Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

In which the author finds beauty in how people tell other people what to do.

No Crocs, Hong Kong Edition

Hong_Kong_CrocsI blogged a sign last month warning wearers of Crocs about the peril they face.

Apparently it’s not just a Canadian thing.

This picture was taken in Hong Kong, and was sent in by Julien Bissonnette. (You can see other Hong Kong signs as shot by Julien here.)

The sign says:

Mind your toes.
Ensure that children in your care keep their feet well clear of the step edge especially when wearing plastic shoes or sandals.

No mention of Crocs, but the image accompanying the words is pretty clear.

“No” Bicycle Parking Allowed

no_bicycles2This is a favourite from outside a low-rise apartment in my neighbourhood. I love it primarily on somewhat perverse aesthetic grounds. It reads:

“No” bicycle parking allowed.
Apt. Mgmt.

What’s so lovely about it? What’s not lovely about it!

First, there’s the unnecessary (indeed, inappropriate) quotation marks around the faded word “no.” Those are for when underlining just isn’t enough.

Next, there’s the old-timey hand-writing. It reminds me of my long-dead grandfather. Given that this is Little Portugal, I cannot help picturing an elderly, diminutive Portuguese Canadian man carefully painting those words.

Third is the fact that the sign is nearly illegible — and whoever posted it doesn’t think it important to fix it.