LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Signs for Stupid People

Warning signs abound. Some of them provide important information. Others? Well, they should be preceded by a statement, "Stupid People Read This." I resent warning signs that state the obvious.

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.

22 comments:

Rudee said...

The left side of the last photo indicated 3 miles, but that's not what I added up on the right. Is it possible that the person who designed the sign cannot count?

The hot liquid warnings on cups is directly related to the not so bright woman who sued McDonald's when she scalded herself with coffee. She'd put the cup between her thighs. Now who does that? I think the warning should state: please don't place cup with hot liquid contents between your legs.

TaraDharma said...

that balcony sign was probably conceived in a focus group with many serious faces brainstorming the nicest way to point out the obvious. There may have been a lawsuit in their past, or they may have just hired a new risk manager who reviewed the place top to bottom. And that road sign?! Please, I create an accident just by stopping in the road to try and figure it out!

YD, sometimes with ♥Samantha and ♥June said...

I do agree that many signs are stupid but it's all because of other people's stupidity and irresponsibility that we all have to "suffer" and read these signs. The hot content is definitely from the person suing McDonald's. I often wonder when they will start putting warning signs on knifes. You know, some people may not know that it's sharp and they may get cut.

Busy Bee Suz said...

"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!"
this made me laugh so hard....I don't understand people. I just don't...so little common sense rolling around the big ol' world.
Great post!

George said...

I completely agree with you about the signs for stupid people and the oblivious tourists who don't recognize the need to use a turnout. I sometimes think there are now so many warning signs that no one pays any attention to any of them.

The Bug said...

One afternoon Dr. M & I had the bright idea of going to the movies via the Blue Ridge Parkway. We lived in Weaverville at the time & were headed to the Asheville mall area. One of our dumber ideas - why there are slow moving people all over that parkway! In that case though I think we were in the wrong to be using a parkway as a through road.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh what a great post, Carolyn... I especially relate to that last one... People have NO CLUE when they are poking along and there are 20 cars behind them... GADS!!!!

AND--how 'bout people that drive slowely in the left lane on the interstate --and won't pull over to the right..... Grrrrrrrrr!!!!

That is one funny sign about the balcony... Bet they have to put that sign there to protect them from getting sued if someone falls off thinking they are on the ground level... duh!!!!

Cute post.
Hugs,
Betsy

KGMom said...

Oh, this must be sign day--I just saw a sign that inspired me to write.
What a chuckle--the balcony sign. Wonder what on earth inspired that.
Hmmm--sounds like your husband has the same quirky humor mine has. But, you were asking for that one.

merrilymarylee said...

Your funny guy would get along well with my funny guy.

We could leave them talking while WE rode up and down the mountain.

Barb said...

I liked your post on signs, Carolyn - so many do state the obvious. I know there was a lawsuit when a woman spilled hot coffee on herself. Wouldn't you think when you order coffee, you'd know it was hot and if you had an accident & spilled it you'd take some responsibility? I think the signs are about covering the lawsuit bases.

Loulou La Poule said...

Signs brought to you by the American tort laws.

Vicki Lane said...

As has already been noted, I'd say it's the litigious nature of our society that is responsible for most of these signs.

Sam said...

Well, we live in a lawsuit-happy society, so businesses and organizations have to cover their behinds in the event of stupidity.

I do agree with you, though, that it's really sad that we have to remind members of our society about things that should be obvious.

The Thundering Herd said...

Leaf looker season is just a few weeks away, so remember that we need a sign warning us that some idiot may have stopped their car in the middle of the road just beyond this curve to take pictures. I see it EVERY year.

P.S. - And then there was the woman who was killed a few years ago because she was taking pictures of a rock slide in process. Not sure a sign would have helped.

Karin said...

The overuse of signage - everywhere - is probably the main reason why they are ignored! Quite enjoyed your post! Common sense is just not that common and signs for stupid people are truly ineffective and a waste of money - they don't read them anyhow! Oh dear!

Jayne said...

Man, that road sign was quite interesting! I can't imagine even having the time to read and absorb that much information before passing it! LOL!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Carolyn -- I love signs, too! And I hope you continue driving up and down the mountain despite your husband. What does he know???

Ruth said...

I notice far more signage in United States compared to Canada and have taken pictures of a few that made me chuckle. I do appreciate warning signs along trails. That balcony sign is priceless.

troutbirder said...

Ok just to be contrary - I'm one of those slow moving people who drive hundred of miles to famous touristy places and when I get there want to drive slowly and carefully to enjoy the sights. I once asked a Ranger in Yellowstone NP why the roads were narrow and curvy there. He basically said that the freeway approach would help the people who were late for work in West Yellowstone etc. but the tourists would not appreciate people racing around them while trying to enjoy the gorgeous views and avoid running over the animals. And that's the way it is
Slow Poke TB :)

scienceguy288 said...

I particularly like the first one. Perhaps they are not aware of the law of gravity?

cyclopseven said...

Good for laughter and interesting too.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I guess some people were just not born with "common sense". LOL
Don't even get me started on the warning labels of the things we use inside the home. "sheesh"
So does this mean your husband will be chauffeuring you around from now on? LOL