02 July 2008

I'm a Dummy, You're a Dummy

We all make mistakes. And when we do, there's usually - hopefully - someone around to utter one of these two phrases, "It can happen to anyone, don't worry about it", or "I've done that myself a thousand times, no big deal".

What these consolers are really saying is, "Hey dummy, you're no dumber than the rest of us dummies - feel better now?"

And the answer is - YES! People seem to have a psychological need to be reassured that they are not idiots, or that, at least, they are no more idiotic than the next idiot.

Which brings us to the case of the Tiki Torch Oil and the Apple Juice.

One New Jersey resident died, and four others were sickened - one severely - by drinking tiki torch fuel that they had confused with apple juice. One of the victims is reportedly a toddler living right here in Hillsborough.

The outcomes are tragic enough, but get this. Of the 20 comments posted about this story on MyCentralJersey.com, not one person has offered up one of the magic phrases.

Take a look at these two photos and decide whether or not we're all being a little harsh.

I sure wouldn't put these two bottles out in front of a two year old. This would be no different than pasting a picture of the Kool-Aid guy on the red can where I store my lawnmower gas.

I would say that while confusing these two bottles might not "happen to anyone", the real idiots in this story are the manufacturers who sell their apple juice colored lamp oil in a clear apple juice bottle shaped package. And to them I say, "Hey dummies, you ARE dumber than the rest of us, and someone died - feel better now?"

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