The Duh Factor

Part One: Definitely Unobservant Here

First Published April 23, 2002.
Last Updated July 15, 2002.

We’ve probably all experienced this one. Someone we meet simply doesn’t get the whole picture. Let me give you an example:

March 23, 2002 — My wife and I were at the grocery store the other day, and we were buying some yogurt. We had just chosen Dannon® Fruit on the Bottom, when another customer approached us and said, “You shouldn’t buy that yogurt. You’re just paying for the name. See? It’s 59 cents. There’s Blue Bunny® yogurt over there, and it’s only 43 cents. And you know what? I read the label, and it has less sugar and calories too. Check it out for yourself!” So we did, and we learned that the kind old gentleman was right—almost.

Here’s where the Duh Factor comes in: The net weight on the Dannon was clearly marked 8 oz. and the net weight on the Blue Bunny was clearly marked 6 oz. So that put the price comparison nearly even at 7.17 vs. 7.38 cents per ounce! And the nutrition info was similar too, when you compare ounce for ounce. Moral: before declaring yourself an expert, read the entire label!

By strange coincidence, I happen to work at that same grocery store. And I and my co-workers see a lot of people who seem to be DUH (Definitely Unobservant Here). For example: our store, unlike most others in town, doesn’t accept credit cards (it’s cash or check only). Notices are prominently posted at all entrances to that effect. Yet never a day passes that someone doesn’t try to use a credit card at the checkout—and they’re often “fighting mad” when they discover that we don’t accept them! Ah, things would be so much easier if only people would read the signs.

Part Two: Stating the Obvious

From the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Official Rulebook:

The object of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME is to win a Match against your opponent.

I know it’s customary to state the object of a game, but isn’t this one obvious enough to go without stating?

Or how about this one: have you ever read the Nutrition Facts label on Dasani® bottled water? It gives the serving size as “one bottle” (that would be tough to figure out), then lists the calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, and protein all as zero. Duh. In all fairness to Coca-Cola (who bottles Dasani), they probably did this just to be consistent, since all of their other products use the Nutrition Facts label (most bottled waters don’t, although some do—Crystal Geiser® for one).

Be sure to read Fractured Web Pages, a report of my own “Duh Factor”!