Amusing Signage

19 Jun

Now firstly, I’m grateful that we have people here at IHOP who are being so responsible for the upkeep of the place. Our cleaning, maintenance and grounds people are seriously excellent, and I hope I get to go visit them in their massive mansions in the New Jerusalem.

That said, there is a sign that’s been up in the ladies’ room for a week or so now that makes me smile anytime I see it. It’s one of those “Only flush things that are supposed to go in the toilet” kind of signs — and to be fair, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one that has not left room for giggle potential. But I had to share my amusement with this one in particular, because I see it almost every day.

           ANYTHING ELSE.


To begin with, I like that it’s only one paper towel. Singular noun. Or maybe it’s that kind of indefinite noun where you don’t use a real plural form, like “dirt” or “water” or “moose.” (i.e. “I’m going to the store to get some paper towel.”)

The kicker, of course, is that you cannot flush the aforementioned singular paper towel “in the toilet or anything else.” I get really amused wondering what on earth you would alternatively try to flush a paper towel in, if not the toilet. There are several other things that the word “flush” could mean, but I cannot for the life of me think of anything else that is able to flush. I can almost picture someone trying to cram a fistful of paper towels down the sink, water spilling over the edge as they exclaim in frustration, “It’s not working!”

So remember, kids… do not ever flush a paper towel, even (and perhaps especially) if the thing you’re flushing it in is not a toilet.


Posted by on June 19, 2007 in Life Happens..., Random


4 responses to “Amusing Signage

  1. brian

    June 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    I have two problems with signage that this reminds me of – both involving that ubiquitous janitorial apparatus, the “wet floor” sign.

    In the first place, this yellow barracade is frequently left for long periods unattended in the restroom, where the first thing that occurs to me is “is ‘wet’ an adjective, or a verb?”. I was always taught not to wet the floor. I’m afraid the frequent co-resident spanish “piso mojado” only makes it worse…

    In the second place, the whole notion of this thing just annoys me – obviously the product of one guy who successfully sued one other guy for his own inattentiveness about not noticing the floor was wet with some consequence. Sheesh! So whenever I see one of these things standing around unattended, I slap a sticky note on it that says “tripping hazard”. A little while later: “Beware of people stopping suddenly to read this sign”.
    Followed by “Caution, the back of this post-it note is sticky and gross.” Sometimes it costs me most of a pad of post-it notes to make a stupid point to a minimum-wage janitor who probably doesn’t even read english…

    I can just imaging the bewildered custodian wondering to himself “Why don’t the gringos just throw their used post-it notes in the trash?”

  2. Dorean Beattie

    June 20, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I see you were much too genteel to admit to what I always think of when I see these signs. When they say to only flush toilet paper, I’m left wondering what I’m supposed to do with the what caused me to need the toilet paper in the first place… I guess that’s where the “wet floor” sign comes in… Eewwww…

  3. Kacie

    June 22, 2007 at 7:06 am


    it is a winner of a sign. i laughed out loud the first time i read it. and then realized i was laughing in a bathroom stall while other ladies were in the bathroom most likely wondering what could ever be so funny…

    that’s all i have to say.

  4. Christine

    June 24, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Yeah. The signs amused me too. Now they just annoy me beyond reason. Every time I see them, I cringe a bit. But I think it would be wrong to bring a big red marker in to make my editing remarks on the papers.


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