Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hate: Fine Print

Hey, look who's back!  It's Mr. Bloggenheimer himself!  I actually had someone ask me where I've been for so long (since my last post on 10/31) and I felt all guilty that my legions of fans were up all night waiting for my next post.  It's not that I haven't hated, dug, or didn't get anything in the last six months, I just didn't take the time to share it with you.  My apologies.

So of course I must resume my silliness with something I hate - fine print.  This may seem a bit obvious but my particular distaste for fine print is not that it is required in our litigious society but the way that it is done.  I understand that old ladies will spill the super-hot coffee in their laps at the McDonald's drive-thru and will be represented by scum-sucking lawyers hoping to go fishing in the deep pockets of Mickey-D's.  I got it.  It's 2009 and people want to get rich by buying lotto tickets/winning lawsuits.  Whatever - do what you gotta do, people.  In fact, I'm thinking of poking out my eyeball with a Sharpie because I noticed that that there was no label warning me not to do it and a decent lawyer could get me a nice little nest egg.  I would also be able to park in the handicapped parking spots - assuming I could keep my driver's license.

So my beef is less with the fact that we have to have fine print but does said print have to be so .... fine?  I mean, it's almost as if the people at the Sharpie company don't want me to know stuff!  Surely, that's not true!  Could it possibly be that in the Sharpie fine print, it says "Don't poke yourself in the eye, dumbass, because it'll hurt like hell and, despite getting a parking spot up close, it's just not worth it" and then, when I go and do it, they can say that they warned me and I can sue them all they want but I ain't gettin' a dime?  No one is going to take the time to read the fine print (except the lawyers) so those sneaky Sharpie bastards are just waiting to hose me when I take one for the team and poke out a pupil.  Bastards!

Ever see an ad for some medicine of some kind in a magazine?  Shitsky, talk about fine print overload!  There's more fine print than information about the burning sensation that the medicine is trying to fix!  I'm not quite sure what qualifies as actually needing to be included in the fine print so I think people just put everything in there just to cover themselves.  There's a good chance that I'm not going to use the remedy to my burning sensation to clean my fish tank but the lawyers know that I'll sue the pharmaceutical rep for $3.6million if my goldfish (retail price: 11 cents) starts spending a lot of time floating on his back at the top of the tank.  With all that fine print, my April edition of High Times magazine gets pretty hefty!

There's a new tactic that people are using on TV for the fine print.  The nice people at Big Company, Incorporated are now trying to incorporate the fine print into the conversations going on in the commercials, thusly:

Guy: Man, I have a bitch of a headache
Dude: I'll hook you up with some Headache-Be-Gone, if you'd like.
Guy: Sweet.  I'll take a couple and go drive a forklift.
Dude: My doctor recommends that you take Headache-Be-Gone with food and only when you have had a good night's rest.  Also, he suggests that you don't drive any heavy equipment within one hour of taking a Headache-Be-Gone tablet.  Occasionally, you might have heart palpitations and hair loss as a result of taking Headache-Be-Gone and your wife may suddenly find you unattractive.  You're not pregnant, are you?  Because, you shouldn't take Headache-Be-Gone when pregnant.  Lastly, Headache-Be-Gone tastes like shit.
Guy: Uh, thanks....  I'll just deal with the pain.

Who has these conversations?!  In an effort to eliminate the printed version of fine print, the dumb-ass advertising people have just caused me to change the channel and watch an old episode of The Golden Girls instead of possibly buying their fine product.  Kind of back-fired, if you ask me.

Another way to cram the fine print down my throat is to have some tool say the fine print super-fast at the end of the commercial.  I assume there is some legal requirement for what has to be included in the fine print and the consumer has to be able to read/hear it easily.  Well, I'm here to tell you that this consumer can't understand shit when Mr. Speedy-Talker rattles through the legalese at 100 mph.  A variation on this is to actually do this exercise at the BEGINNING of the commercial which kind of catches everyone off-guard.  Either way, my ears glaze over and the whole thing is just a waste of time and vocal chords - which is probably what the lawyers want in the first place.  Nice work, lawyers.  You suck.

Don't get me wrong, people, I'm a big fan of covering my ass, blank checks and loopholes - and that's pretty much what fine print is all about.  If I don't cover my ass and you find a loophole, you get a blank check from me if you take me to court.  God bless America!

And now I have a headache.