Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Easy feature story for a slow day: the Chinese product translator

When I was a feature reporter I often found stories in the strangest places. If I were doing a story today, my idea would have come courtesy of a "manual" that came with a toilet manufactured in China.

Let's face it, it's pretty hard to find products not made in China, and we've all read manuals and instructions written by people who obviously had Master Yoda for their English as Second Language instructor.

But this "manual" takes first prize.  Some of the award winning instructions that left me and the plumber in stitches:

-"Periodical maintenance"   Apparently this refers to any newspapers or magazines you have in the bathroom.

-"Wash it with neuter cleaners"   Need to call my vet to find out about that stuff.

-"Do not let child play the toilet cover"   This one's obvious. Next time you see your kid banging away on the toilet seat with chopsticks, take them away and buy him a set of drums.

-"Open and close toilet seat cover tenderly"  Yeah, that'll work for guys.

-"Wipe off smut"  Apparently this is an addendum to the "periodical maintenance" provision, referring to anyone who keeps questionable reading material in the rest room.

-"Insert revolver, washer, bolt and gasket"  Sorry, strict laws in New York won't allow you to put a gun in the commode.

-"Avoid sunlight"  Obviously a vampire wrote the manual.

So, the story idea? Collect a bunch of funny manuals and hit the graphics department. Hilarious story for a really slow day.


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