The New Disclaimers

Disclaimers are a weird thing. They started anxiously. “Don’t jump into the lake over there; it looks deep but it’s really shallow.” Such information could literally save your life.

While I don’t know this for sure, I can pretty much surmise that greed made disclaimers what they are today. Greedy attorneys, and greedy plaintiffs.

The sad part is that we don’t even realize how much of a moron most of our cultural disclaimers assume we are. To gauge it properly, you have to carry the logic through to the end.

For instance, “Employees must wash their hands.” And I always want to finish it with, “But the rest of you, don’t worry about it. You’re only carrying the infant stages of the bubonic plague under your finger nails.”

Or this one I clipped off a piece of new clothing for Levi:

Good to know as I frequently hold my child as close as possible to the camp fire, the stove top, and pass him over candles for fun; fire retardant garments are essential for all Hopper activities.

The point is, disclaimers at their very core are incomplete and under-effective. Their creators try (and sadly must) do some critical thinking for us. But they can never replace common sense.

So I vote we replace all present disclaimers with new ones, like:

And finally:

Got any more to add to the list? ch:


Insiders Newsletter

Sign up to become an insider today and get a digital copy of my "Handbook to Self-Publishing" sent to you for free!

  • http://www.gofarr.com Will Farr

    There is one of my favorites:
    DANGER – DO NOT TOUCH – NOT ONLY WILL THIS KILL YOU, BUT IT WILL HURT THE WHOLE TIME THAT YOU ARE DYING.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Nice one. Ha!

  • Sarah

    Interesting thought, Sir Hopper! What about the packages of nuts that say “May contain nuts”?

    BTW, what happened to your blog earlier? It was all spyified. Or something like that. It totally freaked me out.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Totally; we were just talking ’bout that one in my office.

      Our server got hacked. All better now. But yeah, it made my feel special that super spies had targeted my site. Oh yeah!

    • Sarah

      You got hacked? Oh wow. I’m glad it’s all fixed now . . .

      I thought maybe you’d written some kind of spy/sci-fi book and were doing some kind of promo.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Now that would be super cool! (And yes…I have some techno-thrillers up my sleeve for another day).

    • Sarah

      Yeah, that would.

      You do? Now I’m really excited.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      It’s a series that’s been in me for years…so cool…

  • http://www.crmooney.com mooney

    Found on the exit door of the maternity ward:

    Warning: Children are a reflection of their parents, so if yours turns out to be a selfish, inconsiderate twit, look in the mirror. look in the mirror.

    And this one:
    ¡Peligro! Los republicanos quieren comer a sus bebés! Votar por los demócratas.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      LOL #priceless (both of them)

    • http://www.crmooney.com mooney

      lol, google translate sux sometimes, supposed to read: “eat” not “feed” lol

  • http://realmofhearts.blogspot.com/ RyanPaigeHoward

    Haha this was a pretty funny post. Thanks for the laugh. Disclaimers can be weird and some can be rather scary. My crazy sister works at a cave that has a zip-line, spelunking(crazy insane deep adventure under ground tour) and rappelling. For all three of these things you must sign a three page disclaimer that stats in many bizarre different ways, which could simply be put “May cause death or serious injury. What you are about to do is extreme and dangerous.” Who knew that? Common sense would tell you that this is a dangerous thing to do, yet many of us still do it… maybe some of us need some extra common sense. ;-)

    BTW I’m sorry to hear that your wonderful blog got hacked… I do like the new blue colors you have done and I don’t know if you know this but your Favicon (I think that’s what’s it’s called) says AF on the top left corner by your website link. Silly hackers.

    May you and your beautiful fam have a blessed week!

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Oooo, I grew up doing all those crazy things in Boy Scouts. Shame though: I never got to sign a crazy waiver.

      Yes, in repairing my site, it’s been left a little dysfunctional. Should be remedied soon.

  • http://christiandfahey.wordpress.com/ Christian Fahey

    “But it’s pretty funny to watch you get bit on the security cameras.” Hilarious! Funny the disclaimers that are born in a litigation-crazed society where the attorneys have their day in the sun.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Too true.

      And yet you subtly imply a day where that sun will set on them…

      …I’m intrigued. What do you think that era could look like?

    • http://christiandfahey.wordpress.com/ Christian Fahey

      Aye, Sir Christopher, a day when common sense shall once again rule the realm and indeed the Earth. “Twill be glorious and less annoying. Like a world without mosquitoes.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Or tics.

  • Glade

    I’ve always loved putting my finger against the rearview mirror and then reading the sign underneath that says “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”!

    Or what if there was a disclaimer on the side of a box of matches that said, “Do not keep refrigerated; keep away from stove”?

    Cool look, by the way. *glances around at aqua blue on screen*

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Nice ones! :)

      The aqua-blue is some stick code. It will all be changed soon. But glad you like it in the interim.

  • David Wakeman

    Here’s one:
    Don’t be stupid.

    that ought to cover just about everything.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Or that, yes.

  • Megan J.

    I’m a fan of this sign I see in many restaurants… “Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.” Not quite a disclaimer, but kind of. Always makes me chuckle.

    • http://www.christopherhopper.com Christopher Hopper

      Ah yes! I first saw this in a coffee shop in NC and (obviously, knowing me) took a picture. I laughed so hard and – had I had a kid with me – totally would have left them unattended just to see this policy in action.

  • gabe

    this is kinda late, but…

    i heard that there was a warning that said “WARNING! Cape does not enable wearer to fly” on a batman costume.