Choosing a winner for this week’s prompt of warning labels was no small feat. I had several favorites; so, did the only fair thing and picked the one that tickled my funny bone most.
And that was:
Warning Labels, by Hobbo ‘Smoking kills,’ Sally read on the packet As she bent down to pick up her litter So engrossed, she did not hear the racket Of the thirty ton lorry that hit her.
Hobbo won for the short, simple, abrupt, crushing humor of a poor, warning label-reader’s folly. Great work!
As I said, the others were no less humorous. Read for yourself (and learn from their tales):
Inferno, by TH Kerr In case of fire, throw this in first.
The Forbidden Fruit, by H.R.R. Gorman At night you’ll see me gently creeping With mom and dad hard a sleeping In through laundry room door. I open the bag of forbidden snacks – Attractive gummies, laundry packs.
Then you’ll hear my lips a smacking, My YouTube channel gaining backing While I eat Tide Pods galore. My mouth – it foams with Clean Breeze And a few civilian casualties.
The tags may say “Danger!” “Warning!” But industry tools are boring. As a big attention whore I munch and crunch on banned fare, On poison beautiful, I’m well aware.
Untitled, by DumbestBlogger This 7¼” hand held circular saw is designed to cut 2x4s Please do not perform surgery with it That would be dumb If you wish to perform a murder this tool would be excellent We don’t condone murder You should probably use it for 2x4s
Untitled, by Pensitivity101 A nifty thing, this kid’s stroller, Keeps him warm and dry, Proudly walking down the street, I nod at passers by. Then at home, it’s time to put The kettle on for tea, But first I have to take him out And things are hard to see. The label bears a warning here To first remove the child Before collapsing to put away, Then instructions can be filed.
The new toaster, by Bruce I don’t want to boast But I just bought a thing that makes toast. The instructions say: Plug in and use as one oughta. It warns: Not to be plugged in and used under water.
Words of Warning, by Doug Jacquier The fridge magnet letters spilled out on the table, followed by the numbers and then a WARNING label. ‘Some more advanced children may well be prone to spell out things you may not condone.’ Piffle, I snorted, as I added them to the door; my kids are more adult and their taste is not poor. What I hadn’t allowed for was their merciless wit and their ability to give visitors an apoplectic fit. Thus ‘HELLO BABE’ was what greeted tubby Mrs. Foster and her balding hubby got NICE RUG. WHAT DID IT COST YER? The Reverend was rocked by DO SHOES HAVE SOULS? and Granny by HAVE YOU TRIED SHAVING YOUR HAIRY MOLES? I gathered the clan and in a voice loud and ringing said that any more pranks and their ears would be singing. All was quiet for a while but you can’t stop temptation; I was greeted with KIDS ARE CAUSED BY MULTIPLICATION. Despire myself, I couldn’t stop laughing and arranged my reaction ALL PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED WITH A LITTLE SUBTRACTION. Game over but they must have the last word they decided with the finale WE CANNOT STAND A HOUSE DIVIDED.
Untitled, by Deb Whittam I felt it the moment they stuck it on. Shame descended upon me right away. I knew it for what it was, A stigma, I swore I would make them pay.
For marked I was, I felt the others turn, Association would only bring despair. For we all knew since Covid-19, That brushing off notoriety was rare.
Absently I wondered what crime I had committed, I mean, I was a staple, I was beyond compare. But then Larry, the wholesome muesli bar whispered, “You contain nuts mate.” Life just wasn’t fair.
The Geriatric Behavioral Unit, by Ruth Scribbles Granny was a pistol She really was a rascal And after Grandpa died last month Her pranks became a scandal
We couldn’t keep her home alone She loved to hide and play We sent her to the unit So they could make her stay
We went to visit granny And thought all would be well When we arrived right on time We saw the sign and yelled
What is granny up to now They said and wrung their hands The help said she was determined They tried to understand
Granny met this guy, you see Who fell in love with her She convinced him they should run away The rest was all a blur
You Have Been Warned, by Obbverse The small print. Please check parcel arrives intact and complete, Verify no packaging has been torn, tagged or ripped, Our goods become lawfully yours upon receipt. (Our job is done once it’s sealed and shipped.) The fine print. Please open package with the utmost care, Check all contents against checklist inside, The Company isn’t liable for loss, damage or repair Of goods dispatched. (despite what we implied.) The finer print. Your satisfaction is paramount to this vendor So should any parts be found to be lacking Immediately return faulty goods to sender; (We look forward to see what you sent packing.) The finest print. (Please see Section 86, Clause D about bad goods returns;) If, by opening, our original box is folded, spindled or mutilated The Company consider this raises wilful damage concerns And therefore your Money Back Guarantee is invalidated.
(For this and further ongoing custom we thank you. NO further correspondence will be entered into.)
Fair Warning, by Fishman I took my radio into the bath with me and the warning label was right. I got a shock, a jarring jolt, my lord it was such a fright.
I drained the tub and dried myself my nerves were in quite a state. I vowed right then to always heed the warnings labels words, “You’re right, oh labels. I do oblige, I’ll do as you dictate.”
“I’ll hold the saw by the correct end, I’ll believe that matches may cause fire. I promise not to drive with the sun shield in place. and I’ll believe that if I drink Clorox bleach I may, in fact, expire.”
With that all said I took a breath to try and calm my nerves. But my heart kept racing – thump, thump, thump – it just would not agree. I had to take a tranquilizer, not one as prescribed, but three. The label was right ‘cuz the next thing I knew I… Zzzzzzzz…
Thanks to everyone who entered. Please return tomorrow for next week’s prompt!
Hobbo, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!
The Great Salt Lake is one of the most well-known features of Utah. After Arches, Mormons, and Mormons; nearly everyone associates Utah with “[t]he largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere” (Utah.com).
In elementary school, I learned that it is what’s left of an ENORMOUS Lake Bonneville that covered Utah, Nevada, and Idaho a mere 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. I also learned of its salinity (about 12%, more than the ocean) and that people used to float in it as a recreational gimmick.
I’ve been there; from biking across the causeway (Antelope Island Road) to the lake’s main attraction, Antelope Island, to touring the island’s bison reserve and trying to enjoy the island’s beach.
You see: the Great Salt Lake is really cool, but is home to some unpleasantness in the hotter months. I’m talking brine flies and mosquitoes. If you’re not far enough inland or far enough water-bound, they’re gonna bite ya.
The Great Salt Lake has a smell. In winter, we refer to it as “The Lake.” Catchy, I know. The light stench is a mix of moldy sea and salty brine flies.
It’s not all flies and stink, however. The lake is pretty amazing. Utah.com claims that swimmers can still float. Their website reminds us of the countless animal (mostly bird) refuges in the marshes of the lake’s edges. We Utahns enjoy amazingly beautiful vistas, whether hiking East of the lake or on Antelope Island itself.
The Great Salt Lake’s science facts are also nifty:
“Four rivers and numerous streams empty into the Great Salt Lake, carrying dissolved minerals. The lake has no outlet so these minerals are trapped. Continual evaporation concentrates the minerals. Several businesses extract table salt and other chemicals from the lake water” (Utah.com).
In winter, Utah experiences a Lake Effect similar to being near the ocean; problem is, this creates poor air quality when coupled with the Rocky and Oquirrh Mountains.
And, as mentioned, it is the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world, nicknamed ‘America’s Dead Sea.’
Bonus fact: because of the lake and its surroundings, Utah has the really awesome, surreal Bonneville Salt Flats nearby.
And remember, shoppers, wearing masks helps everyone.
Kate hardly heard the announcement as she squatted on the fissured floor. It had played five minutes before; five minutes before that; five minutes before that; five years before that.
Don’t forget to stock up on hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
Her breath fogged her vision; cleared; fogged. She remembered when panic first hit; when people rushed to stores for cleaners, supplies, and even frozen pizza. Crazy to think, half a decade later, of running out of sanitizer. Everyone brewed his own, fumigating what remained of the landscape.
Are you immunocompromised?
“Then you’re dead,” Kate mumbled into her mask.
Try our grocery pickup: FoodCorp prides itself on offering grocery pickup, right outside the store!
“But not delivery,” Kate sighed. Too bad, really, about delivery. It’d been nice while it lasted. Groceries, radios, cars, the mail -all of it, brought right to where you lived by someone who didn’t take it for himself. Or, someone who didn’t get killed by raiders.
Associates: it’s the top of the hour.
Kate stiffened. More time had passed than she’d realized. Throwing caution to the winds, she lay on the grubby floor and scrabbled underneath the shelving.
Please ensure your areas are neat and tidy for our customers.
Her glasses scraped and scratched. Straining, she felt an edge of curved, sealed metal. It spun at her fingertips but moved closer. She grunted; pushed; spun; strained; shoved. A dust-grimed can of chili rolled in front of her floor-laid face.
Thank you for shopping at FoodCorp!
“Thank you,” she muttered, coughing into the fabric across her mouth. She clutched the can to herself, raised herself, glanced around herself. Shoppers’ shadows walked across her memory as she retraced her steps down the empty, broken aisle. Had it really only been a few years since sunlight? Shining linoleum? Aproned workers sweeping? Smiling customers that moved their shopping carts aside to let yours through?
Please, come again.
Kate shoved a molding display shelf against the wall and climbed. After peeking beneath it, she lifted the ragged Welcome to FoodCorp! banner and crawled though a hole in the brickwork.
“Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to enclose a little love note inside… Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but loves tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!)… Duty gets offended quickly if it isn’t appreciated, but love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it. Obligation can pour a little glass of milk, but quite often, love adds a little chocolate.“
Reminisced for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: a story that includes something heard on the radio.
September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radion connects people and places. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by September 15, 2020. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
“Do you have your lunch? Your shoes? Your water? Your mask?”
The morning routine for school is more complicated. Each Monday and Wednesday, I ensure that four boys are fully equipped. The downside is they’ve more to remember, in bringing a personal water bottle (no drinking fountain use preferred) and mask (to be worn all day, except whilst eating lunch).
On the plus side, they remember to brush their teeth on their own. It turns out that they can’t stand the smell of their own breath inside a mask when they forget…
School drop-off looks a bit different as well. The children are assigned to line up on the school’s soccer field; by class, six feet apart. An aide marches each class in at the first bell. Latecomers check in through the office, as usual, but I am not allowed to walk them back to their class -a problem when anxiety rears its head.
After school, I retrieve mine from other groups of talking, eye-smiling, laughing children. The elementary students wear their masks, still; the middle schoolers do not. Once home, I make them all drop their clothes in the washer and wash their hands; again, my middle-schooler sometimes ‘forgets.’
But we’ve yet to see Coronavirus. The closest that green-mist plague has come is “possible exposure” to a neighbor’s daughter who is on a school dance team. They were told to remain home for two weeks, test or no.
It’s odd, this Coronalife. I feel like a closet zealot in my opinions, believing that IT might come again while so many friends and neighbors doubt ITs existence or, at least, ITs potency. I can’t say I blame them, since the friends who take IT very seriously are turning a bit crazy: not answering doors even to their deliveries, washing off the same sort of groceries I immediately put away, and watching from windows as we play on scooters while their children watch iPads.
A relative of mine went off the deep end during quarantine. I never mentioned it till now. That person is fine…er now. But she/he told me that she/he had to make a choice about what was more important: sanity or security. Day by day, I’m being shown that ‘security’ isn’t that secure, so why not choose the sanity?
Sneeze-clouds and doorknob-lickings aside, I feel infection may be avoided or lessened if one uses common sense. Right? And, common sense may still be allowed outside.
On another note, Utah experienced a massive wind last Tuesday. Elements combined to create the perfect storm. Winds nearing or surpassing 100 mph (161 kmh) tore across the northern part of the state, ripping down trees and signs and felling semi-trucks on the interstate.
I received periodic e-mail messages from our power company. The first said 180,000 customers were without power. Another, the next day, said they’d gotten that number down to 96,000. I didn’t receive another after that, but learned that some did not have electricity for four days.
I also read stories of neighbors helping neighbors. The National Guard cleared debris, too. In a time of need, people stepped up to the challenge.
Which is the message I wish to convey today, in the shadow of September 11. Despite what some followers may suspect, I remember 9/11. Moreover, I remember the days that followed. In the aftermath of a terrible disaster, we came together for each other. People in NYC wrote messages of hope in the ash coating firetrucks. American flags flew from buildings and homes. Complete strangers sat and talked and cried and comforted each other.
We may be living in this post-apocalyptic setting of masks, signs, and shortages for some time yet. But, if we can remember our humanity, we can get through this. Together, we can get through anything.
Welcome, one and all, to the best source of funny poetry on the web! (If not, it very soon will be…)
We had several fine entrants on the subject of Eccentrics, and the winner is:
Untitled, by Richmond Road An embarrassing mess was my brother With one leg that was short. Not the other Which made this eccentric Walk in circles concentric Causing constant distress to our mother
Richmond Road won for being the funniest and most limerickest. Basically, I laughed the most.
But his wasn’t the only one to elicit a few, painful snickers. Read the others and see:
Untitled, by Dumbest Blogger There was a young boy with a poker Who ate an extremely large porker He burped quite a bit And then licking his lips He swallowed the cow in the clover
Untitled, by TanGental To be considered a true eccentric Don’t dye your hair or develop a tic Forget the multi-coloured spats And avoid wearing tweedy hats. Keep a steady gaze and be authentic.
Untitled, by Matt Snyder at night across the rooftops ran a kid named Matt without a stitch of clothes on his person, he was also quite fat Perhaps it was the thrill of being caught by a girl Instead he was adored by a cat
A Paean To The Patron Of Poor Poetry, by Obbverse Now expired William Topaz McGonagall was our inspirations name, His well-intended worthless words Will was all too wont to proclaim, But Willy’s laboured literary constructions sat ill-fittingly, Serious tragedies becoming comedies, albeit unwittingly, Eternally re-nouned as the worlds poorest poet, to his undying shame.
Lug Nut, by Obbverse His Mum remained inanely chatty and cheerful Even as Vinnie grew quiet, depressed, then tearful, Vin had suffering in silence down to an fine art So Mrs Van Gogh found the the real crazy part Was when Vinnie cut her off only to give her an earful.
Untitled,by Gary I am English and I am most certainly very eccentric I drive a car the shape of a teapot but don’t worry, it’s electric I have a fine collection of pink britches with matching bowler hats Let’s not forget I live underground with my cross dressing pampered cats And pray tell what’s wrong shopping in a musical codpiece when it’s authentic
Here ya go!, by Ruth Scribbles There once was an eccentric old lady Who was said to be really quite crazy An obnoxious artist she was And extremely heartless because She was left at the altar all lacy
Untitled,by Michael Fishman Henry wanted his in-laws to leave So he sneezed really loud in his sleeve The in-laws, abhorred, to the door they rushed toward. And a sigh of joy Henry did heave.
Thanks to everyone who entered. Please return on the morrow for next week’s prompt! Tell your friends! Tell your acquaintances! Tell your mom!
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