Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanks for the instructions...I think

I've always been a read-the-instructions first kind of guy.

I know I may be in the human population minority in this trait, but more times than not I learn something by reading the manual for a new purchase and the other times I find myself going back to the manual when something goes wrong with my initial usage.

Case in point, the daytime running lights on my wife's 4-door made-in-Tennessee import are on all the time, making it somewhat inconvenient when driving through the myriad of lighting displays that are all the rage throughout Oklahoma this time of the year.

I have never figured out how to disable the lights, and every time we find ourselves puttering through yet another spectacle of seasonal lights, I knock myself on the head and state out loud,"Darn it, someday I'm going to read that owner's manual and figure out how to turn off those darn daytime running lights!"

Writer's note - they apparently don't ever go off, and there is no built-in override for the sensor. There is a mod however, that I found on an online auto forum (Tech Service Bulletin EL011-00), as well as a mickey-duck kludgy way to temporarily trick the twilight sentinel.

Yep, instructions are your friend. Unless you don't understand Chinglish. Then, you're in big trouble.

Case in point, today while picking up a prescription at our local small town pharmacy, I was cruising the "gift" aisle (those Jean Nate after bath splash gift sets never get old) and stumbled upon this wonder of Made in China packaging. Pulling my digicam, I snapped these, being careful not to read the text, else the pics would be blurred and fuzzy due to my jelly belly rolled laughter.

A remote toy car that drives up walls! Speed Racer, eat your heart out. Who wouldn't want one of these?

Note the large font and bold lettering - this text must really be important...

Feeling feverish lately? Could be your improper use of batteries. And apparently hair is not something you want to wear when operating this toy.

The intended meaning of the grammar is semi-obvious, however getting only 5 minutes of playtime for 30-50 minutes of charging time seems a bit much to ask a kid to endure...or a grown-up at that.

I'm not sure if "charging under the guidance of adults in charge" is the best course of action here. These complicated steps seem better suited to 8-year old's who can program the clock vcr.

Though I find this stuff humorous as heck, I can only imagine what some Oklahoma prairieland farmer thinks after looking to the directions when the darn thing "breaks down" after 5 minutes of go time.

Is it any wonder no one reads instructions any longer?

And don't even get me started on having to keep a stock of mini-phillips head screwdrivers on hand just to change out batteries. Whatever happened to plain old plastic-flap-that-breaks-off battery covers on toys and electronic devices?

Batteries not included indeed.

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