Book 4 – The World’s Stupidest Instructions by Michael O’Mara

Book – The World’s Stupidest Instructions
Author – Michael O’Mara
Year – 2004
Genre – Toilet Book
Bought for me by my sister Jeni

This is the first book of my blog which would fall under the category of ‘Toilet Book’, which loosely translated, means any book that can remain in the bathroom for reading from time to time in short bursts. It is also likely to be the shortest book I read in this year’s challenge, as I whipped through it in barely any time at all.

To give you an idea of the content, I shall show you some samples, picked at complete random right now –

“Safe For Use Around Pets – found on a box of cat litter”

“Please do not turn on TV except in use – hotel bedroom”

“Do not use in shower – on a hairdryer”

So as you can see, it fulfills the Ronseal test of doing what it says on the tin and explains a whole bunch of silly instructions that management felt/were legally required to place on their products, in their shop windows and upon their advertising.

Some of them are funny. Advice suggesting that those allergic to aspirin do not take aspirin, or the warning note ‘Some Assembly Required’ on a jigsaw puzzle, are lines that should raise a smile with most people. However, a whole book of them means that the joke wears thin, and by about page thirty I had had enough. It doesn’t help that some of them are not anywhere near funny – the London Underground sign saying ‘Dogs Must Be Carried’ is one that with some searching I can see how it can be perceived with a humourous slant, but could never even crack the tiniest of smiles at due to it being entirely unfunny – leaving the whole book as a little bit of a waste of time.

There will be plenty more ‘ toilet books’ on the list over the coming year, but hopefully they will all have a little more worth than this one, and prove to be a mile more entertaining.


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