What Were They Thinking?

You know how you’re cheerfully going along and everything makes perfect sense, and then you find something that makes your brain screech to a halt and yelp, “Wait, what?”

This week I encountered more ‘what-were-they-thinking’ situations than usual.  For instance, I sometimes use preservative-free eye drops that come in teeny individual vials:

0.4 ml: About 7 drops

You’re supposed to open the vial, use what you need, and throw away the remainder to avoid contamination.  Each vial holds about seven drops.  But… most people have two eyes.  Why would they create a vial that holds an uneven number of drops?

At first glance it seems illogical, but I guess it’s actually marketing genius — they know you’ll have to waste part of each vial; and more waste for you equals more sales for them.  (Sometimes finding answers isn’t as satisfying as one might hope.)

Also:  This weekend I was at an art conference, where I learned about a new drawing tool.  It works like a wax crayon but also has water-soluble elements so you can drag a wet brush through it and get a watercolour effect.  Very cool indeed!  But why did they call it a ‘Woody’?

The Stabilo Woody: It even comes wearing a condom… erm, sorry; “protective sleeve”.

Not even the conference presenter was able to say ‘woody’ out loud without snickering.  I can’t believe that nobody on the Stabilo marketing team ever said, “Hey, you know that’s slang for an erect penis, right?”  (Or maybe they were snickering when they named it.  Hmmm.)  So wrap your hands around your woodies, folks, and let’s get this party started!

Moving right along…

Also at the conference, I found this sign in the bathroom:

It says “Please press the grey circle for 5 seconds to flush”… and there’s a grey circle on the sign.

I wonder how many people did what I did:  Read the sign, saw the grey circle, and thought, “But pressing a dot on the wall won’t flush the toilet.”

The sign was actually referring to the grey circle on the dual-flush control for the toilet far below; and it was necessary because the other half of the control didn’t work.  But why would they put a grey circle on the sign and mount it so high it seems unrelated to the toilet?  It would have been much more helpful to place the sign directly above the actual control with a downward-pointing arrow.

I chuckled at this garbled communication, but maybe the joke’s on me.  Maybe I’m the only person who ever looked at the sign and momentarily wondered if I was supposed to press the wall.  But I don’t think so.  The grey circle on the sign looked suspiciously finger-smudged.

And now I’m giggling at the thought of people repeatedly pressing the dot and wondering why the toilet wouldn’t flush.

Any oddball events in your world this week?

Book 14 update:  I got into Chapter 27 this week.  It’s fun to be a fly on the wall when Reggie Chow and Holt The Magnificent lock horns!

P.S. For those who asked for an updated photo of the trellis project that singed my toes, here it is completed and installed:

The last of the dahlias and glads are still hanging on, and yesterday I planted another 700 bulbs. We’re looking forward to the spring blooms!

26 thoughts on “What Were They Thinking?

  1. I went to the pharmacy to get prescription eye drops for my dry eyes. The doctor had given me a year prescription, so I thought maybe I’d get 12 little bottles. Nope. He gave me the precription for the single use vials. So I have 384 of these little suckers. 🙄 Waste of plastic, but at least these are re-closable vials.


    • Yes, we’re very glad that we deer-fenced the yard while there were still a few bucks (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) in the budget. So far the deer have stayed out unless the fence gets breached by a fallen tree.

      And I’m SO looking forward to the show in the spring! I planted about 800 bulbs last year, too, and the grape hyacinths, crocuses, Dutch irises, anemones, and a few daffodils are already poking their noses through the ground. They won’t bloom until spring, but it’s nice to see the greenery!


  2. OK. Slightly off topic, but I just wanted to share.

    Check out this web site, because who doesn’t want to read through an instruction manual, with pictures, about how the military teaches hand to hand combat?

    I mean, you never know when, in you daily life, you might need this information, right? Plus the drawings of the combatants sporting severe military haircuts is sort of amusing. Just sayin’.

    Click to access CH3.PDF


    • Ha! Quite fascinating, in a worrisome sort of way. The detail of the drawings is surprising – you noticed the haircuts; I noticed the facial expressions. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or disturbed by the fact that the artist rendered the expressions of pain so accurately…


      • Huh. I had to go back again and look. So what does it say about me, that I noticed the movements and the haircuts but not the facial expressions?

        I feel a bit ashamed, because I think it’s something important that I really should have taken note of. Maybe because they were only drawings and not real? I dunno.

        And then, from the artists point of view, we’re the drawings created from real-life renderings, or just from his/her (probably his) imagination? Hmmm.


        • I don’t see any reason why you should feel ashamed – I think it’s very cool that given identical illustrations, different people see completely different things.

          I also find the document fascinating, not just from a self-defense standpoint (I love martial arts), but also from a military training standpoint. The basis of the military essentially comes down to “You will encounter people who look just like you. They are the enemy and you must hurt/kill them.” And yet the artist didn’t leave the “enemy” soldiers faceless, s/he showed their expressions of pain as they would occur.

          So to some extent the illustrations almost seem counter to the whole “dehumanize the enemy” strategy. Or maybe it’s meant to prepare soldiers for combat in the most realistic way possible. (Or maybe I’m REALLY overthinking this.) 😉 Anyhow, it’s an interesting document!


  3. I’ll start a thought on a very positive note then digress. I absolutely love the trellis…really stunning. Now to digress…can’t get past drawing with a woody and being able to add a watercolor effect….a tool every artist should have!!


  4. 700 bulbs!? Your thumbs must be fluorescent green. Wowza. As to odd signs they are one of my favourite things about traveling. In SE Asia the diagrams about what not to do on a toilet were relentless. You would have loved them. 🙂


  5. on the eyedrops- I always miss the first drop before I find my eye. that sucker hides from me or I have lousy aim. and I have a visiting tom cat with the largest set I have ever seen so naturally I call him “big balls”. quietly of course. wouldn’t want the neighbors thinking bad thoughts.
    And your burnt feet trellis is beautiful.


    • Thanks, Barbara! I’m giggling at the thought of your name for your visiting tomcat! Maybe you’ll have to do what my friends do: They named their cat Dumb-Ass, conveniently shortened to D.A. when in polite company. Maybe your feline friend could become B.B. (After the late great B.B. King, if the church ladies ask.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Years ago, when I got one of my first computers, the initial instructions for turning on the machine read “Depress the on switch”.
    Well, isn’t this going to be fun, I thought.
    So, glancing down at the on switch, I began. “You’re ugly. I don’t like your color. You’re too round”
    The people around me just looked at me and discretely began sliding away.
    Huh… and I was just following directions. *wink*

    As an aside, an almost fail-proof way to use eye drops without missing or losing any drops; close your eyes, drop the drops into the center “corners” near the nose, open your eyes and blink. The drops then run into you eyes and you don’t have to scare yourself watching the liquid plunging down toward your eyes. A thing of nightmares, to be sure.


    • …“You’re ugly. I don’t like your color. You’re too round”… – I’m howling with laughter! Hey, if they had meant for you to push the ‘on’ switch, they would have said so, right? 😉

      That’s excellent eye-drop advice – thanks! I’ll pass it on to Hubby, who has an extremely powerful blink reflex. I wore contact lenses for years so I’m not bothered by drops coming at my eyes, but he would definitely agree with you about the horrors of eye drops.


  7. It’s actually marketing genius for the company to put the word “Woody” in the name. You’re not likely to forget it now are you? LOL! Classic!

    I’m forever doing things like pressing the picture of the button on the wall instead of pressing the actual button. My common sense button never got installed so I pretty much just roll my eyes at myself and move on, hopefully without having any witnesses .

    GO CHOW!! Lmao!! I can’t wait to read that scene!!!


    • Any time I write Reggie, I find myself grinning – he’s just so much fun to write! And you’re absolutely right about the Woody. I will NEVER forget that name. Clearly the Stabilo marketing team is much smarter than I. 😉


  8. I’m getting to that age in life when I hear a word like “woody” and think, “Not without the blue pills and an hour wait.” Maybe that’s TMI.

    Once a million years ago computer mice were mechanical and not optical. I was teaching a computer repair class for a technical college at the time, and the curriculum department sent me a new set of text books and lesson plans for it. My fault for not checking the notes before class, but on mouse repair day the lecture notes had me read to the class, “The most common problem with the mouse is a dirty ball. To clean the mouse’s ball …”

    Class ended early that day and I sent 20 computer techs into the world unable to look at a computer mouse without breaking into hysterical laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m laughing out loud! When I worked as a network admin I actually kept a collection of mouse balls, because when I was dealing with an irritated user, it was easier to quickly swap the dirty ball for a clean one and then clean the dirty one later. But it made for some memorable conversation stoppers: “Wait, just let me grab my mouse balls…”

      And as for the blue pill… well, maybe it was TMI; but it made me laugh!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I laughed out loud, too! I’m thinking the writer of those lecture notes did it on purpose, and wished he (couldn’t have been a she, could it??) could be a fly on the wall when you had to read them out . . .

      Liked by 3 people

  9. There are so many signs that some are bound to be misleading or just odd. There is a road sign that I go by when I head south to Duluth. It is the name of the road called Cant Road. Having been in the timber/lumber business (which is/was prevalent in these parts) for a number of years I know what a cant is, besides the other meanings, Anyway, it always makes me think it is just poor grammar and should be ‘Cant Read’ or ‘Cant Ride’ or maybe even ‘Cant Drive’ or ‘Cant Circle’, but Cant Road sounds more like an uneducated cowboy as in, “I can’t rode that horse”. I have also seen signs like your button sign and probably would have tried to push it, wondering why it doesn’t work.


    • That was the first thing I thought: You see a sign that says “Press the gray circle”, and there’s a grey circle right there. It was only in the next moment that my brain went, “Wait, what…?”

      And I absolutely love your sign conundrum. “Cant Drive” would have been brilliant! Too bad the road-namers’ minds weren’t as agile as yours. Missed opportunities…


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