Thursday, July 12, 2007

Churlish signs

I was driving on Highway 501 today and stopped for gas at Sparky's, pictured above, located a few miles west of Galivant's Ferry. Sparky's is one of those joints that line the roads into Myrtle Beach; it sells fireworks, moccasins, shells, Myrtle Beach t-shirts, hats, bumper stickes, and other such, well, shit.

So I thought this sign near the gas pumps was refreshing example of truth in advertising:


When I went inside to pay for my gas, a hand-lettered sign greeted me. It said:

NO Heelys
or rollerskating!

And in tiny letters underneath:

For your safety

Inside Sparky's, a dozen or more hectoring signs festooned the walls. And the support posts, and the display cases, and the cash register.

This was actually the most polite one:


On a post near a stack of styrofoam cups customers can fill with peanuts, handlettered signs warned, "If you overfill cup and lid does not fit, YOU WILL BE CHARGED EXTRA!!!"

Over some clear bins containing candy sold by the pound, signs read, "IF YOU SCOOP CANDY YOU MUST PAY FOR IT!!" and "DO NOT MIX CANDY!!"

And so forth.

I was a little put off by the angry tone of these interior signs. The implied accusation that I would overfill my peanut cup insulted me. I mean, what kind of ill-mannered person does Sparky's think I am? But I do appreciate the candor of the outdoor sign. We need more of that kind of honesty in the retail business.

(Don't give me any grief about those pictures. I never said I was a photographer)


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