I was riding home on the bus today, mouth still aching from the shuddering agony of an air and water 'clean' the dentist gave the DENTINE of my cracked tooth - sorry, that's another story - and I noticed that some wit had rubbed out a few letters from a sign that's very common on Adelaide buses: Wheelchair brakes should be applied whilst bus is in motion.
Theh sticker now read: EEL HAIR RAKES SHOULD B APPLE WHIIST PUS IN MOTI. Not all that clever and rather peurile, but at least it wasn't obscene and, for all I knew, it might have meant something profound in latin. Whatever the case, it gave me a small chuckle and set my minute mind to remembering other silly signs I'd seen in the past.
In 1985 (which I've covered in: http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2005/09/well-ram-my-face-into-brick-wall-and.html) I went to Ayers Rock for a camping holiday with my parents and my 15 year old brother who had broken his collarbone, leaving me to help Dad erect our complex, double-internal-chambered, 8-man tent every night. Thankfully I had my very groovy Sony walkman to blot out the uncoolness of travelling with my family and could instead immerse myself in the sounds of Wang Chung, Dream Academy and Animotion. The drive up there was dusty, hot and incredibly boring; however at one stage we saw a rusted sign, literally in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't attached to an old house, or petrol station or fence, but read: LESBIANS ARE EVERYWHERE. For some reason I was quite happy to pose next to it for the photo, but still fervently hoped that it wouldn't be seen by any of my school mates.
The most common silly sign was found at Adelaide University in the toilets. In the eighties they were using separate sheets of thin, cheap loo paper that you grabbed from the letter box slot at the bottom of the white metal box. Under every single dispenser in the butt-ugly-but-big Napier building would invariably be seen the words: ARTS DEGREES. PLEASE TAKE ONE. Ha ha bloody har - it's a bona fide skill to have a working knowledge of ancient Roman art and archaeology and don't get me started on the relevance of the pre-scientific world view.... There was a tiny bit of consolation in the fact that at the SA Institute of Technology (SAIT as it was then known) on the corner, their loo dispensers had: SOCIAL WORKER DEGREES. PLEASE TAKE ONE instead.
Unley Road has for years had the standard road sign 'Form One Lane' spraypainted with two fuzzy purple letters to 'Form One Planet.' I know that this was also a Rockmelons album and so has probably been done to death, but I've never seen it anywhere in my neck of the woods. Growing up in Murray Bridge meant that the only silly signs I ever saw were someone's initials shot into the metal with a slug gun.
The location of the racist graffiti escapes me, but at one stage it hatefully stated: ASIANS OUT. Very soon after, some clever-clogs had added three extra words which served to totally remove the hatred of the phrase: TAKE ASIANS OUT TO LUNCH. Now that kind of cleverness is something to admire and enjoy.
We've all seen 'Please wash me' on particularly dusty cars, but my Uncle, who then lived in the rural town of KiKi (don't pretend you haven't heard of it, it's on the big long road to Melbourne), found one on the back of his grotty old station wagon that made him laugh: Don't wash me - PLANT something!
Lastly, there are sometimes some pearls to be found at the back of toilet doors. Aside from 'Michelle is a f***ing mole and we're going to kick her head in, 'For a good time call -----' and the ubiquitous 'Kazza for Dazza 4 Eva 2 getha'. The only one of these pearlers I can remember was scrawled at the bottom of the door (note to self for future blog topic - why don't toilet doors ever reach the bottom? Is it for ventilation? Is wood that expensive?) 'Beware of perverted limbo dancers.' I laughed so hard that the old lady next to me in the Wyatt Street carpark hastily got out and left without washing her hands. At least I hope that's why she did.