Signs of the Times
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 95 14:22:43 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Signs of the Times
[Older Fun_People (well, it was way back in '94!) may remember the report of a
Forest Service sign on the Olympic Peninsula that read "CAUTION: NO WARNING
SIGNS BEYOND THIS POINT". That Fun_Posting inspired a question as to whether
the sign should be construed as a warning or a promise, an unsuccessful attempt
(so far) to get a picture of the sign, and the submission of the following... -psl]
Forwarded-by: lanih@irony.Berkeley.EDU (Lani Herrmann)
Forwarded-by: Don Macnaughtan <MACNAUGHTAN@edlane.lane.edu>
Sender: Amy Derby <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Signs of the Times
On October 13, 1944, the Durham N. C. Sun Reported that a Durhamite had
been brought before a Judge Wison in traffic court for having parked his car
on a restricted street right in front of a sign that read "No Stoping."
Rather than pleading guilty, the defendant argued that the missing letter
in the sign meant that he had not violated the letter of the law. Brandishing
a Webster's dictionary, he noted that "stoping" means:
"extracting ore from a stope or, loosely, underground."
"Your Honor", said the man, "I am a law-abiding citizen and I didn't
extract any ore from the area of the sign. I move that the case be
Acknowledging that the defendant hadn't done any illegal mining, the
judge declared the man not guilty and commented, "since this is Friday, the
13th, anything can happen, so I'll turn you loose."
"No Stoping" is a blunderful example of the suspect signs and botched
billboards that dot the American landscape. Here are some other signs that
need to be re-signed:
* At restaurant-gas stations throughout the nation:
"Eat here and get gas."
* At a Sante Fe gas station:
"We will sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container."
* In a New Hampshire jewelry store:
"Ears pierced while you wait."
* In an New York restaurant"
"Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see
* In a Michigan restaurant:
"The early bird gets the worm!"
"Special shoppers' luncheon before 11:00 AM."
* On the wall of a Baltimore estate:
"Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
"-- Sisters of Mercy"
* On a long-established New Mexico dry cleaning store:
"Thirty-eight years on the same spot."
* In a Los Angeles dance hall:
"Good clean dancing every night but Sunday."
* On a movie theater:
"Children's matinee today. Adults not admitted unless with child."
* In a Florida maternity ward:
"No children allowed!"
* In a New York drugstore:
"We dispense with accuracy."
* On a New York loft building:
"Wanted: Woman to sew buttons on the fourth floor."
* In the office of a loan company:
"Ask about our plans for owning your home."
* In a New York medical building:
"Mental health prevention center."
* In a toy department:
"Five Santa Clauses -- no waiting."
* On a New York convalescent home:
"For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church."
* On a Maine shop:
"Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices
* At a number of military bases:
"Restricted to unauthorized personnel."
* In a number of parking areas:
"Violators will be enforced and Trespassers will be violated."
* On a display of "I Love Only You" Valentine cards:
"Now available in multi-packs."
* In the window of a Kentucky appliance store:
"Don't kill your wife. Let our washing machines do the dirty work."
* In a funeral parlor:
"Ask about our layaway plan.
* On a window of a New Hampshire hamburger restaurant:
"Yes, we are open. Sorry for the inconvenience."
* In a clothing store:
"Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks."
* In a Tacoma, Washington men's clothing store:
"15 men's wool suits - $10.00 - They won't last an hour!"
* On an Indiana shopping mall marquee:
"Archery tournament. Ears pierced."
* Outside a country shop:
"We buy junk and sell antiques."
* In downtown Boston:
"Calahan Tunnel/No. End."
* In the window of an Oregon general store:
"Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?"
* In a Massachusettes parking area reserved for birdwatchers:
"Parking for birds only."
* In a New Jersey restaurant:
"Open 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM Midnight."
* In front of a New Hampshire restaurant:
"Now serving live lobsters."
* On a radiator repair garage:
"Best place to take a leak."
* On a movie marquee:
Adam and Eve
with a cast of thousands!
* In the vestry of a New England church:
"Will the last person to leave please see that the perpetual
light is extinguished."
* In a Pennsylvania cemetery:
"Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their
* On a roller coaster:
"Watch your head."
* On the grounds of a private school:
"No trespassing without permission."
* On a Tennessee highway:
"Take Notice: When this sign is under water the road is
* Similarily, in a New Hampshire car wash:
"If you can't read this, it's time you wash your car."
© 1995 Peter Langston