Working in a modern office pretty much sucks. Not only do you have to share 40 hours a week with people you don't necessarily like, drinking crap instant coffee and answering calls and emails all day from even more people you don't necessarily like, most of us also have to put up with at least one office "signmaker".
You know the signmaker. She's generally female, based in human resources or another one of those departments no one really understands, and has unusually passionate reactions to people not putting the milk away or washing their mugs, which typically manifest in clipart adorned A4 posters in comic sans font with an excess of exclamation marks saying things like:
IS ON ANNUAL
PLEASE DO YOUR OWN
DISGUSTING IN HERE!!!!!!
NOT SUGAR AND COFFEE!!!!!!
PLS WASH YOUR SPOON FIRST
Historically, these signmakers have kept to their natural habitats of the office kitchen, toilet (PLEASE FLUSH!!!!!) and the crazy neighbours who live down your street (WE R SICK OF UR CAR BLOCKING OUR DRIVEWAY!!!!!)
Worryingly, it now seems they are starting to diversify their efforts, if the shop I visited recently is anything to go by.
Raoul and I were on one of our frequent magical mystery tours, in which we drive to strange suburbs and wander around looking for hilarity. This particular weekend we found a lovely little gift shop north of the city - the kind that, as Ab Fab's Eddie would say, sells "Absolutely GORGEOUS little things, darling".
As soon as we entered, however, one thing was glaringly obvious. The owner was a signmaker of the worst kind.
Ok, it's your stock standard "don't touch" sign. Nothing unusual about that - although I always wonder how they expect you to buy anything if you can't pick it up and bring it to the bloody register. Jedi mind tricks? But then we moved further inside.
A CLARIFICATION! So you ARE allowed to touch things, but only if it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. This leaves obedient instruction followers in a right tizzy, for how does one determine necessity in this siuation? One man's necessary touching may be another's frivolous feel-up. I'm guessing: Picking up a scented candle to take it to the register for purhase = NECESSARY. Picking up aforementioned candle to see if it fits in your underpants = UNNECESSARY.
A FURTHER CLARIFICATION! Just in case you thought the "unnecessary touching" rule applied only to the diamante candleholders and lavender bath salts on the first set of shelves, our signmaker is there, laminator in hand, to make sure the "what constitutes unnecessary?" debate continues in the toy aisle. I don't really understand the motivation behind these signs - perhaps the shop owner is allergic to fingerprints - but frankly, the last thing one needs when trying to decide between a Tickle Me Elmo and a retro wooden pull-along train for your nephew's birthday present is an existential crisis.
Ok, we get it.
I SAID WE GET IT.
Again, what motivates a sign like this? How many people were coming into this giftshop asking for the toilet on a daily basis that necessitated a sign announcing the lack of one? And for that matter, why stop there? Why not make a few signs stating the absence of cheese on the property? Or lions?
ON THESE PREMISES
But couldn't I just open them up myself and have a look? I mean, that would be necessary touching, wouldn't it? Unless I open the albums to look and then decide I don't actually want to buy them, which might render my touching of them in the first place UNnecessary, which means that OH MY GOD I'VE BURST MY BRAIN.
And then we saw it. The mother of all signs.
In fact JUST STAY OUTSIDE, THAT'S RIGHT, JUST STAY OUTSIDE, DON'T COME IN AND DON'T BLOODY TOUCH OR OPEN OR BUY ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY NOT TOYS OR ALBUMS, AND PLEASE REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR SPOON. THANKYOU!!!!!