Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Gas Pump: A Caution Notice Critique

This notice is posted on gas pumps everywhere so, if you’ve ever pumped gas, you’ve probably ignored it several times.

I know there’s a lot of information here and I know it can be overwhelming. Did I say overwhelming? I meant redundant. That’s why nobody reads it. It’s boring. They really should consider adding pictures.

First off, if you want to draw attention to this important notice, ‘Caution’ should probably read ‘CAUTION’ and it ought to be a little bit bigger. Like, maybe a lot fucking bigger.

Right off the bat, gas is flammable and vapours may explode. Good. Straight to the point. Dangerous stuff up front.

Now, whoa – harmful or fatal? Well, which is it? ‘Or’ is kind of a shifty descriptor, isn’t it? Maybe it’ll kill you. Maybe it won’t. Maybe it will just hurt you. Maybe it won’t do either. Maybe it will hurt you and then kill you. But do you want to drink it to find out? You already know it’s flammable! What kind of an idiot are you?

Moving on…

Who the hell is exposing laboratory animals to gasoline vapours, even for short periods of time? Don’t these people read gas station notices? Number one: gasoline vapours can explode! That stuff is dangerous. That’s a cage full of combusted rats waiting to happen.

And what does 'long term exposure' mean? A minute? An hour? Do they leave the gas on and go for a coffee break? Details, please. All of them or none of them, but not some of them. I want to know what kind of animals you used, how long they were exposed, what kind of cancer they got and what percentage constitutes ‘some’. If I’m transporting an alligator, three ferrets, a cockatoo and a litter of cocker spaniels and I have to stop for gas, I want to know which of my charges have a fighting chance at getting out of there alive.

Anyways, then there’s a stupid line for no reason.

Oh? I heard it was a good oil substitute, so I was going to toss it in my deep fryer. Had I not read the sign, I would be eating gas-soaked dough balls by now. Thanks for that.

Unless you have the memory of a rusted sawblade, you already know a) you shouldn't swallow this toxic shit, and b) long term exposure to it can cause cancer. So, instead of avoiding prolonged breathing, how about replacing it with something like ‘Avoid breathing whatsoever, you dumbass.’ Why the hell would you breathe gas vapour at all? If you want to get high, you can probably score some killer pot from Keith. He hangs out at the back of the gas station.

Well, hey! That’s where the gas goes! You were already told not to drink it and not to breathe it, so obviously it’s dangerous. Why would you need to be further told to keep it away from your face? I guess some people are dumb enough to need this notice (the same ones who shouldn’t be handling such complicated fuelling equipment in the first place.)

Since when are my eyes separate from the rest of my face? When you say, ‘Keep it away from your face,” I’m sure as hell going to keep it away from my eyes!

Honestly, this should be at the fucking top of the list. It should go, ‘Never siphon by mouth. Harmful or fatal if swallowed’ together. If people had common sense, they would deduce one from the other. Then again, if people had common sense, they wouldn’t have to put warning notices on gas station pumps.

Here we go again with these loose, floppy descriptors. May. May not. Perhaps. Can’t say for sure. Or. ‘Serious injury or illness’ doesn’t sound fatal. It sounds harmful. Does this cancel out the previous notice of swallowing gas?

This shit is too confusing. That’s why nobody reads it. All they need is one big sign that says ‘DON’T FUCK WITH GAS,' and a picture of a guy on fire. I think that should suffice.

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