A while ago we had a couple of posts about some intriguing collections of found objects – notes, photos, love letters, grocery lists – mostly things you were never meant to see that offer revealing sidelong glimpses at lives, and life. Of course, things you were meant to see can be revealing also. And hilarious.
Oliver Radtke’s Chinglish: Found in Translation captures odd, inintended juxtapositions on English language signage in China. Imagine going out to dinner at “Lactopork Restaurant,” ordering up a nice platter of “Man and Wife Lung Slice” or “Black Pepper Cowboy Bone,” polished off with some “Graininess Cookies.” While you’re in the “Fixed Expectations District,” you might pick up a package of “Damage” brand condoms.
Some signs seem to wax philosophical, as this no-littering sign: “THE CIVILIZED AND TIDY CIRCUMSTANCE IS A KIND OF ENJOYMENT.” Well, yes, but then again, there’s much enjoyment to be had in being uncivilized, to say nothing of untidy. Or this memorable and no doubt effective keep off the grass sign: “Green grass dreading your feet.”
Long a popular website and flickr account, the folks at Passive Aggressive Notes now have a book that captures such mini-masterpieces of domestic (or dorm) dysfuction as “JESUS doesn’t steal pop-tarts. NEITHER SHOULD YOU… you know who you are.” (Yes, and Jesus knows who you are, too!) Check out this missive:
Hey – Did you ever think that the silence in this room is due to YOU not intiating a conversation? Don’t rely on me for everything. – your EXTROVERTED Roommate.”
Seeing that made me so grateful I don’t have a roommate, as did this bathroom note: “Next time please use YOUR contact case, not MINE.” But perhaps the most startlingly effective of all is this crime stopper: “Dear Milk-Thief, that was breast milk!”
Social networking has opened up new vistas for passive aggression, as seen in this entry from Facebook:
I marvel at the variety of strategies on display here, from simple reverse psychology — “Don’t Shut the Door! It’s obviously a huge inconvenience to you!” — to cheery puzzlement — “This machine is like a box of chocolates! You never know what you’ll get!) (For Diet Pepsi, push Mountain Dew. For Brisk Tea push Mountain Dew.) Still haven’t found the Mountain Dew.“ — to outright aggression: “Opera Singer: Close your windows or shut up. We don’t want to listen to you.” Which sounds really harsh, until you imagine living near an opera singer who keeps his or her windows open. And that is the real pleasure of reading these, imagining the gargantuan icebergs of aggravation of which these smiley-face laden notes are the proverbial tip.