Better living through warnings

As I have explained before, warning signs are what separates modern humans from cavemen.  If Neanderthals had spent less time doodling on cave walls and more time putting up signs saying “Warning: Cro-Magnons may be hazardous to your survival!”, actuarial tables show that Neanderthals would be approximately 92% less extinct than they are today.

Fortunately for us, modern humans warn the crap out of each other.  This morning, while I was getting my oil changed, I walked down the road to a nearby coffee shop.  (Disclaimer: it was not olde enough to be a shoppe.)  While I was waiting, I glanced up at the menu board and saw a warning in small print at the bottom.  I don’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of the message was this:

Allergen warning: Some of the products here may contain the following allergens: peanuts, tree nuts (which I first read as “tree moss”), wheat, milk, and (wait for it) fish.


Now I admit, I’m not particularly adventurous when it comes to coffee.  My favorite coffee drink, the orange mocha, was slipped to me unawares by my best friend when he used to work at Starbucks.  I only started drinking raspberry mochas when Starbucks discontinued its Mocha Valencia.  Consequently I have a list of things I believe do not belong in coffee, including: pumpkin, egg nog, and ice.  (Disclaimer: This is not a comment on how they taste.  I am merely indicating that they are erroneous.  Green tea frappacinos, on the other hand, smell and taste like lawn clippings.)

Fish, on the other hand, goes beyond personal questions of taste or correctness.  This is just wrong.  Personally, I believe this deserves a warning sign all its own:

Warning: Fish may or may not have somehow gotten into your coffee.

History would have turned out very differently if the Neanderthal leader had just said “No!” when his Cro-Magnon counterpart offered him that iced tuna latte.  He should have opted for the tree moss mocha.

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