Among the many bits and pieces of information I’ve collected over the years are several bulging file folders I call my Smile Files.
The random assortments contain clippings and bits of paper documenting silly signs and goofs in print. All it takes to spot these smile producers is an eye for the funny side of life.
For instance, in a busy office building, I saw an attention-getting sign in the ladies’ room. It read “Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.”
I recently came across a muffler shop that advertises, “No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”
The last time I visited Chautauqua County’s lovely William Seward Inn, a no-smoking facility, I noticed the sign the inn-keepers tastefully placed on the ornate buffet in the dining room, “If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate measures.”
One hospital with a flair for humor installed a helpful sign on the door to the maternity department. It instructed, “Push! Push! Push!”
A Laundromat I heard of had this interesting advice on its automatic washers, “Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.”
The propane filling station outside a busy hardware store calls the area, “Tank Heaven for Little Grills.”
A high-rise I visited had placed a temporary sign on one of its elevators, “This elevator is out of whack.” One frustrated would-be elevator rider had added in pencil, “More whack is on order.”
A friend told me of a repair shop he stopped at that displayed a telling sign on the door. It read, “We can repair anything. (Please knock hard on door. Bell doesn’t work.)”
A popular Pennsylvania plumbing company advertises, “Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”
One pizza shop we know of advises, “Seven days without pizza makes one weak.”
A sign in a veterinarian’s waiting room reads, “Back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”
I frequently pass a local hospital where one of the outlying buildings is devoted to sleep studies. The sign on a side door reads, “Sleep Center Emergency Entrance.”
But it’s not just silly signs I watch for. I have an ever-growing collection of strange things I’ve read in the newspapers, too.
For instance, I saw an ad in the classified section under burial lots. It read “ 2 crypts. 3rd level. Nice view.”
A misplaced comma made for a smile in an ad for building supplies. In part it read, “Toilet and Urinal Tandem, Bike...”
A newspaper headline proclaimed an interesting slant on a construction project. It read, “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges.”
A sign in front of a church invited, “Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.”
Some years ago, there was an announcement in an area paper that made the surprise claim, “Mayville Girl Wins 1st Place in Dog Show.”
A revealing announcement out of NASA made the newspapers, too. The headline read, “Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft.”
And, an invitation to an upcoming rummage sale showed a poor choice of words with, “The United Methodist Women have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the church basement this Friday.”
Keep a sharp humor eye out and you, too, will find lots of reason to smile as you mosey down this sometimes-silly road of life.