Saturday, May 16, 2009

Silly Signs

I'm a big dopey fan of Fail blog because there's a huge, throbbingly unhealthy-but-thriving streak inside me that loves a good whallop of hilarious misfortune - especially when it happens to others. Yes, it's sad and bad and ultimately unsportsmanlike, but I'm the first one to cack myself to tears if someone goes arse-over-feet in the street - even if it's me.

And, as much as I adore high-brow comedy and clever wit if there's a well-timed fart or an innocent trip out of the tram doors I'm literally anybody's.

Even Sapphire is aware of her mother's weakness. Just the other day she saw a tender young toddler do a fabulous face-plant on the school oval as he was staggering after his elder sibling. Looking directly at me with her (all too frequent) disapproving Nanna Face on, she said, "Go on Mum, start laughing 'til you cry."

I hung my head in shame. At least, that's what my daughter thought; really I was just struggling to keep the chortles inside and ended up somehow pushing the repressed air up my nose causing an implausibly loud sneezing attack that embarrassed Sapphire as much as my mirth-at-a-minor misfortune would have.

So these days I'm trying harder to repress this evil tendency and focus on a more visual - and private - pastime that I can scoff at in the relative security of my study away from family or wider public censure. It has meant that I now have my camera in my backpack in case I see signs that amuse me and I can have a silly, immature giggle at them later.

Here's a few I've found so far:

I'm sorry, but WHO can't spell the three-letter word 'nod'?

It was Love Chunks who pointed this one out first and before I'd even reminded myself to give him a 'That's not a very mature thing to say in front of our child' stare and then surreptitiously sneak out my Canon, I was already sniggering like a school girl.
"He's a bit over-confident, isn't he?" And is it really much of a sell when he tell us that his nuts "are the best for less?"
"Should I go in there and say, 'Show us yer best nuts, Ray'?"

Har har har. I know: it's pathetic, shamefully low-brow and utterly childish and I wish it was something I could stop.

This one was spotted whilst sitting on the tram one evening, so the flash had to work fast. Some clever-clogs had neatly cut off the latest religious advertisement to reveal the Nando's one underneath.

After all, if we're now sin-free, why NOT share a peri-peri chicken platter?
Sadly, taking random snapshots through the window and giggling to myself on public transport meant that nearly everyone got off at the next stop.
This one had me doubled-over by the dairy case at Coles supermarkets. Would you really want to eat a 'knob' for lunch? I didn't dare turn it over to peruse the ingredients to discover which poor male beastie had given up the most valuable part of themselves so that human cheapskates could add it to the cheese in their sandwiches.
And, does Coles really believe that buyers are 'smart' for considering it? Actually, don't answer that.
This parking sign is in our tiny little Flemington Street. I'm not sure why, because no-one ever bothers to park here and residents aren't exactly struggling to find less-restrictive spots considering that there's four blocks of flats with their own parking and a grand total of nine houses that look out onto our wee street.

Where the 'Thug Life Army' comes into it I'm yet to discover. Surely the grittier elements of Collingwood, Springvale or the city alleyways would be more attractive to any hoodlums with the ability to spell words of four letters and wield a felt tip marker in good working order?

On a recent walking tour around Melbourne, we were led into the 'United Order of Oddfellows' building that was constructed during the great depression by a large insurance company and banking firm. Inspired by Greek mythology and imagery, they had a series of marble panels that depicted how they would 'help' the modern Aussie borrow, save, live and prosper.

At first glance however, the above engraving looks more like a transaction for gay sex has been made. In fact, what's written underneath in faded writing is that they'll lend money for a home. I didn't realise that you had to be naked in order to get any. Money for a home, I mean.

There were a few more but often I'd pass by before remembering to snap them. One disappointment was the sign at the pub on Number One Flemington road that used to proudly boast having 'Probably the Best Beer Garden in the World' until it was painted over last week or the 'Persin-ality' Trophy Shop in Maribyrnong that, unfortunately, recently closed down. Perhaps they'd both been proved wrong.

'Whatever' as the corrugated iron fence dividing Shields and Princes Streets tells me each day as I pass through....


Benjamin Solah said...

The knob one has me laughing all the time!

And Margo was keeling over at that first failblog pic last night! Small world the internet ;)

River said...

So THAT'S my problem. I always applied for home loans fully clothed.
Somewhere in Melbourne, there's a misspelled sign on a burger cafe that reads Hambuggers. Maybe it isn't there anymore. We lived in Watsonia in 1981 and 1982. The sign was in a suburb to the west, near where we shopped at a bicycle store for K's first two wheeler.
Please don't stop laughing at funny stuff. Life is meant to be a chuckle.

Kath Lockett said...

Glad to hear that you too, Benjamin can have a chuckle at a knob when you see one and that Margo of yours has exquisite taste quite obviously....

River, being female might not help you if you're seeking a loan from the Oddfellows society, let alone taking your clothes off.

Hambuggers eh? That'd go down a treat in a few other more accepting suburbs, but the 'ham' bit has extra resonance during this current pig flu crisis.

There was a shop in the rather depressing Heidelberg West mall in 2000 that used to put out their sandwich board inviting dumb punters to 'Come in for a fresh samwidge' written on it.

There's a little eatery on Bourke Street called 'Singapore Chom Chom' that I'm tempted to take a photo of and send into LOLcats.

Horatio said...

Hey, great post! Seriously. And I'm not trying to be ironic when I write that your Fail Blog link is kind of fail too. :)


Cerry said...

About a week after I arrived in Germany (so while I was still jetlagged), we drove past the main factory for one of the biggest window and door manufacturing companies in the country. I started giggling hysterically. At the end of 10 weeks, my host family were still a little lost about why I found the 10m high, neon red sign saying EMO so hilarious...I'm just sad we were going 170km/h, and I wasn't processing properly, so the camera didn't make it out of the bag in time to get a photo.

myra said...

Love reading signs some are so funny like your,s

Kath Lockett said...

Oopps, Horatio, you're right (blush blush). I've fixed it now.

Cerry, obviously the EMO door factory only sold black doors that always stayed closed...?

Thanks Myra.

Miles McClagan said...

So you've never heard the Karl Pilkington dance sensation "I could eat a Knob at night?"

ashleigh said...

Remeber where you used to live in Adelaide? Well not far from there, in fact just opposite the Burnside town hall, there used to be a shop that, for years, had signs out proclaiming it sold "Hot Dognuts". It did a roaring trade when the Blue light discos were on.

SWMBO and I used to get a giggle every time we drove past, and wonder what on earth they put into the "Dognuts". Not to mention if the doggies minded.

There's a real estate agent in that shop these days. It's not quite the same, but perhaps we can see why the previous occupant is not there any more.

Deep Kick Girl said...

Thanks for the giggle Kath. Nothing I like better than a misspelled or badly translated sign or ad. Now I'm off to Coles to buy me a bit of knob.

Baino said...

I always thought that Devon was made from lips and arsholes, now I have to put knobs into the equation!

Kath Lockett said...

No Miles, I haven't heard of Mr Pilkington or his knob. And I'm glad.

Ashleigh, I remember the DOGNUTS shop too! Perhaps they were the ones throwing the doughnut away and just selling the 'nut' of the inside bit?

DKG - you haven't lived until you've had a knob sandwich....

Baino - see, the mystery ingredient has finally been solved for you!

Helen said...

noooooo! Not the "Persinality" trophy shop now? Our town is losing all its persinality.

Helen said...

...and, why the hell do you think they call them Oddfellows in the first place!???