CLOSE
Original image

Scary Warning Labels Photo Contest

Original image

I made a Babies R Us run this morning. Before I left, my wife mentioned that our 12-month-old daughter could use a few more sets of size-12-months pajamas. I didn't walk into the store with any strong preferences. The pajamas should be the right size, look somewhat adorable, and feel sufficiently soft. Oh, and if it's at all avoidable, the pajamas should not spontaneously burst into flames.

I'll admit that I'm not the primary purchaser of baby clothes in our household, so maybe the "Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire" warning is something people just look past, like the "Don't operate a snowmobile" warning on my cough syrup.

When I got home, I did some Googling, and I learned that the labels have been government mandated since June of 2000. Here's the part of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's press release that jumped out at me:

"Children are most at risk from burn injuries that result from playing with fire (matches, lighters, candles, burners on stoves) just before bedtime and just after rising in the morning."

I'm all for keeping kids safe, but shouldn't the warning labels say "Don't let your baby play with your lighter before bedtime (and after rising in the morning)"?*

But enough about my daughter's flammable pajamas. Have you stumbled across any scary, bizarre, unsettling or hilarious warning labels? Do you have a camera? We'll award three (3) t-shirts to our three favorite entries (one shirt per favorite). Email them to flossypics@gmail.com, and we'll post the best of the bunch on the blog next week. And if you don't have photo evidence but remember seeing a good warning label, tell us about it in the comments. [Note: I had the wrong email address listed for much of today, so if anyone sent in a photo to that address, we didn't get it. Sorry about that.]

*I was channeling my inner Brian Regan with this paragraph. "'Danger, Falling Rocks'? Shouldn't that sign read, 'Road Closed'?"

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
Original image
iStock

According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

Original image
iStock
arrow
fun
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
Original image
iStock

If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios