I'm a fan of hieroglyphic warning signs--those simple icons that help those who don't read--or don't read the local language--discern hazards. I've collected a few over the years that amuse me, and from time to time, for nothing better to do, I guess, I'll post some to the blog.
Generally, the simpler they are, the better, and the less open to interpretation such warnings signs are. Like the sign above: generally, when the building you are in is on fire, you should run like hell. . .
Unless, of course, you started the fire, and don't want to attract any undue attention to yourself; then, you casually turn your back on the fire and leave the building. This is more effective, I'd imagine, if you put your hands in your pockets and whistle as you do so. . .
Leave it to the Japanese. . .
The instruction booklet for Nintendo's Wii video game contains a number of great illustrations warning you what NOT to do to your $500 computer game. The artwork, rather than the spare and graphic symbols often used, is actually quite detailed and evocative of the Shoen style of Anime, appropriate, I guess, given the country of manufacture as well as the target audience of youth. And each panel is like its own little story. . .
This frame clearly warns the player not to be so into the experience that they rear up and smack a friend in the face with such velocity that eyeglasses and what looks like a tooth become dislodged. . .
Play quality WILL NOT be enhanced by pouring Orange Crush into the unit. . .
Though playing Wii may be a totally satisfying experience, the machine may not appreciate your efforts to share a post-game cigarette . . .
For you dumb-shits out there: do not attempt to use a CD-R that has been broken in two and taped back together. Super-glue may be a better alternative. . .
Jamming a shamrock into your Wii will not give you any better luck playing the damn thing. . .
I don't know what the hell this is: do the Japanese believe in Frosty The Snowman? And the farting baseboard heater. . .do these things actually make the Wii shake in horror???
This borders on Hentai: this panel either is warning the user of autoerotic asphxyation, or begging the frustrated Wii player not to commit suicide with a plastic bag if efforts to play prove too frustrating. . .
The Wii will not prove a subsitute for traditional sexual relations. . . . (actually, this last one is from a satirical website. . .but it mimics the style quite well).
More Danger Signs! later. And feel free to send me your favorites as well!