Yes I was going to talk about the label; I just needed a little more time. You see, my other daughter did manage to find a decent skeleton costume at the Chinese 5-and-dime, which was a near miracle because you never know what those things are going to look like until you put them on. And more often than not your first reaction is, “Skeletons don’t have tails, do they? Don’t worry, I’m sure grandma can do something about it.”
Later on I was picking up the cardboard label from the floor where it had been deposited and forgotten about a couple of hours before, when I stopped to take a better look at it. The pause was well worth it. It is not often that so little can say so much; almost like a haiku.
It wasn’t my intention to devote so much attention to something destined to end up in the city dump in the near future, I think I’ll forgo recycling thing, but there was just too much there to ignore. To begin with, there was an issue concerning the photograph that depicted the costume: a young man dressed up as a glaring skeleton with an arming cap and wielding an executioner’s axe. The model looked about as threatening as a mailman, but he gets credit for trying. Everything up to that point was fine until I glanced at the vertically printed sign on the side that read “Pink Fairy”. That didn’t look quite right. In fact, the full name was “Pink Fairy: Adult Costume”. That sounded even odder.
I scratched my cheek and sat down for a little think. Obviously, there had been a mistake at the assembly line. The wrong name had been matched with the wrong costume, from what I could tell. It is my guess that they have probably picked up on this error by now, unless, of course, they don’t know that “pink fairy” does not mean “skeleton with an axe”. In that case, I am comforted by the thought that should the crisis in Spain rage on so long that even the English teachers will have to abandon the country, and that would be serious because, after all, we are about the only sector thriving in these rough times, since now that no one is working, all anyone does is try to perfect their English so that they can leave country.
The day we have to go will mean turning off the lights and locking up.
Oh well, assuming this was a simple oversight back at the factory, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. But I have to admit that the misnomer did grab my attention, and now that I was nearly reclined with the cardboard label in both hands like an iPad, I decided to move on and study what else the packaging had to say. The result was the discovery a whole world of curiosities.
For example, the size category had two points worth remarking on. You had:
□ One size fits all
Now I am sharp enough to get the idea of the “small/medium” and “medium/large”, but what was the “one size fits all” all about? I mean, if you have an all-encompassing outfit, why would you need the others? And what the heck is “one-size-fits all”? This wasn’t a bathing cap or a condom, it was a costume to represent Death. Yet, according to the label, my thirteen-year-old daughter and a friend of mine who weighs 280lbs. could count on the same suit with the same results. If true, this would be a stunning find in my book, worthy of international recognition.
Once she tried it on, though, I new no miracle would happen. It was one size fits all, as long as all sizes were one.
I moved on. Just over to the right, down in the corner, I spotted a helpful caveat: Warning! Keep away from fire. Did it suggest that the outfit was particularly favorable for engulfing the wearer in flames? Or was this just a simple safety tip for life in general? After all, fire does tend to be hazardous to anyone who gets too close to it, even if you are buck naked, and most clothes tend to succumb to its heat no matter what they are made of. This warning is a standard caution for all costumes, but when you think about it, it seems strange to single them out.
Not yet satiated, I turned the label over and found more. Here was another piece of advice: Not Recommended for Children under Age 3. Well, that surely cleared up things. It was an adult-sized costume, albeit called Pink Fairy, but I guess this notice must have been the result of some prior lawsuit, like “Do Not Dry Your Pet in the Microwave Oven”.
The very last item got another chuckle out of me: it was the part that said 100% polyester right above the green recyclable symbol. There is something about polyethylene plastic and making the world a cleaner place that makes me think they shouldn’t even be in the same room together, let alone complement each other. But as it turns out, polyester is apparently quite recyclable and even coveted by many companies.
Oh, well. I conceded that point. They weren’t perfect, but nor was I.