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Stupid Signs

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 10:11 am


My Take

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign,” sang The Five-Man Electrical Band in the 1970s.

There are a number of web sites with examples of stupid or unnecessary signs and I have borrowed from a couple of them as well as mixing in my own experiences.

Some signs like those that say “Stop”, “Slow Down”, or “Dangerous Curve Ahead” are necessary, but are not always obeyed.

Speed limit signs have become useless whether they are metal or digital.

I love the ones that say something to the effect “The Roadway Is Wet When It Is Raining”. Goes along with “Slippery When Wet” as a corollary.

“Do Not Enter When Flooded” is also good advice unless you want an amphibious vehicle. Trust me, it doesn’t work.


I also like the ones in bathrooms that demonstrate in detail how to properly wash your hands. Didn’t our mothers teach us that when we were toddlers? But along the same lines is one I hope is followed, “All Employees Must Wash Hands before Returning to Work”.

Frankly, I don’t want to eat at a business where employees need to be reminded to wash their hands, especially if they need the steps diagrammed on how do it.

Another classic is “Only dispose of toilet paper in the toilet”. Okay, I got that. Don’t try to flush a Volkswagen. The only toilets capable of that are those in the rooms of Disney World hotel rooms.

How about those restaurant signs that warn “Caution: Hot Beverages Are Hot”?

Saw one the other day online that said “Library Closed until Opening Time”. As a member of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Library Board of Trustees it made me happy we don’t have a sign like that one.

“Remove Paper before Eating”. If you need to be told you have to do this maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to buy groceries.

“Do Not Iron While Wearing Shirt” would appear to be an unnecessary label. I solve the problem by never personally ironing my shirts.

We have become a society where everything has to be informed step-by-step what to do.

A warning label on a baby stroller says “Remove Child before Folding”. In a world where tragically too many children are left in hot cars this one is necessary no matter how obvious.

“Never Use a Lit Match or an Open Flame to Check Fuel Level” can be found on some vehicles. If you try to do that I really don’t want you on the streets or in the water with a vehicle.

My best sign is one I saw on a two-lane rural highway in Arkansas many years ago that warned “143 people have died on this highway. Don’t you be the next.”

Definitely not, Good Lord willing.