Everyone in the world is getting sarcastic. It's not just comedians and dicks anymore. Years ago, sarcasm was reserved for people talking to people stupider than them. Now the stupids are fighting back, and doing it so badly, you can't trust anything people say anymore. Here's a true story that might show you what I mean. I was sitting in a local Starbucks, silently kicking ass with a book, and a man came in asking for a double diet frapacheeny decaf ventie some shit. The guy behind the counter said, "Ooooh... we're out of that."
Man: "Oh. Well then I'll have..."
Starbucks: "Ha ha ha, I was being SARCASTIC. We have [whatever]."
Man: "Okay. I'll take one then."

After the man left, the people who worked there wiped their sense off on their aprons and called the guy an idiot. An idiot for believing what the coffee kid told him. If believing things that clerks say makes a person an idiot, then that makes every person on the planet an idiot, including me, and that's medically impossible. I was a little confused at the time, but I didn't ask the brilliant kid wiping the counter to explain it to me. On the ride home I realized it was funny because he said he didn't have the thing, but he really did have the thing*. All that man had to do to know it was a joke was sneak in the back to check the shop's inventory, make sure all their machines were working, and get back out as silent as the night. That coffee-ordering man really was an idiot. It proves the theory that the only true geniuses we have left are the people doing inventory at Starbucks.

*There are variations on this gag. You might pull up to a gas station some day and the attendant will say "Sorry, pal! We're out of gas!" It's a good one. In fact, I might start keeping an empty gas tank in my house just for when I need a good laugh. Not having gas is hilarious! It's killing me! There's still no gas in the tank! Every time I check I laugh!

I understand that people at Starbucks or fast food places might just be doing it as a dayjob until their acting career takes off or until their patent finally goes through for Lazer Shoes 2000. When you see them at the bar, they might tell you they're a writer. No. They're a burger flipper with a diary. Let me give you an example from my own life again. Sometimes when I'm driving across town I might scream, "Are you ready to rock, Highway 26?!" and sing a Whitesnake song out the window. And when I get off the highway I'll scream, "How are you feeling out there, Market Street! I was just on 26, and they said they knew how to rock! But Market Street! Market Street knows how to ROCK HARD!!! YeeeAAHHHHH!" I can do that all day. But you know what? When I get to where I'm going, I don't tell people I'm a rock star.

So if someone at the coffee shop starts to give you shit, don't take it. No matter what you do for a living, chances are you have a better station in life than someone standing next to a milk steamer making drinks that take longer to pronounce than drink. But power struggles with these people can be tricky. All it takes is one grumpy employee with a mouth full of spit to turn you into the bitch. You may wear a tie to work and drive a BMW to financial freedom, but that guy in the apron didn't drink somebody else's spit on his lunchbreak.
Local Jeff rings up a purchase!
"Dinner rolls and a book about gay bandits... that'll be ONE MILLION DOLLARS, please! Ha ha ha ha. I'm just kidding."

Gay Bandit
Closeup of purchased book.

Delicious Mr. Bubbles
"Don't drink Mr. Bubbles" is pretty good advice, but here's some that might be better: If someone thinks Mr. Bubbles is juice, maybe you should let them drink it. If you stop them, chances are they'll be dead from drinking something else within a month anyway, so they might as well get poisoned by something that will make them shoot out fun, beautiful bubbles when you kick their corpse.

You might have consciously thought there was no way I could work in Mr. T to an article about warning labels. If you did, eat it. Because here are some of the safety regulations from the back of Mr. T's Water War. Here are some more. My favorite: Do not throw solid objects at Mr. T. Best damn advice I've ever heard. If you fuck up with a plastic bag, you can pull it off your face. If you fuck up with Mr. T, you better have a good doctor, fool.
I've figured out how the world got so uncontrollably sarcastic. It's warning labels. Everything we buy is covered in directions and warnings so ridiculous that the only people who could benefit from them have no prayer of actually being able to read them. How can you not be sarcastic when the packaging material in your stereo tells you it's not food? There are things the size of a football that are legally obligated to call themselves choking hazards. I understand babies love to eat matchbox cars, but if something's more than a foot wide, it shouldn't say "CHOKING HAZARD." It should say, "GO AHEAD AND TRY TO EAT THIS, MR. BIGMOUTH."

Funtastic Fact: The only warning label on the Billy Bass singing fish is "USE PARENTAL SUPERVISION WHEN CHANGING BATTERIES." Of all the products in the world, this thing needs warnings more than anything. For example, "CAUTION: PRODUCT WILL ROB YOU OF ANY SENSE OF PRIDE." or "WARNING: YOUR PURCHASE OF THIS DEVICE HAS FLAGGED YOU AS AN EXPENDABLE CITIZEN IN THE GOVERNMENT'S DE-POPULATION PROGRAM."

You didn't really think these singing fish were invented to make us laugh did you? We have shitty senses of humor (see record-breaking opening weekend of Scary Movie), but we're not actually stupid enough to buy thousands of plastic singing fishes are we? That's the question our government asked in a ground-breaking sociological experiment where scientists released the Billy Bass to the public. Its arrival to the market coincided with a letter to the military reading,
"Dear military. I know you must get a lot of mail so thank you for reading this. We are from the other branch of the government that temporarily stopped making toilets that flush themselves to develop singing fish technology. If 2,000,000 of these units are sold, the American public will be officially declared uselessly (perhaps dangerously) stupid, and you can test whatever weapons you want on them. Thank you again. Enclosed: two chocolates & unicorn sticker."

Funtastic Fact #2: According to Amazon.com customers, the Billy Bass' educational value rates 1.5 out of 5 stars. How does this affect your life? Well, not only are lots of people buying the fish, all of them find it at least a little bit educational. And I'd be very very careful who you talk to about that. Because the person who bought that fish is dangerous. And this buttoned-down oxford cloth psycho might just snap and then stalk from office to office with an Armalite AR-10 carbine-gas-powered semi-automatic weapon... pumping round after round into colleagues and co-workers. This might be someone you've known for years. Someone very... very close to you. Tyler's words coming out of my mouth. And I used to be such a nice guy.

Above: Warning taken from Police Force Soft Target Set, a toy gun purchased from a grocery store. The saucers it fired nearly went across the room, but only if you walked four inches, picked up the bullet and shot it again many many times. You had to shoot it from point blank range, it didn't have enough force for your skin to bother to register something hit it, and if there were winds in excess of 2 miles per hour in your face, the bullet didn't have the strength to leave the chamber. Most times in fact, you had to point the barrel down and make sound effects when the bullet slid slowly out onto the floor. So it's really disturbing that something as harmless as this needed to give us four safety regulations, but not even close as disturbing as the retarded guy they dressed up in a cop costume for the front of the package.

Blag!  You under arrest!  For not giving me a cookie!  Cookie is good!
No matter how much baby cries for it, do not place over head.
You almost can't pick a product up without laughing out loud. A plastic bag will tell you not to put it in an infant's playpen. A bottle of detergent might tell you not to eat it. Who the fuck thought I was going to eat detergent? "Honey, this makes our glasses spot-free, and I bet it tastes great on a cracker!" Do the plastic bag manufacturers picture us standing around a playpen and deciding whether or not to decorate our babies' cribs with plastic bags?

Wife: "You know, sweetheart, it looks like the baby's crib needs a few more plastic bags."
Husband: "That's right, honey. And if we covered the entire bottom in choking hazard brand plastic bags, we wouldn't have to change the sheets for weeks! We could just tip the crib and let all that time-consuming babymess drain drain! drain!! away from our memories!"
Wife: "All that sheet changing. All that cleaning. How did we ever get by without plastic bag bedding?"
Husband: "Plus, they make a great dental dam to keep those sores of yours off my face!"

Ridiculous warning labels come from two places: fucking idiots and people pretending to be fucking idiots for the purposes of a lawsuit. If people find out you're intelligent, you're going to have a hard time convincing them that you didn't know it would hurt if you poured hot coffee on yourself. If you say something like that, you better follow it by saying, "UURBLLGGGG," blowing spit bubbles, and shitting in your pants. A non-idiot is never going to tell a room full of people that they ate an odor eater because "the box didn't tell them not to." No, if you managed to get to adulthood, chances are you've figured out what products kill you when you eat them, and what's okay to pour on yourself. It's only a matter of years before we won't even be able to watch TV because the screen will be obstructed by giant words saying, "DO NOT RAM HEAD THROUGH. NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY."

Continue to Part 2... you're about to embark on a fantastic journey
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