Vs. Do Not Attempt

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Odds and Ends
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  No one knows when the generic warning – Do Not Attempt – was first used.  Perhaps our braver Neanderthal ancestors would run, haphazardly, towards a wooly mammoth with only a sharpened rock…while his buddy would hold everybody else back, muttering, “Do not attempt.”  Or, more likely, it’s a relatively new phrase.  Either way, I see it consistently used in the most ridiculous places.

The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Vic...

This time...really, do not attempt

A recent All-State commercial got me thinking about this specifically.  You know the series of insurance commercials where Dean Winters plays Mayhem (speaking of mayhem, did you know that this guy had a bacterial infection in 2009 and died in the ambulance to the hospital…his heart stopped beating for over two minutes before he was revived…I guess that’s type casting)?  I think these commercials are relatively clever.  It’s just the disclaimer that bothers me.

In the commercial I’m thinking of, Mayhem is playing the role of blind spot.  So, Mr. Winters is clinging to the outside of a mini-van that is barreling down the freeway – he tells the driver to make a lane change, and the mini-van is struck by another car.  And, at the bottom of the screen, are those three friendly words, Do Not Attempt.

Who is this for?


Is there anyone, anywhere watching this commercial and calling out to their better half, “Hey, honey, this commercial seems to be advocating riding on the exterior of the car.  And, also, the product seems to suggest that we ought to barrel into other vehicles while loosely clinging to the outside of our automobile.”

And if, by some bizarre stretch of the imagination, that person does exist, do they then say, “Oh, wait, honey, never mind, the commercial goes on to say that we should not attempt this.  Good thing they told me, I was plum confused.”


Image by roberthuffstutter via Flickr

(I’m guessing that anyone that sees this commercial and is inspired to reenact it may not be blessed with the ability to read.  Just a hypothesis.) 

Don’t worry, All-State, nobody was going to attempt this.  Most of us already know that you used movie magic to create this illusion and that no one even attempted this in the first place.  Until you put up your little disclaimer, it had never even crossed our minds to attempt this.  If anything we are slightly more likely to consider this option because you even thought to bring it up. 

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I convince lawyers everywhere that we really don’t need to warn against the obvious?  Give me a second here, I need to touch base with my lawyer and see what my best approach would be…just talk amongst yourselves…

Okay, I’m back.  After speaking with counsel, I’ve realized I have a little housekeeping of my own to do before I can tackle this assignment.  I just need to let all of my readers know that this blog is for external use only.  And, while not necessary, it couldn’t hurt to wear safety goggles while reading.  All posts should be kept away from open flames (then again, what shouldn’t be?)  This blog is not dishwasher safe.  Jokes may not be valid in all states.  Do not read this blog while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment.  Avoid prolonged exposure to my writing.  And, I apologize for this one, blog may cause drowsiness.

All sales are final.

  1. yearstricken says:

    I must remember to put disclaimers on my posts from now on.

  2. Karan says:

    Hey…during the last 5 hours I have read your complete blog and even though it was a very difficult journey I came out of out unscathed.I am afraid you may be liable to me for prolonged exposure to your writing as this post was published just now after I completed my reverse journey through your blog.please send 5 million via western union if you don’t want to be sued.

  3. heathersnyder1 says:

    Although I am one to try death defying feats of craziness…I’ve been rappelling, hang gliding, class IV white water rafting, etc., etc., I will not to try those things that I see in insurance and car commercials. I don’t need their disclaimer at the bottom telling me not to take my car and jump from the top of one building to another. Mayhem does makes it look like fun to ride on the outside of the car like that, I may or may not try it. I have tried laughing like he does in slow motion, though.

    Another note, I did stick this blog post in the dishwasher before reading at the end that I shouldn’t. I have had prolonged exposure to your writing and your blog does not cause drowsiness.

  4. #4 says:

    Getting sleeeeppy……………………..

  5. Debbi says:

    Here’s one to go with that. “A paid actor.” Just saw that one tonight. Like I was going to get confused and think I was watching an actual person waking up in the morning and drinking an energy potion.

  6. Lokyra Stone says:

    Marshmallows should not be kept away from open flame.
    It’s getting creepy how many similar thoughts Heather S. and I have. I also practice the Mayhem laugh.
    Mr. Mayhem is one of my personal heroes.
    Also, do you know if this blog is known to cause cancer in the state of California? Does California find the material comprising this blog post to be flammable?

    • Makya McBee says:

      Stricken – I’m sorry, I forgot to say…Do Not Try This at Home.

      Karan – Five straight hours reading this blog? You didn’t swim immediately afterwards, did you? If the story is true it’s very flattering to know I could hold your attention for that long. Where should I send the money?

      Heather – Glad to hear that my blog does not act as a sedative in your experience. Still, I’d keep it out of the diswasher…my humor’s pretty clean as is.

      #4 – What? Heather just said it didn’t put people to sleep. Dang it.

      Debbi – Yes, and in most of those commercials it should actually read, “A paid bad actor.”

      Lokyra – Oh, goodie, a female bromance…no, this blog is not a carcinogen…and I try not to be inflammatory with my rhetoric.

      • Lokyra Stone says:

        I didn’t realize it was possible to have a female bromance. Intriguing. My world has been turned upside down!
        Other ways this blog could be found flammable-
        Stolen words or concepts
        Perpetual summer

      • Makya McBee says:

        I’m not sure what any of this means…but anytime anyone wants to associate studliness with my blog, I’m on board.

  7. heathersnyder1 says:

    @ Lokyra, hahaha! It’s like we are twins or something. I will admit, I was doing slow motion laughs before Mayhem ever made it popular, though. As well as Slow Motion Dance, Slow Motion Talking and the ever famous Slow Motion Walk Away While a Building Just Blew Up and Burst Into Flames Behind You. But, Mayhem is super cool. He’s my idol, too!

    @ Makya, it’s too late, I stuck another of your posts in the dishwasher. But, I won’t turn it into a parachute and jump out of a plane with it…or would I?
    Hahaha Female Bromance! I think the proper term is called Febromance…maybe…don’t quote me on that…no, I just googled it and it’s not called that. Nevermind!

    • Lokyra Stone says:

      I have done slow motion laughs since I was three days old. However, I prefer the overly-dramatic running and jumping and flying through the air in front of the explosion.

      Febromance? Do you get rid of that with FeBreeze?

  8. Laura4NYC says:

    Do not attempt is used because of the litigious nature of the American nation! It actually cannot be found as frequently on European products, believe it or not.
    And, hehe, wearing my goggles right now. Haven’t experienced drowsiness until now though… Still have to comment on a few more posts! 🙂

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