Warning Labels — Humor Writing and Creativity

Our contest for August is Warning Labels.  We’ve all seen the usual warning labels:

Cigarette package.
The Surgeon General has determined that smoking is hazardous to your health.

Do not remove under penalty of law.

Keep out of the reach of young children.

Can you create your own, humorous Warning Labels?
Here would be some examples of made-up labels:

Military bomb
Use of this device does not guarantee peace.

Wedding license
This certificate does not come with a lifetime guarantee.

Trying to teach this animal tricks may frustrate you and the cat.

Political candidate
This person may promise anything to get elected.

Baby diaper.
This product provides only a temporary fix.

Whoopee cushion 
Placing this device on your supervisor’s chair may be hazardous to your wealth.

Cotton candy
To reduce your chances of experiencing a sugar high, instead of eating this product, swallow twelve sugar cubes chased with a cup of honey.

Ideas for writing your lines:

1.  Your lines will probably be based on your observations of life and perceptions of the truth.  The humor seen by others may depend on whether or not they share your experiences and views.

2.  Some lines will be funny.  Some may be satire and food for thought.  Some lines will be for your own amusement.  And that’s OK.

3.  Exaggeration of the truth is a good comedic tool.

4.  You may take a standard warning label and twist it by switching a word or two, playing with rhyme or double word meanings.

5.  Your warning label may reflect that the product will give results exactly the opposite of what you would normally expect.

6.  There are probably hundreds of angles or possibilities.  These are just a few ideas to get you started.

To enter the contest:

1.  Start to notice all the products around you that might be candidates for funny Warning Labels.

2.  Write your funny Warning Labels.  Let them rest overnight and edit the next day.

3.  Work with a humor buddy.

4.  Select your best lines.

5.  Send them to HumorPowerTips@aol.com by Tuesday, August 15, 2006.

6.  If you are in the top three you’ll see your line and your name in print in a future blog post. 

7.  Remember, it’s about having fun and growing your skills.

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