Of Chairs, Smoking, and the California Bureau of Home Furnishing’s Battle Against Charles Darwin

A tag fell off the underside of my chair today.  Here is what it says:

“Notice:  This article is manufactured for use in public occupancies and meets the flammability requirements of California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 133.  Care should be exercised near open flame or with burning cigarettes.”

I’m trying to figure out who this warning would help.

First off, the person would have to be lying on the floor. With his head under the chair.

And not on his stomach.  On his back.  Staring up at the underside of the chair.

Then he’d have to be on the verge of smoking.  Not already smoking, because that would be too late.  He’d have to be contemplating it.

Then he’d have to be able to read.  Not necessarily a given for a guy who spends his spare time with his head lodged under a desk chair.

Then there’s the biggest problem:  The warning doesn’t tell the person NOT to smoke.  It just says that “care should be exercised.”  That’s a lot of discretion to give to a guy who’s already made the decision to smoke with his head lodged under a desk chair.

I’m thinking someone at the California Bureau of Home Furnishings wasted a lot of his time trying to protect a guy that Darwinian law is trying push out of the gene pool.

I’m rooting for Darwin.

42 thoughts on “Of Chairs, Smoking, and the California Bureau of Home Furnishing’s Battle Against Charles Darwin

  1. You have wayyyy too much time on your hands if you’re contemplating a tag that fell off the bottom of your chair…lol.

    However, the tag under mine says…

    “Not to be removed until delivered to the customer. This article contains new material only.”

    It’s a slow day at the office….

  2. How about if I smoke enough, they will put a hole in my throat & let me roll a oxygen tank around & not only will I smoke – BUT- I am going to have a fine jewelry maker fashion me a faux necklace that will be my gold filter tip holder that inserts in my 4th orifice the neck hole-and don’t be scared @ the red signs on my tank saying (boom)if u smoke near it – u die.They have 2 post it 4 the dummies- not us geniuses that smoke in our throat- no

  3. Flipped my chair to see if it had the same tag.
    Co-worker walks by and says, “I think it goes the other way.” Idiots.

  4. Suppose your chair traveled outside the State of California. Would the tag still be applicable? Now that the tag is detached from the chair, are you no longer compliant with the State of California? And just how old is this chair where a tag would rot and fall off? Are you safe from the “Tag Police” because of the Statue of Limitations on this chair? And just what does Technical Bulletin 133 actually say?
    Whoo-boy. All these questions.
    But I know who would be reading this tag. It’s the guy who has drunk himself silly and passed out under the chair. A foolish thing to do but not necessarily a stupid idiot.
    I think I’ll stop now. There’s a tag on my mattress I feel compelled to rip off.

  5. So… you’re not gluing the sticker back then?

    Maybe you should read the fine print, to make sure you’re liable to get sued for removing it…

  6. California warnings have spolied it for the rest of the 49 states. My daughter’s high-chair has that exact same warning. You would think the 10 months low temperatures and constant drizzle in western Washington would make such warnings moot 🙂

  7. Humans can be like that, Note I said humans meaning all of those idiots who would do something like that, I try not to be one

  8. Mines says the same thing except, it says 116 and 117, and I am in Florida. Why does is my chair regulated by California when it was made in Vietnam and shipped to Florida

  9. There’s a California Bureau of Home Furnishings? George Orwell, call your office… and check under your chair while you’re at it.

  10. I had a hairdryer that warned that it should not be used while sleeping. I am married to a personal injury attorney, so I tried to use my hair dryer while sleeping because the warning was only in 24 size type, so it was not an adequate warning. But it always overheats and cuts off before it catches fire, so we haven’t been able to sue yet…..Wish us luck in the future! Read all of the warnings! If you are lucky, you can do something really stupid (stupeed if you are a croc) and cash in big after you maim or kill a loved one! Just remember, plaintiff’s lawyers do not make people do these things! (Honestly, you only have plaintiff’s lawyers to blame for seatbelts and safe baby seats. Really. They protect widows and orphans. That is what we tell our children!)

  11. I’m confused by the “Public Occupancy” and the “Home Furnishings”. Usually the public doesn’t occupy my home furnishings.

  12. i guess if you torch yourself while smoking, in that chair, in a public place, in california, the manufacturer is covered from lawsuits; providing the sticker didn’t get burned up. i see cigars and pipes are not included though.

  13. HA! I looked under my chair and te first thing it says is, “DO NOT USE THIS CHAIR AS A STEP LADDER!”

  14. Darwin lost when he borrowed his unprovable and ludicrous hypothesis from his grandfather. Even science is crying over Charles’ epic fail.

  15. I always thought removing those tags was illegal. You’d better paste it back on before the Department of Homeland Security comes after you.

  16. There is a complete novella under my chair… thank you for bringing it to my attention, I may have been tempted to all manner of dangerous things that are now verboten.
    I am so glad that there are people out there with our best interests at heart. (insert rolley eyes here)

  17. You know what annoys me, I find this label on almost everything, it’s that ubiquitous proposition 65 warning: “WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” This warning finds its way onto so many seemingly harmless products that it has largely lost its meaning.

    Even worse, there’s a sign in front of an apartment complex for older people, and it says effectively the same thing: “Warning: This Facility Contains Chemicals Known to the State of California To Cause Cancer, And Birth Defects Or Other Reproductive Harm.” Now why would anyone live in a place that is known to cause cancer??!! No wonder these older people are coming down with cancer, LOL

  18. See, with me living in Virginia, I don’t have to heed such warnings. California is all F’ed up anyway, so who cares if some idiot dies from smoking too close to his chair. Maybe he should lite the cig, then go outside and let the chair catch fire without him !

  19. I can just see the moron thinking, “Well, crap, just where am I supposed to sit during the bonfire?”

  20. As a lawyer, you should know why they put those labels on chairs.;) Yet a case could be made that Natural Selection would make a person not bright enough to find the label, let alone read its directions.

    You could file a class action lawsuit for companies who don’t make the warning tag bigger than a pillow case. I’m not telling where I live. The industry would do me in faster than an angry pirate.

  21. Well I remember those kinds of tags on pillows and mattresses that said WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG by PENALTY OF THE LAW. When I was about ten I REMOVED THE TAG…then lived in constant fear “they were coming to get me.” Good strip idea, Steve…go with it!!

  22. Indeed, there have been many times I’ve been laying underneath an office chair, about to light up, and wondered, “Should I be careful or cavalier about this?” Now I know. And knowing’s half the battle.

    But I’m definitely in favor of whatever we can do to add a little Clorox to the gene pool.

  23. I recently purchased a float for my pool and noticed on the warning/disclaimer label they have changed “children must have adult supervision” to “children must have RESPONSIBLE adult supervision”. Man, what happened to the days when you could gossip with your friends by the pool, sip wine coolers and not pay an ounce of attention to what your kid is floating upon?!

  24. hahaha this is the most beautiful application of Darwinian selection i’ve ever seen. haha great stuff.

  25. @Becky: As a kid I never DARED remove those tags that said WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG by PENALTY OF THE LAW … and if the tag was starting to come off I tried to glue it so it stayed – didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law you know!

  26. Why root for Darwinian Law to weed out these worthless people when you can help it out yourselves? Go outside, everybody, with a big stick, and knock out every idiot you see. You’ll make the world a better place.

  27. Hopefully with the current economic crisis, Darwin will be removing some of these useless government agencies.

  28. I read an article today in the Telegraph that a UK movie about Darwin playing around the world to critical acclaim can’t find a US distributor because it would be offensive to most Americans.

    Lincoln was an idiot. We need a seccessionist movement to get rid of the South and some states around Kansas.

  29. Creation, starring Paul Bettany, details Darwin’s “struggle between faith and reason” as he wrote On The Origin of Species.

    However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

    Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

    The film has sparked fierce debate on US Christian websites, with a typical comment dismissing evolution as “a silly theory with a serious lack of evidence to support it despite over a century of trying”.

  30. I had the same tag on a rug at my house except it said it did not meet the flammability requirements. I wondered why they were able to release the rug in stores at all if it didn’t meet the requirements, but more than that I wondered what the requirements were. What if it was able to meet the requirements even if it was extremely flammable, and this wasnt even that? What if this rug was going to burst into flames just because it was hot out? Naturally, I completely freaked out and told my mom we have to get rid of the rug, despite the fact that we’d had it for over 10 years and nothing had ever happened before. Then I told her that I thought it was ugly anyway and she had bad taste, because I thought that would help. It didn’t. We still have the rug. And I still think it’s ugly.

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