5 more things to worry about


I work with a very nice woman named Brenda, who loves her car. I mean really, REALLY loves it.

She only drives it on days when there is no rain in the forecast. She stores it in the winter so that it is never driven in the snow. She vacuums it out every night. If you ride with her, you are instructed to make sure you pick up your feet when you enter it, to as to not soil the kick plate. Brenda doesn’t get many passengers and I’m sure she’s just fine with that.

My relationship with my car is a bit different. I have a long commute each morning and tend to have breakfast in the car while I’m driving. I also have a large dog who sheds, so I cover the back seat with a “hammock” that keeps the seat somewhat covered. Somewhat.

In short, my car is not in showroom condition, although I do prefer clean to cluttered. I decided that I needed a small vacuum to help keep it respectable, so I went online to that Online Retailer We All Love to Hate and found a small shop-vac that received rave reviews and I can see why.

For one thing, this little guy is cute–there’s just no other word for it. It’s a small version of a wet/dry vacuum used in workshops, although the canister is only 1.5 US gallons. It has built-in wheels, a strong motor, and several attachments. What’s not to love?

It is perfect for what I need but I am not here to talk about its features. No, I want to discuss the warnings in the User Manual.

Having written more than one manual in my time, I understand the precautions that the Legal Department takes. If we warn them in the manual, we might not get sued if something goes wrong.

Being the jaded woman that I am, I just enjoy reading these warnings for their entertainment value. This little vacuum, generated 24 warnings in the manual. Here are my favorites:

1. Do not allow to be used as a toy.

Sorry, kids. You’ll just have to ride the dog instead.

2. Do not pick up anything that is burning or smoking, such as cigarettes, matches, or hot ashes.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Duh.”

3. Use extra care when cleaning on stairs.

I live in an old house with a twisting, narrow stair case. I just want to say “Thank you” for this important reminder.

4. Do not use your cleaner as a sprayer of flammable liquids such as oil base paints, lacquers, household cleaners, etc.

Well, this pretty much wipes out my plans for Saturday, but I appreciate the information.

5. To avoid spontaneous combustion, empty tank after each use.

OK, this one creeps me out. I watched the movie “Spinal Tap” and I remember how they lost 2 drummers to spontaneous combustion. Now I’m really concerned.

I didn’t realize that Brenda was putting her life on the line every time she vacuumed out her car. Maybe I should warn her about the spontaneous combustion?

6 thoughts on “5 more things to worry about

  1. Oh my gosh. I snickered at #1 and was on the floor at #5. I work with a gal who would take these literally and an argument would begin to brew. What in the &##^#^#^ Is her problem–these things are meant to be funny, right?!! 🙂 Good one, Kate.


  2. I just hope your are never sentenced to sit in day-long meetings with Legal hashing out these disclaimers.
    Appreciated your comments and your warped sense of humor, which just happens to mirror mine.


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