For the enjoyment and edification of you, my logoleptic pun pals, I present my collection of placards and posters that have appeared around the world. Both literally and figuratively they are signs of our times, times in which we English users love to fiddle with words and to laugh at the loony tunes that such fiddling produces:
at a tire store: Blowout sale. Time to re-tire; at a towing station: We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows; at an auto repair shop: May we have the next dents? at a radiator shop: Best place in town to take a leak;
in front of various churches: Seven days without God makes one weak; Son screen prevents sin burn; Stop here for your holiday spirits; Give Satan an inch and he’ll become a ruler; Please keep off the grass. Such trespasses will not be forgiven;
in front of a restaurant: Don’t stand there and be hungry. Come in and get fed up. outside a Chinese restaurant: Poor English, but great food; in a bar: No working during drinking hours; in an ice cream shop: You can’t beat our milk shakes, but you can whip our cream and lick our ice cream cones;
in various veterinarians’ offices: All unattended children will be given free kittens. Parking for customers only. Others will be neutered. Back in five minutes. Sit! Stay!;
on a septic tank truck: We’re #1 in the #2 business; on a plumber’s truck: We repair what your husband fixed; on another plumber’s truck: Don’t sleep with a drip. Call us; on yet another plumber’s truck: A flush is better than a full house;
over a gynecologist’s office: The doctor is at your cervix; on a proctologist’s door: To expedite your visit please back in; on a plastic surgeon’s office door: Hello. Can we pick your nose?; on a maternity room door: Push. Push. Push; in a podiatrist’s office: Time wounds all heels. at an optometrist’s office: If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place;
on a taxidermist’s window: We really know our stuff; on a fence: Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive; on another fence: Forget the dog. Beware of the owner; in a pet store window: Have a furry meowy Christmas and a yappy new year;
at an electric company: Power to the people; at another electric company: We would be delighted if you would send in your payment. However, if you don’t, you will be; at a propane filling station: Tank heaven for little grills.
in the front yard of a funeral home: Drive carefully. We can wait; inside a bowling alley: Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop; at a necktie display: Come over and tie one on; at the psychic’s hotline: Don’t call us; we’ll call you;
outside a striptease theater: Here the belles peel; on a junkyard fence: Rust in pieces; on another junkyard fence: Edifice wrecks; over an antique ship: Remains to be seen; in a beauty parlor: Curl up and dye; at a planetarium: Cast of thousands, everyone a star;
in front of a diaper service: Rock a dry baby; over a display of batteries: Wanna start something?; in the window of a book store: Curdle up with a good mystery; on the door of a music store: Gone Chopin. Be Bach in a Minuet.
Now it’s your turn. Please send me at email@example.com clever signs like the ones above that you make up. The maximum is three signs. Please include your name and address and the community in which you live.
I’ll share the best ones in my Sept. 12 column and award signed copies of my book “Anguished English” to three winners. The deadline for submission is Sept. 7.
Please send your clever signs to firstname.lastname@example.org