Law Thirty-Six

You gotta go with what works

Ketchup bottle

Virgin train toilets talk to you


Our often litigious society means that we are surrounded by unnecessary warning messages. For example:

Takeaway coffee cup with several lines of warnings

Interesting reading

And also:

Sign saying 'Do not breathe under the water'

Don’t even try to

Or the very handy:

Sign saying 'Hot water is hot'

So true

I also came across reference to some hair straighteners with the warning ‘for external use only’, but without an image of the actual packaging, I can’t prove that one is true.

Once you start from the premise that people are unable to function in every day life without being told what to do all the time, it’s hard to know when to stop. So we get these things:

Ketchup bottle

Just for my wife, this one

Door buzzer and sign saying 'please buzz'

Actually, could do with one of these signs myself

Instructions for opening and closing a tap

Sorry – a bit fuzzy

Sign saying 'add ice for cold drink'


And it’s only one short step from here to Humphrey Lyttelton explaining the game ‘One Song to the Tune of Another‘ on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

If you need more instructions than that – well, there’s something wrong with you.

My wife is in London today for a 大会議, and since she doesn’t travel to London very often, I sent her on her way with instructions on which trains to catch, how to top up her Oyster card, how to walk from the tube station to where she was going, etc. Unfortunately, I forgot to include the instruction to lock the toilet door on the train before doing your business. Big mistake.

And then I remembered that Virgin Trains are already on the case with this, and that newly refurbished toilets talk to you with helpful advice. Here’s a recording I made back in November.

Always helpful, those Virgin people…


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