Fine print

I have a beef with “fine print”.

As my old friend Andy Rooney once said, “nothing in fine print is ever good news.” I firmly believe that.

But the damn thing is multiplying like crazy, breeding like rabbits on a Caribbean holiday. It is everywhere, and like most everything that you cannot see, it is hazardous to your health… and to your retirement plan.

“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.”  Pete Seeger

A wise person (or a seasoned lawyer) will read the fine print before gracing any document with his John Hancock. But unfortunately there seems to be a shortage of wise men; in their eagerness to acquire something new, very few people bother to scrutinize (especially the benign last paragraph) of the document that they are signing.

Fine print basically means that the author of the document is loath to reveal what the law constrains him to do. He thus complies through the artifice of miniaturization.

I realize that my sight is not what it used to be, but even when wearing my spectacles I strain to decipher some documents.

I just purchased a Thermos bottle, and it came with a “care and use” guide. But this guide (hiding in the bottle) is barely 3 x 2 inches and the print is so small that I need a magnifying glass to decipher what it says.

Is Thermos trying to pull a fast one or am I becoming paranoid? In this climate of “fake news” everything is possible. Is a microphone hidden in the walls of the bottle? Am I going to get infected by a mysterious virus by drinking from this container? Is this a surreptitious way of converting me to Scientology? Are the Russians involved?

Washington’s paranoia has affected all. Everybody is jittery and inclined to believe the most outrageous claim.

Make America clean again and built a beautiful wall around Un-American fine print.


The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away. Fulton J. Sheen

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