In California, Death Is Never Far Away

Plumbum et Circenses posts this:

(Click image to see source.)

Yes, it’s exactly what it looks like.  A warning printed on plywood that sawdust causes cancer in California.  Sawdust = death!?!

Actually this shouldn’t surprise me.  California exists to give the rest of us something to laugh at.

Like France, California is the punchline to a joke that began long ago.

Everything in California has warnings.  None of which bear resemblance to actual risk.  Luckily, nobody (and I mean nobody at all) takes it seriously.

My last encounter with “Californicated warnings” in their native habitat was a few years ago.  I’d ridden all day through the homage to air pollution and illegal immigration that is the San Joaquin valley.  I stopped at a mechanic’s shop for an oil change.  On the door was the list of things known to California to cause cancer.  It included everything but sunshine and metric wrenches.

Obviously mechanic’s shops have lots of icky chemicals.  That’s why intelligent folks go somewhere else for their picnic.  Only the Sacramento haze of egghead detachment would imply that internal combustion engines need nothing for maintenance but hope, medical marijuana, and rosy assumptions.

The ironic part was that I’d gotten there on a motorcycle.  Yes, I could somehow ingest brake fluid and get sick.  Or I could make a misstep in traffic and wind up fucked by a  Kenworth on I5.  Which one is more likely?

I never liked the San Joaquin valley so I rode hard for a locale more appropriate to my personality.  I spent the night near Furnace Creek in Death Valley.  What a nice place!

Curmudgeons, when sick or injured, will run for open space. When seriously ill I headed for this road. It made sense to me!

They had air conditioning and water.  In a land where the snakes won’t kill you because the heat will have you dead and collapsed over the handlebars first…water was plenty to make me happy.  There were no warnings on anything.  I was happy.  I wanted to stay longer but was out of time.

I was out of time because somewhere amid the San Joaquin smog I’d developed a sinus infection.  It was getting worse by the hour and there are no doctors in Furnace Creek.  (You think you’re tough?  Put on a full face helmet when you’ve got a killer head cold!)

I made like a Cowboy and rode at dawn.  Things would have been much worse if I’d stayed.  None of which involves drinking brake fluid or the zombie death sawdust of Sacramento’s id.  California will kill you with air while warning you about the lead content of your battery posts.  No wonder politicians thrive there!

The rest of the trip was better as I limped along on antibiotics and grit.  I was happier in Nevada and Utah because I’ll take “reality” over useless warnings amid the air pollution any day.  You know the left coast has gone bonkers when deserts, strippers, and creepy polygamists seem conservative and reasonable by comparison.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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17 Responses to In California, Death Is Never Far Away

  1. robert says:

    I was just doing some remodel work here in California over the weekend and I saw that stamp on a piece of plywood subfloor as I laid it down. Most absurd thing I’ve seen in a while but that kind of absurdity is never surprising here.


  2. says:

    Sunshine causes cancer. It definitely should be regulated.

  3. robert says:

    That’s on the ballot for a special election this November- “The Photon Safety Act of 2011”


  4. Robb Allen says:

    Not kidding, when I was brewing beer I used an Oxygen bottle to help the yeasties kick it into high gear. On the bottle was that exact same warning – “The contents of this bottle have been known to cause cancer in the state of California”.


  5. STW says:

    I don’t want to be one to quibble with the State of California but just what chemical is wood dust?

    • Crotalus says:

      Must be the lignin in wood…

      Remember when the hippies “prophesied” the “Big One” in the 60’s? Said that Commiefornia would slide into the sea? I figure that the monster quake would follow the San Andreas Fault, and if so, California would suddenly be a red state! All good, no?

  6. Yer gettin’ famous there, lad.

  7. Joe Allen says:

    “Sunshine causes cancer. It definitely should be regulated.”

    That’s what the smog is for…

  8. David Liddy says:

    Sawdust only causes cancer in California. As long as you breath in the sawdust in some other state, you’re good.

  9. Matt G says:

    I noticed the Cali warning on the plywood as I pushed it through my table-top table saw. It almost distracted me from the much more iminent real danger.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Actually, some manufacturers use a formaldehyde glue to bind wood products into plywood. Long-term formaldehyde exposure may indeed contribute to cancer.

    • Crotalus says:

      Uh huh. And the Bible says that Man is appointed once to die…. Get saved by the Blood of Jesus! One way or another, you’re freakin’ dead!

  11. phlegmfatale says:

    In a hardware store recently, LawDog grinned like a possum as he pointed to a sticker on a lawnmower saying this machine was illegal to take into California. “That’s the one I want.” He has such good taste!

  12. markm says:

    Sunshine causes melanoma. Has the State of California put up warnings at all the border crossings?

    • California doesn’t actually control its borders. Photons which enter at the crossings are referred to as undocumented and American citizens in California have a tendency to move out…not in.

  13. Laughingdog says:

    Breathing in sawdust, even in quantities common from a weekend woodworking project, can actually lead to nasal or lung cancer. Even if untreated, the body can tend to overreact when particles get lodged in the lungs that are too large to free themselves eventually. That’s why it’s a good idea to have good ventilation, or some kind of dust mask at least, when cutting wood.

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