Dear Dr. Boli: The box of matches by the kitchen stove says “KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN” in big capital letters on the side. Why does it say that? —Sincerely, Masaharu Morimoto.
Dear Sir: By longstanding convention, boxes of matches are imprinted with slogans embodying a few sage words of advice or folk wisdom, somewhat after the manner of a Chinese fortune cookie. Thus your matchbox bears the motto “Keep away from children”; another from the same manufacturer might say “Look both ways before crossing” or, appropriately enough, “Don’t play with matches”—all good advice, though hardly astonishing insights. Dr. Boli, for example, learned to keep away from children at a very early age.