36. Scientific Truth in Product Warning Labels
Note to the non-scientific: these are all true.
by Susan Hewitt and Ed Subitzky
As scientists and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend towards legislation that requires the prominent placing of warnings on products that present hazards to the general public. Yet we must also offer the cautionary thought that such warnings, however well- intentioned, merely scratch the surface of what is really necessary in this important area. This is especially true in light of the findings of 20th century physics.
We are therefore proposing that, as responsible scientists, we join together in an intensive push for new laws that will mandate the conspicuous placement of suitably informative warnings on the packaging of every product offered for sale in the United States of America. Our suggested list of warnings appears below.
WARNING: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.
WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them.
CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.
HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.
CONSUMER NOTICE: Because of the "Uncertainty Principle," It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.
ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.
READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.
THIS IS A 100% MATTER PRODUCT: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.
NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a "Gluing" Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.
ATTENTION: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Re-emerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot Be Guaranteed.
(The above is from Volume 36, Number 1 of The Journal of Irreproducible Results.
Copyright 1991 Blackwell Scientific Publications Inc.
3 Cambridge Center, Cambridge MA 02141