Yeah, yeah — retardant.
Still, I’m having a lot of trouble these days jumping on the whole “fire retardant” product bandwagon. I’ve got groups of friends calling me up night and day wondering if I bought this fire retardant mattress or that fire retardant winter jacket or this fire retardant carpet sealer or that fire retardant fireplace log… And honestly, I’m sick and tired of being pressured into buying a product that really doesn’t retard fire at all, but just retards for a few minutes before burning…
…which is in my opinion, literally…retarded.
Retarded defines a product that only does what you are hoping it will do for a short amount of time. For example, no one in their right mind would buy a DVD player that would only play DVDs for sixty minutes. No one would pay good money for sunscreen that would work for only thirty minutes and then let the sun burn you to a crisp. No one would buy an industrial-sized ultrasound machine for their pregnant wife, only to find out that it would operate properly for the first trimester, then end up being a $100,000 planter for the last two.
No one would.
So then what villainous corporation has cleverly got the American public to start buying fire retardant products? Unless you’re sleeping in a self-propulsive fire retardant satellite/sleeping bag that just happens to quickly speed past the sun in less than five minutes (and which can retard really hot fire for about six minutes), there’s really no use for a fire retardant sleeping bag. That’s because, if you’re like me and you ended up asleep in a fire retardant sleeping bag at the same time that a fiery meteorite slammed into your house and doused your house in flames, you would probably end up dreaming that you were at a campfire eating S’mores long enough for YOU to actually end up becoming the S’more.
I’ll refrain from analyzing the word S’More for another post.
But even worse than a faceless corporation quietly pulling the fire retardant wool over our eyes and sucking our wallets and bank accounts dry is the fact that friends and family have obviously bought so heavily into the concept that they are now trying to guilt trip me into purchasing a few of their own favorite retarded products:
Them: “Do you have a fire retardant winter jacket?”
Me: “I live in Los Angeles. What do I need a winter jacket for?”
Them: “It’s a FIRE RETARDANT winter jacket.”
Me: “Uh huh. And when would I find myself wearing a winter jacket where I’d also be at risk for being caught on fire?”
Them: “In Compton?”
Yeah. Uh huh. In Compton.
Sleeping bags and winter coats. Carpet sealers and mattresses. Pants and shoes and pillows and drapes…tires and candles and toys and safes. Honestly, slap “fire retardant” on anything and add a hundred bucks and watch the dollars roll on in, my friends.
But me? Not buying it.
If I’m going to burn, I’d rather burn quickly and not after thirty minutes. If I’m faced with escaping a towering inferno of sorts and I can’t get out quickly, some over priced jacket ain’t gonna do me no good. I’d rather suck it up, wrap my head in wet paper towels, and save my money for the medical assistance I’m going to need when I get out of that big life size flaming bag of poo.
It’s no wonder you can’t spell the word retardant…without retard.