It annoyed Ella immensely. She was spitting tacks. Her husband, Abram, was addicted to reading all those safety procedures on the back of packaging. Go into a paint shop and he’d be reading what paint was harmful to aquatic life, and what bottle of turpentine if spilt on the skin could form a rash. Go into a garden shop and it was the insect sprays and plant fertilizers. Wait a week after spraying before devouring the sprayed broccoli. It drove Ella nuts. She hated going shopping with him.
“Why don’t you stop reading all that nonsense?” she would say. “All you seem interested in these days is chemical safety procedures. What about developing some proper interests? Mabel’s husband took up lawn bowls. You could do that. Or at least have some awareness when we buy food at the supermarket instead of standing there among the detergents and laundry powders reading the labels. Just get a life, you silly man.”
“It says here,” said Abram, “that this oven cleaner may cause damage to internal organs through prolonged or repeated exposure.”
“Poof!” said Ella. “Who cares?”
Ella should have cared because, if the truth be known, Abram wasn’t overly interested in chemical safety procedures. He was reading the labels because he was planning the best way to finish her off.