There are some helpful warning signs at the waterfalls here in the mountains. Most of them contain information about the dangers and almost all of them warn people not to wade in the water above the falls, because "the rocks are wet and slippery." Yet every year several people visiting our county die from falling over a waterfall. Because they waded in the water above the falls and found that the rocks were indeed wet and slippery.
Almost every item you might microwave carries a warning that the food will be hot when you take it out. The take-out cup at your local coffee shop warns that the contents might be hot. Our entrance gate has a cute little graphic of a stick figure falling forward with the gate crashing down on his neck.
Now I do appreciate the "wet floor" sign in the grocery store. And the sign that reminds you to step down when you open the door. But there are so many other signs that say something so obvious that I often wonder why the sign was placed there. I suspect it has something to do with lawsuits.
Here is a sign in a hotel room in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Zachar) I have a feeling that if you are so drunk you don't recognize that you are not on ground level, then you are too drunk to read the sign.
On the other hand, some signs seem intended for very intelligent speed readers. I don't know the origin of the sign, but it seems a bit complex to me.
Here in the mountains we have a lot of road signs to remind drivers of approaching sharp curves. Most people appreciate them. We also have signs that none of the tourists seem to be able to read and understand. These signs are to indicate that there is a turnout ahead for slow moving traffic. They never seem to recognize who they are. So here's a bit of advice for them, "If you can see fifteen cars in your rear-view mirror creeping along behind you, it's just possible that you are in fact slow moving. PUT ON YOUR SIGNAL AND PULL INTO THE TURNOUT. PLEASE!"
One afternoon I was especially frustrated after following a old man up the mountain. He was going 20 miles/hour, often braking while going uphill and braking every time there was an oncoming vehicle. I came inside and told my husband that I sincerely hoped he would tell me when it's not safe for me to be driving up the mountain. He placed his hand on my shoulder and gently said, "Honey, it's not safe for you to be driving up the mountain." What a funny guy.