August 11, 2003
In Case You Haven't Lost all Hope in Humanity

While cruising this Consumer Reports article on child seats, I came across this illuminating tidbit:

Car-seat instruction manuals may be part of the problem [of children being injured in accidents even when in car seats]. Such manuals are written at a 10th-grade reading level, on average, according to a study from researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. As such, the study says, the manuals are too hard for many parents to understand.

So, let's let that sink in for a bit. The reason why kids are getting hurt and killed, according to this study at least, is because people can't f-ing read at a high school level?!?

The tragic thing is, I can understand this. 80% of the people around here expect me to read the manual so I can teach them how to use a piece of software (which I, of course, have no other use for). Studies everywhere are showing something like 75% of VCR users don't even know how to set the clocks on the things. Yesterday I actually heard this conversation at a gas station:

Chick: "You want me to do what?"

Guy: "Pump the gas in your car while I fill up mine"

Chick: "But I don't know how to do that! How do I do it?"

Open up a book people. Read the letters. Those squiggly lines mean something. If you get confused, that means there's something wrong with YOU, not the instructions. Stop being stupid and start figuring shit out. Ok, just so we can all be clear on exactly how this works, let's do a little review here:

How to learn to read baby seat instructions in 7 easy steps

  1. Open package. Do not eat contents, do not place head in bag.
  2. Remove paper marked "INSTRUCTIONS." Do not throw away, do not use to wipe ass, do not stare quizzicaly at them like a Planet of the Apes extra.
  3. READ THE FREAKING INSTRUCTIONS one step at a time.
  4. NO, REALLY, JUST READ THE FIRST STEP. It's not a novel, skipping to the end won't help you.
  5. Perform the first step. No, really, just the first step. Don't decide you know it all just from feel.
  6. If you get confused, you're probably trying to do 3 steps at once, or you're just stupid. GO BACK AND JUST TRY THE FIRST STEP YOU MORON.
  7. Now repeat with step 2, then step 3, until you run out of things to read.

And don't give me any of this [whine]"I tried really hard but it just didn't make any seeeeeeense"[/whine]. You didn't try hard enough you mouth breathing sack of sh*t! Missing "All My Children" because you're holding the instruction sheet upside down is one thing, but this is your kid here. Go to the damned "Babies R Big Bux" and find out when the next car seat inspection happens. If you ended up with one LATCH hook in your ear and the other in your ass, they'll get you all sorted out for free.

While you're at it, go read a book. One without pictures this time.

Posted by scott at August 11, 2003 02:59 PM

eMail this entry!

Rule #1: People am stoopid.

Rule #2: When in doubt, refer to rule #1.

I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of human stupidity. I'm surprised that 80% of the earth's population doesn't suffer from chronically-scabbed knuckles. It's not as if they aren't dragging them....

Posted by: Jack Cluth on August 12, 2003 09:46 AM

Susie was here

Posted by: Susie on August 12, 2003 11:08 AM

the depth of stupidity is amazing....

you need a license to drive, a license to fish, a license to... well, you get the point.

Hoping you're smart enough to get through the instructions which when you really think about it, if you have half a brain, you really don't need to figure out how to put a fucking car seat in a CAR!!!! Sure, with the fancy-dancy little straps and gizmos, you might have to check on what you're doing, but it's not fucking brain-surgery! Around here, once you've gotten through that sandtrap, you can go to the local police station at scheduled times and they will double-check the seat, fix it if it's wrong and (most importantly) SHOW YOU WHAT YOU DID WRONG AND SHOW YOU HOW TO DO IT RIGHT! That's right, the cops will HELP you. I know most of the morons who can't figure out a carseat are also probably on the most wanted list, but hey, it's worth a shot, don't you think?

Posted by: Jim S on August 13, 2003 03:22 PM
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