Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Deadly technology

First it was cell phones, then coffe pots and baby bottles. Today, the latest in the Dangers of Technology file (please insert your own ominous drum-roll here):

The Q-Tip of DEATH! (Sorry, the link is in French only...)

Last year, a 43 year old Montrealer woke up one morning with a horrible pain in his ear. Off he went to see his doctor who diagnosed an ear infection, and, I suppose prescribed some sort of medication.

The gentleman felt a if his ear was blocked, and in order to stop the sensation, he stuck a Q-tip in his ear. He perforated his eardrum, the infection wormed its way to his inner ear and from there to his brain. He developed meningitis. Two days later he was dead.

In my opinion, the man was an idiot.

Now they want Health Canada to force swab makers to show on their boxes that the swabs can be dangerous. I dunno, maybe a huge ear on the box with a barred red circle around it?

Now there are a few things I would like to know:

  • Statistically, what are the chances of my killing myself with a cotton swab?

  • What percentage, among all users of cotton swabs actually eventually perforate their eardrums?
People, the idea behind a cotton swab is not to push it in one ear and pull it out on the other side. That's not how it works.

And if you don't realize that, I'm not going to give you a lesson on the use of said instrument.

Granted, doctors are always saying that we should never stick anything smaller than a finger in our ear and that we should clean our ears with a washcloth.

But between that and asking Health Canada to force manufacturers to put disclaimers on their packaging?

If you're an idiot, live with it. Or die with it.


furiousBall said...

it's amazing that we've grown so irresponsible as a society that we are labeling everything to protect ourselves from how incredibly stupid we are.

A Happy Downtowner said...

Amen to that!

XUP said...

I think manufacturers should consider every conceivable way that their product could potentially harm and/or kill the consumer and then provide a comprehensive booklet with graphic photos and drawings for every product explaining the dangers. Let's say I have to sneeze. I grab a tissue, over my mouth and sneeze, take a breath and... whoops! I've inhaled the tissue and choke to death.

Susan Tuttle said...

Let this be a lesson learned to us all - be wary the deadly q-tip. Next thing you know, we won't be able to carry those on the plane either.


geewits said...

You would laugh at me. I'm really odd about swabbing my ears and won't let my husband walk near me when I'm doing it. Because I imagine he will trip, smash into me and the swab will perforate my brain. I have a weird imagination.

Evil Spock said...

If we save all the idiots, they'll just procreate and over-run society.

Evil Spock says remove all warning labels, and let mankind fend for themselves.

Ian Lidster said...

'Die with it' and keep you and your wretched spawn out of the gene pool, is my view of such caveats.

But, dear, it's like the lawn-darts syndrome. Nobody was ever actually hurt by a lawn dart, but because the potential for injury was deemed by the 'nannies' to be there, they were banned outright.

Anyway, I'm still trying to get my head around last week's warning that large-breasted women are more susceptible to diabetes.

"You're hooped," I told Wendy. "And Dolly Parton should have succumbed years ago."

Jazz said...

Furiousball - We are indeed incredibly stupid. They didn't start giving out Darwins for nothing.

HD - And halleluia and all that.

Xup - OMG!!! I never thought of that possibility. I'd better be careful when I blow my nose.

Susan - I wouldn't be surprised, actually

Geewits - you do have an interesting imagination. But you should be careful when using a Q-tip. Unlike the guy who died, you obviously aren't a menace to yourself.

Evil Spock - makes perfect sense to me.

Ian - Well it's good to know that I might hack myself to death but diabetes won't get me.

The OE said...

Secret agents are more lethal than cotton swabs, especially the French ones

Rachel said...

I use cotton swabs on my ear all the time and I've nver once swabbed so deeply or so feircely as to perforate my own eardrum. oh jesus!

really its a freack incident, and health canada needs to chill the fuck out.

pardon my language.

Anonymous said...

We are never going to make the world idiot-proof, no matter how many laws we pass.

pissed off patricia said...

When I think of the stuff we did as kids, it's amazing we lived to tell about it. But, we learned lessons.

Today it is assumed that all people are idiots just because a few are.

What next? Warnings on toilet tissue?

somewhere joe said...

Google "stupid warning labels". You'll be amazed.

Anonymous said...

Look at your cotton swab before inserting it in your ear. They are not all made equally! The cheapy brand x and dollar store versions often dont have cotton on the could poke your brain with a stick if you dont check it first.
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