I was removing the packet of a new screwdriver the other day when I noticed that the instructions contained the warning, 'Do not insert in ear.' As I set about loosening the screw holding shut the battery compartment on a new plug'n'play computer game, I noted that the batteries came with the helpful advise, 'Do not open.' The game itself suggested the user should play in a brightly lit room, rest for fifteen minutes in every hour and never play when tired. I thought this was being rather hopeful. The additional advice to cease playing in the event of losing consciousness did seem sensible, however.
All this was for a child who came with no warning labels whatsoever and is, without doubt, the most dangerous thing in my house! It is time to redress the balance. The following should be distributed in maternity wards everywhere:
Your child. Care and safety warnings.Did I miss any? Hope things are going well. Thanks for filling me in on your own pokemon-related nicknames. Glad to hear you have a Diglett in the family. I wouldn't call Liz 'Snorlax' to her face, though, no matter how big she's getting.
Congratulations. You are now the proud owner of a new human being. We hope you experience many years of happiness and satisfaction with this product. As with all complex biological systems, however, your offspring will require some care and maintenance to ensure optimum performance. Please take a moment to look over these instructions and familiarise yourself with safe operating procedure. Thank you for your cooperation.
Non-compliance with these warnings may cause malfunction of the product, injury or distress to pets and soft furnishings and/or invalidate your warranty. No returns can be accepted and there are strictly NO REFUNDS.
We hope this new addition to your family brings you joy and pleasure. Good luck.
- Keep away from fires, sharp objects and open tubes of toothpaste.
- Handwash only.
- Product may emit strong odour. This is not a defect.
- Slippery when wet.
- Cross-border transfer may be restricted.
- This product can cause nausea, drowsiness, irritation, despair, anger, frustration or exhaustion. If symptoms persist, seek help, prayer and beer.
- Caution: Contains vomit.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Slippery when covered in suncream.
- Do not throw out with bathwater.
- Risk of high noise levels. Wear ear protection.
- Do not combine with alcohol, excessive sugar, wet cement or fragile valuables.
- Slippery when covered from head-to-toe in purple paint. Note: Also messy.
- Not for use as a floatation device.
- Danger of choking: Product may feed you LEGO while you are sleeping.
- Just plain slippery.
- Warning: Product may contain traces of its grandparents.
- Do not tumble-dry.
- Children in mirrors may be closer than they appear.
- Prone to incessant wittering.
- Do not leave in direct sunlight, cars or trifle. (Cages are fine).
- Contents may stain clothing.
- Requires love, attention, support and university tuition fees. (Not included).
- Waterproof, shockproof and resistant to reason.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
- Do not refrigerate.
- Handcuffs are not a substitute for parental supervision.
Yours in a woman's world,
PS I've just taken a look at the list of possible side-effects of some travelsickness pills we have - one of them is vomiting. Hmmm....