In the middle of the room sit four, plastic, molded chairs. They all sit low to the ground, are stackable, modern, and white. They remind me of chairs you would see in the lobby of the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, or at a food court café on a UFO. Same thing really. Have you ever been to Los Angeles?
On their own the chairs are quite beautiful. Sleek, seamless, silently pretentious. And the seat mirrors the inside of an egg, smooth. They look expensive and the plastic seems to breathe in the sunlight, making the egg seat glow from the inside. Like a womb.
The glow reminds me of being a child, putting a flashlight in my mouth, and blowing out my cheeks so I could see the life beneath my skin. I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror with the lights off. Leaning into the pink glow so I could study a vein path. Knowing it was blood and muscle intrigued me.
These beautiful white chairs, are also the kinds of chairs that once seated, you will find it impossible to get out. Not because of comfort, but because of design.
Not all shoes are made for walking. I own several pairs of shoes that have been designed, specifically, for sitting. Similarly, not all chairs are made for sitting. Some are designed to be enjoyed from a standing position, and from a distance, like a painting behind a velvet rope.
Any chair you have to drop into is a health hazard in my opinion. Especially for anyone over thirty-five, an age I look back on fondly. It’s the deep egg seat, and being so low to the ground.
Chairs like this should be required by law to have a “Do not sit” safety tags on the inside of a leg. Like the “Do not remove” tags sewn into the seams of duvet covers. The tag that always has a perforated line, right above the seam, taunting your fingertips to tear at it.
The tags that give you cleaning directions and user instructions, to remove the manufacturer from liability. Because, what if, over confident and hopped up on shopping endorphins, you rush to put your new sheet palette together… And you take the perforated bait?
In a decorating blindness you tear off the tag, without reading the instructions, warnings, or, a single word of the cleaning care guide. And then…
You swallow the duvet, choking to death on the last corner. Your family, mourning your loss, and now furious at bed in a bag for not better warning it’s online customers about the hazards of eating their best-selling, heavyweight, duck feather duvet, file a lawsuit. And, they lose. And, they will deserve it. Because, you’d been warned about the choking hazard. It was right there on the tag. The tag YOU ripped off! The provision clearly states under section B, line six, “DO NOT INGEST DUVET”
To avoid any lawsuits from the illiterates, my safety tags would be pictures, no words. Because, people who can’t read or write, still sit in chairs. They would have bold circles with various, gender neutral, human shapes in the center. Similar to the art work on signs like.
“What to do when someone is choking”
A sign that’s commonly found behind the counter of a Burger King, or, a diner attached to a gas station. Another example is the ever popular …
“Employees must wash their hands before returning to work” sign.
This is common for bathrooms in places like Chipotle, or a mall food court. These signs have pictures, to show you how to wash your hands. Or more accurately. They show hands clasped under a faucet, usually close up, just hands and water. Sometimes they widen out and show you a sink. I prefer the wider angle. The close up reminds me of Jesus posters. The ones with the giant hands together, in prayer. And there’s always clouds or a beach behind them.
I’ve always found it strange that anyone needing picture instructions on how to wash their hands could be qualified for any employment. I also know cleanliness and proper food handling is not the reason for the sign’s existence. Evading a lawsuit from someone becoming ill because they ate a burger that was made by a guy who picks his nose, wipes his ass, and stirs the ketchup, all with the same finger, is the primary concern. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like the close up. It’s like they’re begging not to be sued.
They also never really capture the “before returning to work” part. Or nail down it being a message directed toward employees. It feels about as useful a communication as does yelling at a deaf person.
On my tags, the tags first human shape would be alone, and already seated. It would be leaning forward slightly, with its arm shapes bent. The bend being an implied elbow, obviously. The bent stub parts would be leaning on the chair arms, preparing to stand. And there would be thick arrows pointing upward, from the floor towards the ceiling.
There would be a supplementary circle linked in the corner of this circle, for more information… This circle would have the same, gender-neutral human shape, hunched over. It’s arm stump now holding its back, in pain. You know it’s in pain by the crooked lines on its head shape, in the place it’s eyes would be.
The chair, now on its side, has toppled over and lays on the floor. A little puddle of water, glass shards between broken flower stems, and what’s left of a vase is also on the floor. This circle is nothing less than animated havoc.
The entire image, without question, has a huge red X over it. This color and cross combination are a universally understood declaration, of danger, of wrong doing, and of behavior that is prohibited.
The next chapter of the tag has more circles. These have two, gender neutral, human shapes in them. One sitting, and one standing. In the first circle, the shape sitting is looking up at the shape standing. The shape standing has an arm stub outstretched, offering gender neutral, non-threatening, assistance. They are surrounded by arrows pointing upward.
The next circle has the same characters, but both are standing, upright, unhurt, and the chair, and the room, are in perfect order. Both shapes have gender neutral smiles on their faces, so we know they’re happy. A big green check mark also swipes over the entire image, indicating that this method is approved and recommended for standing up out of this chair.
I’m thinking that I should also add images that advise against eating, showering, or perhaps trying to wear the chair also. Just in case.