How does this graffiti make you feel? Puzzled? Reflective? Called to action? Annoyed (especially if it’s your garage door)?
I saw it the other day behind some shops. It makes me think smugness. The person who sprayed it is smug.
I saw it in a pub in Oxford – the interestingly named Black Boy – I think it has been considerably spruced up since I was last in. You may have to squint to read the light coloured graffiti.
The condom machine in the toilet had a warning on it: “Warning. This machine is protected by an electronic alarm.” Beside it, someone has written: “So was the World Trade Centre.”
What do you reckon? Just plain offensive? Anti-American? Or a pertinent comment on how we can become complacent or over reliant on technical solutions? I don’t know if the machine is still there. I suspect not. But seeing it has always stuck in my mind.
There is more below here. But if you’re a new visitor you may as well STOP NOW.The rest is is aimed at readers of the previous post Euphemisms for…Ahem… You know. And there’s something else beyond that again, and something funny. But if you’re a newbie – IT’S NOT FOR YOU.
2. I was going to call this post: Do you feel free?? But I was so overwhelmed by the response to the post about euphemisms for death that I changed my mind. In honour of timeforthorns, it is named after her Florida cracker of a euphemism for death – “kissed the gator” – a phrase I will now incorporate into my own vocabulary. So thanks thorns.
And thanks also to you other guys for your contributions – to samhenry for the Woody Allen vids, to Tim Footman for John Le Mesurier‘s self-penned death notice, and to Baino, souldipper, ohmykozy, smartmouthlittlebitch and thebigshowatud for your euphemisms too.
I’m with you rebekahgoldman when death comes knocking close to home or on friends. Best to speak clearly then – and more importantly to speak and listen. The euphemisms take a back seat. As Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson says, sometimes you just can’t laugh about it.
Maybe ziabaki is right. It’s not a north/south thing. It depends on how much of it you see. If it’s so in your face, so prevalent, happening so young – then perhaps it’s impossible to hide even behind humour.
But good idea from willowmonroe – handing out chocs to sweeten the memory. I’m sure there’ll be no need to sweeten people’s memories of you, but chocolate boosts morale at times of stress and sadness. (Just so long as it’s not instead of alcohol at your wake.)
‘And then, in a surprise move, she died’. Thanks exileimaging – it makes it sound like a career move, which, if she was a musician or a film star, it could have been.
Big up also to tonguelessghostofsin (what a name), Barbara, the Success Ladder, aravan, TaylorGooderham, Maxi, lizcwilliams, crmhaske, Kat Richter, MintyCrunchyBubbleGum (but will you know who among them is a virgin and who is not? can you just tell?), jasmeet1566 and gaelikaa.
3. Reverse psychology
I once produced a radio slot called the Special Half Hour. It could have easily been called the Secret Half Hour. It happened between half past midnight and one o’clock in the morning – and it reinvigorated a radio dead zone. It’s cult success was partly (well, massively) to do with the presenter Richard Bacon but also because we went to great lengths to keep the new slot secret.
We sabotaged attempts to publicize the slot, we talked journalists out of giving it good reviews, we stole the first two rules of the SHH from Fight Club. “The first rule of the SHH is you do not talk about the SHH.” (You can guess the second rule.) This even applied to friends telling friends, husbands telling wives, sisters telling brothers. The strict rule was that only people listening while it was live on air could be allowed to know about it.
This led to difficult queries from SHH listeners, like the man who signed the show dialogue to his deaf wife as they lay in bed after midnight. He now put his hands down on the stroke of half past midnight for fear of breaching SHH rules one and two. After an on air discussion we may have given him a special dispensation to continue.
SHH members could also recognise each other on the street thanks to discreet subtle little badges. But they could never give away the secret to non-members.
The result of all this counter intuitive secrecy was to make the secret slot a huge hit. (And bizarrely, despite being axed eight months ago, the fan pages appear to be carrying on regardless. They, sniff, don’t need us anymore, sniff sniff. That’s me crying by the way.)
A bit like when you warn your child that, whatever they do, they’d better not go gnawing on that wholesome good-for-you cucumber as soon as I turn my back. What? Is that not how everyone gets their kids to eat fruit and vegetables?
Which roundabout way brings me to this question for new visitors to this blog: What are you doing reading this far down when I told you not to? Reverse psychology, ain’t it great?
Oh, go on then. And if you’re having a suboptimal day, this is to let you know that you’re not the only one.
More on the weatherman’s entertaining track record here.