It is only fair to warn those of you with a clean record that anyone proceeding past the next full stop will become a ‘receiver’. A receiver is a person who knowingly buys or accepts stolen goods. Other people wrote this week’s column and like Johnny Cash with the car, I stole it ‘one piece at a time’.
This puts you on the horns of a dilemma – because the fact that this article isn’t all my own handiwork suggests it could be worth reading this week. Make up your own mind now – or once again I’ll be gone ahead on my own.
Actually those of you still with us have a laugh or two in store, because I am going to tell you about shop, restaurant and other poster messages that got a wee bit twisted in the telling. We will start off with a couple of nice clean ones – just to get you in on the swing of the thing.
Many years ago, during a holiday in Spain, Mrs Youcantbeserious and I came across the following on a sandwich board: ‘Free glass of wine with all people eaten today’. Maybe people were being eaten in that restaurant, but certainly they weren’t going to be replaced in the cocktail lounge in Norway which gave clear instructions that ‘Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar’!
For the bad-minded among you, some real notices are so outrageous that they should not be reproduced in a decent newspaper like this one; but you must remember that they were written in all innocence by a person who made a mistake, or very often had a limited knowledge of the English language. You will have to keep on reading for the best ones!
A Nairobi restaurant advised that; ‘Customers who find our waitresses rude, ought to see the manager’ – while a dry-cleaners in Bangkok suggested, ‘Drop your trousers here for best results’! Another couple of clean ones – before we get into some adult content! From Mombasa, Nairobi again; ‘Take notice that when this notice is underwater, this road is impassable.’ Or the message in Kencom, which asked; ‘Are you an adult that cannot read? If so, we can help’. A restaurant somewhere carried the good news; ‘Open seven days a week and weekends’, and a cemetery warned that ‘Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves’!
And so to a few real eye-brow raisers – well worth complaining to the editor about! The following item is included in a Tokyo hotel’s list of rules and regulations. ‘Guests are requested not to smoke, or do other disgusting behaviours in bed’! Again in Tokyo, a bar advertised; ‘Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.’ Another Jap gem is where a hotel informs its guests; ‘You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid’!
Obviously one needs to be of one’s best behaviour when entering a temple, so see if you can figure out this rule in a Bangkok temple. ‘It is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner, if dressed as a man.’ If you find that one difficult to fathom; don’t even bother with this one, posted in Germany’s Black Forest: ‘It is strictly forbidden on our Black Forest Camping Site, that people of a different sex, for instance men and women, live together in one tent, unless they are married with each other for that purpose …’!
From here on in we present some scrapings of the barrel of what this column is all about. Those of you who “never read his s***e anyway”, can alight at this full stop.
This notice appeared, word for word, in an Abu Dhabi souk shop window: ‘If the front is closed, please enter through my backside …’ Meanwhile, a doctor’s surgery in Rome appears to have made the greatest ever breakthrough in medical science. The brass plate states boldly; ‘Specialist in women and other diseases.’! (No, Pet … I didn’t make that one up … I swear!)
The menu in a Swiss restaurant gives you ample warning that, ‘our wines leave you nothing to hope for’ – and an advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand asks; ‘Would you like a ride on your own ass?’
Any reader who has stayed the distance thus far deserves to finish up with one nice clean and easily understand shop notice. A long time ago, there was a publican by the name of Jim Burke in Delvin. Jim wrote this: ‘My beer is good – my measure just; forgive me please, I cannot trust: I have trusted many – to my sorrow; so pay today, and owe tomorrow!
The English language has more lives than a cat. People have been murdering it for years, but it’s far from being dead.