How often have you puzzled over instructions?
In a couple of boxes in my bedroom I have a higgledy-piggledy assortment of instruction leaflets which came with all the domestic appliances we ever bought.
Hundreds of them!
I belong to a fast disappearing generation of people who would always read the instruction leaflet before even plugging anything in.
We carefully saved every one in case it was needed again!
Nowadays it is different.
I have noticed that younger family members start on new gadgets straight away and experiment until they have the required result.
Sometimes they dont read any of the literature provided.
Alas! Many of our modern aids to living are made today in countries far away (when I was a child, 'Made in Britain' was by far the most common label, and meant ' well made') and the leaflets we receive are not always easy to understand.
It can be disastrous if instructions are misunderstood!
Here are some examples of instructions which might confuse rather than enlighten.....
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING A JAPANESE WARDROBE
1 Attach upper pipe to pillar pipe and pull out pillar pipe until the top of upper pipe is reached to the ceiling.
2 Tighten the short bolt of pipe support connector all the way.
3 Turn pole to counter clockwise with holding rubber foot to have secured strong set up or you can turn rubber foot to clockwise.
4 Measuring appreciate height to hang clothes and fasten bracket tightly to poles.
5 Pull out cross bar to appreciate length.
A CHINESE CLOCKWORK RADIO
1 Choose the switch (10) the power supply to stir the to close the machine position.
2 Can the turn hour hand or Converse hour hand revolve to shake the generator to turn to move handle to inside to place to refresh the battery to refresh.
3 General circumstance bottom, in a minute of inside continuous 120 turn, and the audibility half an hour is so.
4 Normal circumstance bottom, each one refresh battery can power, turn on electricity 500 times or so.
Mightiness suggest you at normal circumstance bottom.
INSTRUCTIONS IN CASE OF FOREST FIRE (Southern France)
Close you the gas bottles, those for itself out of the house may be.
At first water you the external walls and wood parts of the house, then bring you the hose into safety (you will need him after the conflagration)
Do you supply themselves with flashlights as the electric current can be disturbed.
If you have a producing or timber house, you look up a neighbour with a massif house.
If smoke should penetrate into the rooms, you preserve rest and place pieces of cloth in front of the door chinks.
Do never leave the house in the moment if the conflagration sweeps over its house.
E-BAY ADVERT FOR DISPOSABLE DIAPERS
The trousers preventing water for baby
You are bidding on Brand new diaper.
Layer adopt clean net surface, have scattered heat, let in air waiting for effect, protect baby young tender skin very goodly.
Middle-level waterproof cloth go through shrink draw material processing handling,
pulling force is strong, completely prevent leakage, beautiful again durable.
The most outer use fine 100% cotton material and relevant assist material seam system, make baby comfortable.
Trousers pipe adept high-grade material, from flexible elasticity material seam system, take action freely, use is convenient.
INSTRUCTIONS IN A CHINESE RAILWAY CARRIAGE
In carriage of eating do not sit on floor with legs crossed, as in a house.
Sit on chair and eat from table.
Servant girl bring tea and vegetables.
A FEW WARNING NOTICES....
PLEASE TREASURE THE GRASS
TAKE CARE! FALL INTO WATER CAREFULLY!
(In a Cathedral) PLEASE KEEP LOUD, WILD BABES OUT OF THE SANCTUARY
(On ruins) TO PROTECT CULTURAL RELIC NO CARVING.
IN ORDER TO KEEP FIT NO SPITTING.
PLEASE DONT SCRIBBLE.
(On the Great Wall of China)
PEOPLE AND FLOWERS, PLANTS HELP EACH OTHER IN BREATH.
IF YOU PICK THE FLOWERS THEY WILL DIE, AND YOU WILL REDUCE YOUR LIFE TOO.
PLEASE DONT RESORT AND DIAPORT AT PASSAGEWAY
THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT A HAND AND A LEG IS PINCHED BY THE ELEVATOR.
SORRY, WE DECLINE FOREIGNERS TO ENTER.
DO NOT GET IN. THERE ARE WILD COWS.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO DECLARE ALL SORTS OF PRIVATE THINGS.
(In a cable car cabin, China)
SMOKING, HUBBUB, SPIT ARE FORBIDDEN IN CABIN.
THE CONTAGIOUS, MENTAL, SERIOUS HEART PATIENTS AND THE DRUNK PERSONS ARE FORBIDDEN TO TAKE IN THE CAR.
FASTEN ARMREST BY ORDER, PLEASE DONT AMBULATE IN STAIRCASE.
Perhaps the best instruction leaflets use pictures and symbols instead of words.
This is the sheet that came with Morrison shelters during World War Two.
Many of my friends had these shelters; they were useful as tables, and were proof against falling masonry.
People played table-tennis on them.
We used to tap-dance on them!
We had no need of a shelter; my father designed and built his own.
It was lovely; it had a stove, a cuckoo clock and bunk beds.
We never slept in it, because my little sister didn't like it.
She said it had no windows.
The only use we found for it was keeping the milk cool (we did not have a fridge).