion? Are there hoardes of people ready to initiate lawsuits if the piece of parsley in the photo isn’t included in the box? A can of corned beef hash usually shows a sunny side up egg sitting happily on the plate with it’s partner, corned beef hash. Happy toast with a perfect square of butter sit to the side, opposite to a big ole glass of orange juice. Serving suggestions. Who is the world actually expects the egg, the juice and the toast to all appear after opening the can?

Guys may not be familiar, but most chicks have seen the pages and pages of instructions (usually written in English, Spanish and French) that come with a simple box of tampons. There’s also a detailed drawing included showing a sidecut of a woman’s body and the parts of her anatomy that are involved during a “happy period” (I hate that f***ing commercial). If we follow the drawing the insertion should be simple. Just in case the drawing doesn’t suffice, there are the tri-lingual instructions as backup. If I were the one to write the instuctions the box would say – “plug it up”. That’s it. That’s all.

Times when instructions would be really helpful to me are the times I find that they’re not included in the packaging. My first husband (why oh why god, why!!!?) needed instructions explaining that due to his very short attention span and minimal intelligence he would tend to forget that he had a wife and children, and that he couldn’t be expected to come home on a regular basis. Oh, and his package theme song should have been, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

It would have been great to get directions for evil ex-boyfriend “W” explaining his need to control everyone around him and his crazy jealousy.

Imagine going for a job and reading the instructions for your boss – insecure and tends to take credit for work subordinates do. Would have saved me some heartache in the past. (my current boss is GREAT – he doesn’t need instructions so no one needs to forward this article to anyone)

I would love to see what instructions for handling me might be. Any ideas besides ‘handle with care’?

This is from the old blog. I’m at work trying to figure out how to watch our beloved President. Happy Obama Day!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Re-run Stuff

  1. M@

    Jalil,

    My all-time favorite was the scene in Raising Arizona, in which one of the kidnappers plops down a book: Dr. Spock.

  2. I once saw instructions on the back of a box of toothpicks. I would’ve thought the instructions were automatically built into the name of the product.

  3. c

    My boss needs instructions for how to fill a bottle of soap after it runs out in our bathroom and it should read, this is not only a woman’s responsibility. Or another instruction that tells him where envelopes are and have been for the last two years without asking a female in the office where they are. WTF is wrong with men?

  4. I LOVE this post…and I am SO GLAD that you weren’t contracted to place the instructions on the side of a tampon box! LOL!

  5. The best instructions for most men would be “Buyer beware.”

    I always wonder if dog food cans with dogs pictured on them really contain dogs. And if baby food is made of babies.

    One of my earliest disappointments in life was discovering that a box of corn flakes didn’t have strawberries in it like the nice picture on the front.

  6. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  7. Thank you!! I so agree! People really do need to come w/ instructions or warning label. If my husband had a neat little tag on the back of his head that said: “Serious mommy issues. Crying in front of this man will be construed as manipulative due to said mom’s fuckups.”
    That would have saved me a year of my life tht I spent trying to deconstruct his psyche and see who wronged him in another life.

  8. Rigamarole

    I’m a little disturbed by your comments about your former relationships. You may want to try therapy.

  9. ~d

    Hiya Jali!
    Been a long time!
    Hope you are well!!

    xx
    ~d

  10. Jen

    Fucking love this post! So true…

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