Monday, December 16, 2013

more things need warning labels and expiration dates

This bear spray expired 11 years ago.  Want to test it out?
In the wildland firefighting world we are constantly checking our gear and equipment because we rely on it for our survival.  We are always inventorying and looking at even the little things.  Statements like this can often be heard throughout our hangar:

"The eyewash is expired! We need to buy more, or somebody needs to have an eye injury and use it. Haha, just kidding."

"This bottled water expired in 2010! Can water really expire?"

"This bear spray has an expiration date of 2002!  Think it's still good?"

"YOU GUYS.  Please clean out the fridge!  There's milk in here from three months ago!"

It occurred to me that it would be great if there were more expiration dates in other aspects of life.  For example:

Bad Moods.  If you knew when grumpiness and general irritability would end, both in yourself and others, life would be easier.  Upon seeing someone in a bad mood, you could practice see and avoid techniques, as in, "Oh look, it says here that my sister's bad mood will be over at 8:00 Monday evening, but if I want to accelerate the process, give her some chocolate."  For yourself, you could take a *cough* sick day *cough* until the expiration date passed.

Jobs.  Everyone's had one of those...the job where you stayed just a little too long.  (Hi, current boss, not this one!)  Job offers should come with this information:  "Hello, corporate slave, welcome to your new position. Just so you know, your excitement and enthusiasm for this position will expire on April 27, 2017.  Please plan ahead and avoid major purchases around this date.  Continuing in this position until the sweet embrace of death is possible, however, increased annoyance and intolerance will occur."

Boyfriends.  If only that person came with a label, such as, "Warning! This boyfriend expires in May, 2011.  Symptoms of declining performance in this boyfriend include: phone call avoidance, extreme backpedaling, and increased interest in other women.  Proceed at your own risk, however, there are no warranties, implied or otherwise."  Of course, there are those who are shelf-stable, need no refrigeration, and are good for life!  This kind needs no warning label and never expires.

That workout funk.  Anyone who has exercised regularly for awhile knows this one.  For some reason, a 3 mile run seems like torture; you get surly just thinking about the gym.  Wouldn't it be nice to know when this would be over?  For example:  "This workout funk will last two days.  Go for a walk instead."  Then you could check your calendar: "Oh, the funk is over! Time to go run the Hill of Doom! This is going to be great!"

Weight fluctuations.  You know when you feel like you are eating well and exercising but for some reason your weight is up?  Well, here's where a nice warning label would come in handy: "Hi there.  The universe is going to mess with your weight for four days, just cause it's fun and because a butterfly in Asia flapped its wings somewhere.  Don't weigh yourself! I said, don't weigh yourself!  Stop!" Wouldn't it be a relief not to CSI your food journal to find out which gram of sodium or gluten particle caused this and instead just relax a little?

What do you think? What else could use an expiration date or warning label?


  1. Yep, I wish my bad moods and workout funk would expire quickly sometimes too! I like the idea of administering chocolate to end bad moods. That would likely work for me! :)

    1. Yes, it works! A happy cat or dog does also!

  2. It would be good to know the expiration date on below zero temps and no sun....oh, here comes the sun...temporary expiration of grumpy mood and general owlishness. Now, how long is the expiration period of an up-mood?

  3. Funny column--lots of truthiness there, too. Have you made your sister's mood worse? Is more chocolate necessary? :-)

    Expiration date on teenage angst--I would have given a lot to know that one.


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