Friday, October 28, 2005

Do Not Read This Blog On Your Computer. It May Cause Explosions.

I recently bought a new phone a little more than a month ago, when I switched from Verizon to Cingular.

Now, as you look at this phone, you'll probably notice that it seems pretty normal and harmless right? Wrong! If you happen to read the novel which is the instruction manual, you'll quickly find out this innocent-looking phone could very easily qualify as the most intricate, complicated, high-maintenance, and potentially dangerous object in your entire house, and quite possibly the entire world. And yes, I'm holding it up to my ear, pressed against my head, every single day. Yippee.

What makes this phone such a fright you ask? Well, allow me to quote numerous safety guidelines taken directly from the LG C2000 User Guide, and you can make your own decision on whether or not my life is in immediate danger by owning this phone, or if the technical writer(s) who wrote this booklet were being overly melodramatic.

Safety Instructions

  • Never store your phone in settings that may expose it to temperatures less than 32°F or greater than 104°F. Exposure to excessive cold or heat will result in malfunction, damage and/or catastrophic failure.

Catastrophic failure? As if malfunctioning and damage wasn't enough? Now you have to subject my fears to the possibility of such an intimidating and vague term like a catastrophic failure? I associate a word like catastrophic to something like the engine of a plane exploding or all four stomachs of a cow ceasing to function...not my cell phone failing to work. "My phone doesn't work! Help! The world is coming to an end!"

  • Be careful when using your phone near other electronic devices. Never place your phone in a microwave oven as this will cause the battery to explode.

Explode? Explode?!? First of all, who in their right mind would ever put their cell phone in a microwave in the first place? And is this such a common problem that it is necessary to include in the user guide? Do people often confuse their TV dinners or Tupperware products with their cell phones because they look so similar? Maybe some distracted person might put the phone down to warm up a leftover meal and in his ineptitude place the phone in the microwave while sticking last night's pasta in his ear, prompting a completely different canelloni-related (or should I say Canaloni?) problem aside from the recently exploded cell phone in his microwave.

  • Never place your phone in a microwave oven as it will cause the battery to explode.

What, again? Is it really necessary to tell people this twice? I think we get the point by now. Microwaves + Cell Phones = Things Go Boom.

  • Do not dispose of your battery by fire or with hazardous or flammable materials.

Oh wonderful. Not only will it explode, or so I'm guessing as that seems to be the common theme so far, but this means I can't make my famous battery acid, gasoline, and dry brush bonfires anymore. I don't think the people who wrote this book ever have any fun.

  • Make sure that no sharp-edged items such as animal's teeth, nails, come into contact with the battery. There is a risk of this causing a fire.

Fire? From biting and scratching? Hmm, sounds like an obvious case of severe animal-related explosion fires to me. Possibly quite catastrophic.

  • Store the battery in a place out of reach of children.

Wait. So I have to disassemble the phone and store the battery separately from it in a child-proof, and more importantly, explosion-proof place? That's practical.

  • Be careful that children do not swallow any parts such as rubber plugs (earphone, connection parts of the phone, etc.) This could cause asphyxiation or suffocation.

(Or explosion.)

  • In a car, do not leave your phone or set up the hands-free kit near to the air bag. If wireless equipment is improperly installed and the air bag is activated, you may be seriously injured.

Yeah, the one thing that actually can potentially blow up: the air bag. Yet ironically, it only gets two measly sentences of mentioning, though its chance of "exploding" and deploying is infinitely greater than any of these other ridiculous situations.

  • Do not use a hand-held phone while driving.

No cell phone while driving? Yeah, that could happen. Shya, and exploding cell phone batteries might fly out of my butt.

  • Do not use the phone in areas where its use is prohibited.


  • Never store your phone in temperatures less than -4°F or greater than 122°F.

Yet, as previously mentioned, I thought the acceptable range was 32°F to 104°F. But I doubt this is really a problem, unless you're either an Eskimo or an extremely sociable sand dune.

  • Do not use harsh chemicals (such as alcohol) or detergents to clean your phone. There is a risk of this causing a fire.

You're supposed to clean your phone? I guess this just means that if you actually want to clean it some day, you can't ask Jack Daniels to help you.

  • Do not use your phone in high explosive areas as the phone may generate sparks.

In other words, no using your phone in your local TNT factory or land mine emporium.

  • Do not disassemble the phone.

I guess if we can't be trusted not to stick our phones in the microwave or clean them with a six-pack, then this disclaimer really is necessary because we obviously can't be trusted to resist the urge to take them apart and see how the infernal devices work...because heaven knows if we can't tell the difference between a plate of food and a phone, we'll never rebuild it into any semblance of what it used to look like without somehow blowing ourselves up in the process.

  • Only use the batteries, antennas, and chargers provided by LG.

Translation: We want more money.

  • Only authorized personnel should service the phone and its accessories. Faulty installation or service may result in accidents...

...Yeah, accidents. I.E. Explosions.

  • Do not hold or let the antenna come in contact with your body during a call.

Why? Will I explode?!?

  • An emergency call can be made only within a service area. For an emergency call, make sure that you are within a service area and that the phone is turned on.

I give up. If anyone is so utterly ignorant to the fact that your phone has to be on in order to make a call, no user guide on the face of this earth is going to save them now. And you have to be in a service area? You mean there has to be a signal too? My goodness, how complicated these devices are!

  • Using a damaged battery or placing a battery in your mouth may cause serious injury.

NO KIDDING!!!!!!!!

And then, last but not least, there's my personal favorite:

  • Do not paint your phone.

Do people actually do this? "My phone is boring. I think I'll paint it red and give it racing stripes so it'll go faster! I...hey, why can't I open my phone?"

So basically, what I've learned from all this is:

You can't do anything right as the owner of a cell phone. Anything you do can and will cause your phone to spark, spontaneously burst into flames, and explode without warning...several times over.

Ah, the joys of technology.

If technology had a motto, it would be: "Live longer. Die faster."

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