30 June 2008

Oh, Brother…

Posted in oddities at 10:20 pm by Tricia

After more than 20 years with my basic Singer model (a college graduation present, IIRC), I recently bought a new sewing machine. I have a project in mind (heck, it’s in process even, all pinned up and waiting to be sewn) so I decided to browse through the manual.

I was stopped in my tracks by this item on page 1:

16. This sewing machine is not intended for use by young children or infirm persons without supervision. (For Australia and New Zealand only)

What does that mean, really? Does that mean that in Australia and New Zealand, children and infirm persons can use it WITH supervision, but in the rest of the world, they must be UNsupervised? Does supervision just apply to the infirm people, or to children as well? And does infirm have a specific legal definition in A & NZ? Because in the dictionary I just checked, it means

1. feeble or weak in body or health, esp. because of age; ailing.
2. unsteadfast, faltering, or irresolute, as persons or the mind; vacillating: infirm of purpose.

What do they expect weak and feeble people to do down under, stitch everything by hand? Wouldn’t a sewing machine be HELPFUL to someone weak? I mean, it’s not like they have to hold the machine up themselves! Or are they just worried about those irresolute people: can’t have indecisive folks sitting in front of a sewing machine, they might end up with crooked hems, or change threads in the middle of a seam…

And item 17 just adds to the confusion:

17. Young children should be supervised to ensure that they do not play with this machine.

But what about young children in Australia and New Zealand?

Oh Brother, where art thou? (At my side, if their logo can be believed!) Maybe I should just go back to my Singer.



  1. NWHiker said,

    Remember, everything has to work upside down in Australia and NZ, so maybe they need special rules for the weak so the sewing machines don’t fall on their heads?

  2. Tricia said,

    Oh good point – that must be it. But what about people in South America and Africa??

  3. Ruth said,

    It just goes to show, you should never read the instructions.

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