Thursday, 20 January 2011

Strange Scribing

Back in Kent again and I'm heading Sussex-ward, going to meet my Nan for Sunday lunch. Little sis and I are dropped in Hartfield in order to make it to the pub in time for our booking while The Olds go and collect her. On the way there, we walk past an empty field and on the gate leading into this rather lonely-looking green expanse, there is a sign. What this sign says is the topic of discussion for much of the short but blustery walk to the Hay Wagon.

The wording reminds me of another equally baffling sign on a playground gate, The Boy and I saw in Adelaide that was presumably either aimed at paedophiles or drunken adults (see above). The Hartfield sign we can't help but speculate about has a similarly sinister undertone: “We are retired beef cows. Please treat us with respect & keep dogs on leads”, it says. We wonder how a “beef cow” can possibly be retired and decide the wording would perhaps be better changed to “We are the cows that got away”, "We are the rejects" or “We are retired amputee beef cows”... Looking at the empty field, there is little evidence of any lucky surviving cows - even one legged!

After lunch we head back to my Nan's house and attempt various crosswords. Flicking through one of those comical free catalogues that often come with Sunday papers and are aimed at the elderly, crammed full of useless goods, I come across a grotesque advert:

This reminds me of the legendary “dick pants” that were the source of many a joke while at school, aged 16. I often now wonder whether these “dick pants” ever actually existed – they just seem too good to be true! “What are they?” I hear you cry. Well, some bright spark had noted how unfair it is that women can't pee standing up and are often inconvenienced by this so had designed rubber pants that women could wear that would allow them to do so. This ingenious idea was featured in just the kind of magazine the advert above appeared in and sadly I have never seen or heard of it since. Instead, coming across useful gems like the revolting “doll” depicted above.

My amazement at such strangely worded signs and stomach-churning adverts is only surpassed by the fact that someone out there scribed these beauties and someone even more disturbing might actually buy the “Little Umi”, dummy and all!

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