Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Tagging Alert

When you saw the heading "tagging alert," you assumed The Laughorist was referring to the blogging phenomenon of tagging, which I won't explain because a) I hardly know what it is (is it a meme chose in English?) and b) I rarely indulge. No, I was referring to the ominous tag one finds on a pillow or a mattress, the one that says:

UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER

or words to that effect.

It used to be more foreboding, with the last four words omitted.

The nightmares this caused me as a kid!

Years ago, say in the early 1970s, The Saturday Review magazine, now defunct, I believe, had a cartoon about this. A house was surrounded by tanks, a helicopter with spotlights on the home, and military personnel. The caption read something like: "We have word you tore off a mattress tag."

I once heard this tagging business had something to do with tracing fibers in the event of a crime, something enacted after the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. I am too lazy to research the accuracy of that.

I do know it is meant as a protection against consumer fraud in these sleep products, aiming to prevent vermin and what-not in pillows and mattresses. (Well, c'mon, the manufacturer simply cannot be held responsible when a drunken person drags home a nasty critter to one's pillow or mattress. I mean, let's be reasonable. While we're on the subject, ever notice how when a person describes the effects of bringing home a less-than-attractive bedmate, only to discover the unpalatable horror of it all the next morning, NO ONE EVER ADMITS TO BEING THE UGLY ONE?!?) Anyway, the tag is meant to prevent manufacturers from putting in ostrich feathers when they declare the contents to be peacock feathers or genuine synthetic beaver bristles or whatever.

This came to mind because I recently bought a pillow from Target. And then another one. At first I thought I wanted a hard one. didn't work. Neither does the soft one. My Goldilocks Syndrome is killing me. A pillow is such an intimate device. And I am such a fussy, challenged sleeper.

Warning tags.

Our society puts such a premium on these intimate sleep products.

Can you imagine the warning labels we could really use?

How about the same sort of dire warning labels for fast-food products, ill-fitting undies, workplace cubicles, automotive vehicles, babies, textbooks, computer manuals, marriages, credit cards, sitcoms, dating services, airport novels, and would-be-humorous bloggers? Hunh? How about it?

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