The FDA has issued an alert about the ShoulderFlex Massager manufactured by King International after one death and one near-strangulation were alleged to have been caused by the device. For those keeping score, that’s only one reported death out of the approximately 12,000 ShoulderFlex Massagers the company has sold so far, but they plan to issue a recall nonetheless. It would seem to be a design flaw, but we think a few of the ShoulderFlexes just became confused over which date is Judgement Day and implemented their protocol early. Get it together, robots. No, wait, don’t get it together. Ever.
The latter incident [near-strangulation] occurred after a necklace and piece of clothing became caught in a rotating component of the therapeutic massager. The watchdog agency noted that it also had received two other reports of hair and clothing being caught in the device. [...] The agency urges people who own the device to “dispose of the device components separately so that the massager cannot be reassembled and used.” [ThirdAge via Geekologie]
At first I thought it was strange that they’d think someone would dig around in trash and reassemble something from parts found near each other, but then I remembered how we have to tell patients at the drugstore to dispose of old medications by mixing them with used cat litter or something else gross (like pictures of Paris Hilton, for example). There are actually people who see a bunch of random pills in the trash and think, “Ooo, these magic mystery pills might get me high” and then take all of them at once. Then it turns out to be a near fatal dose of blood pressure medication and they have to go to the emergency room and we all get to absorb the cost. Yet the people stupid and reckless enough to do this are too persnickety to eat the same pills when they’re slathered in cat sh-t. Go figure.