Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I'm afraid, party people, that we are morphing from a nation of the brave and the free into a nation of the irresponsible and the utterly moronic.

A recent example: On February 16, 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a federal agency, adopted new regulations beginning at 16 CFR part 1633, that require mattresses, mattress sets, and futons manufactured on or after July 1, 2007, to resist ignition to an open flame source such as a candle, match or cigarette lighter.

Please note the last five words of that sentence . . . (and no, not because it doesn't employ the serial comma.)

According to the news I listened to yesterday, the federal government estimates these regulations will save – get this – 274 lives a year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Not 274,000 lives a year, not even 2,740 lives. But a whopping 274. That comes out to, what, about 5.437 lives per state?

Which yet again begs the disturbing but necessary question: do we really need these 274 lives?

Let's say a fire starts in your home when you're asleep. Most likely, your smoke alarm will go off, enabling you to hoist yourself from slumber, race to your kids' rooms, grab the dog-cat-gerbil-parrot-big-screen-television, and get everyone safely out of the house. Whew! Smoke alarms truly save the day!

However, let's say for some greatly tragic reason you don't have a fire alarm, it doesn't go off, or you slumber soundly despite the sounds of crackling embers and the smell of smoke. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think a fire retardant anything is going to save your happy ass at this point, do you? Nah. By that time, everyone is, quite frankly, toast.

So, who exactly are these fire retardant mattresses going to save?

That's right people, those folks who are a-dog-paddlin' in the shallow end of the gene pool, who use their bedrooms as party central (and not in a good way, oh, no, no, no), ground zero for drinkin' and smokin' themselves into a stupor before going to bed. And then forget to stub the cigarette out and trudge the J.D. all the way back to the kitchen cabinet.

Well, don't know about you, but I for one am extremely glad our federal government, in its astounding, infinite wisdom, continues to have our back. Aren't you?


Doris Rose said...

that sure has been at the top of my To Do list for years..."save the shallow end" let the young and brave perish in some pointless ancient sectarian war.oh yeah.go W

Wicked Thistle said...

Interesting--I watched a movie last night that ended with a blazing bedroom fire. It was poetic, though, not stoopid. And romantic, in a Romeo & Juliet sort of way. The fire, begun by one of the 1,200 candles burning in the room (which were lit by a ghost, BTW), was likely helped along by the hundred or so matches that the protaganist had just eaten. BOOM!

I'm sure you'll join me in saying that a flame retardant mattress would have really screwed that scene up.

Moi said...

Doris: Most excellent point. Talk about misdirected concern, huh?

Wicked: Ah, that would be Like Water For Chocolate, no? One of my favorite movies. And yes, in romance, there are no yucky, flame-retarded smelling mattresses. There is only caution thrown to the wind . . .

Orangeblossoms said...

Isn't it funny how cigarettes are legal in a world that resists, nay legislates against flammable objects!

I heart you for this post. You are a good writer.... very good.

Moi said...

Ah, yes, orangeblossoms, the ultimate irony! Thanks for pointing it out. And for your lovely compliment.