Thursday, December 01, 2011

Pants on Fire

I was sitting on the loo the other day - sorry to introduce you so abruptly to that idea but I can't think of a less direct way to start this blogpost - and just as I was finishing, I leaned forward to put my magazine down (please don't start -  guys always read on the loo). As I did so I looked down and saw the little label tag in the back of my underwear. A small tag but the print on it was in bold red capitals so I noticed. The tag said very clearly and unambiguously KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE.

I assumed initially it was some sort of drying guideline but then I started thinking. Isn't that a rather redundant statement to put in underwear these days? I'm not aware of anybody who still dries their clothes with the use of some sort of naked flame. At a pinch some people may use a gas fire but a gas fire is not really the raw inferno that I think is implied by the above warning. In fact I'm struggling to recall any time I or anyone I know has used any sort of open fire to dry clothes. Has anybody out there ever had their clothes catch fire using ANY drying process? As a child I once slightly melted a welly which got left too close to my grandparent's living room fire but that's the only time I can recall.

Perhaps, I thought, it's a warning not to stand too near a fire whilst wearing this underwear. I can't imagine what sort of grisly scenario the manufacturers are imagining but other warnings (such as the intense and painful heat) would tell you that you had spent too long next to an open fire long before your underwear caught alight.

This is 100% cotton underwear - not an especially easy substance to set fire to as far as In know. In the seventies with the strange popularity of synthetic fabrics dominating the market I could imagine clothing being more flammable than it is today - sometimes I think solely  through the static it could accumulate but I still don't think it was that easy to get (and importantly stay) alight.

Perhaps - and this is the only conclusion I can draw - it's a general warning to KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE and in fact has nothing to do with the properties of this particular brand of cotton underwear.


12 comments:

sabrina said...

LOL!!! Really enjoyed reading this post!! Of all labels!! You should really consider giving them a call and clarifying why they felt the need to put such a label....maybe it actually catches fire easily!!! I would love to know what they say...hahaha

Oh and what's a welly?

Nota Bene said...

Doh! It's a warning not to indulge in fart-lighting experiments, which are very popular amongst men of a certain age

nursemyra said...

Jockeys or shorts?

King of Scurf said...

Saby: Wellies aka wellington boots - rubberised footwear popular with the English. It explains a lot.

http://www.wellywarehouse.co.uk/

NB: I don't wish to know if you've ever tried!

nursemyra: Leopard print thong.

nursemyra said...

Not what I expected you to say ;-)

King of Scurf said...

nursemyra: I had to come up with something interesting for an undergarment expert such as you....even if it was untrue.

sabrina said...

Lol would kill to see u innthe leopard print thong!!!

Which EPL team do you support by the way? I forget but I think it was liverpool??? ;p

King of Scurf said...

Saby: Football has rather left me cold in recent years. I think it's become over-analysed and taken far too seriously. It's only a game after all :)

If Leeds United (something of a sleeping giant and the closest significant team to my place of birth) were to move up a division I might take a little more interest :)

Terra Shield said...

I have a colleague (guy) who is hesitant to buy second hand books because he's afraid someone has read them in the toilet.

The only explanation I can think of regarding the interesting label is that a user might have written in a complaint about their pants catching on fire (without being a liar)- maybe they were camping or something?, and to obey some sort of safety regulation, the underwear company decided that they'd include a safety label and put up that particular warning...

King of Scurf said...

Terra: Your colleague has an overactive imagination!

Gia said...

Maybe it was trying to tell you to always tell the truth (you know, "liar liar pants on fire"). Okay, I'm lame. I know it.

King of Scurf said...

Gia: I always tell the truth but it's handy to have a little aide-memoire in the waistband of my kecks should I be tempted to commit a falsehood and meet a fiery demise.