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If You Ask Me... Signs

“I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree,” wrote the late, great Ogden Nash. Flo Whitaker agrees – there are far too many signs in the world, and many of them are utterly ridiculous

Signs, signs, signs…the world is full of signs – you can’t move for ‘em. Many are badly worded, ambiguous or downright wrong. Aggressive signs in car parks that shout, ‘We are not liable for any damage whatsoever to your vehicle’ are a particular bugbear of mine. So, if their poorly maintained wall collapses onto your car – they’re not responsible? Hmmm…

However, fruit ‘n’ veg signs featuring the greengrocer’s apostrophe and wacky spellings are guaranteed to make me smile. You can never have too many carrott’s, tomatoe’s and lettise’s.

Signs can be unintentionally hilarious. One, spotted in a Brighton store read, ‘Refunds, exchanges and baby changing’ conjuring an image of an exhausted, sleep deprived parent, sobbing, “It’s faulty… It keeps crying and pooing… I want another one!” as a stroppy customer services operative replies, “Have you read our Terms and Conditions? Did you keep the receipt?”

Then there’s the sign that hung in the kitchen of a community hall; ‘Please rinse out milk bottles and stand upside-down in the sink.’ No offence to the Over 90s Salsa Jive Class, but, frankly, that’s a trick that only an Olympic gymnast could manage. Milk bottles, eh? Remember them?

I recently purchased a loaf bearing a label, ‘Sliced by your baker.’ This piffling nonsense was doubtless dreamt up by a graduate from the University of the Blimmin’ Obvious, who probably trousered a hefty fee for their marketing brilliance. It’s bread, stupid!

Who else do you suppose sliced it? A gynaecologist?

Good grief!