Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Signs for madmen

You'd have to be crazy to do that
  (+19, -1)(+19, -1)
(+19, -1)
  [vote for,

This idea comes from Yukio Mishima's excellent but very serious novel "The Temple of the Golden Pavillion". However, I don't think it was ever intended for actual use.

The narrator says that certain signs and notices forbidding things are worthless because no sane person would ever do that thing. The signs are pointless unless rendered into a special language that can only be understood by a madman.

A large number of product safety messages obviously fit into this category. So too do a wide variety of laws and regulations. I therefore respectfully suggest we replace a warning such as "Do not use in naked flame" on an electric kettle with "The great god Baal will steal your Coffeemate if you place this in queen Vesta's hearth".

Since arguably all criminals are mentally ill, and current criminal law works so poorly (being framed by the law-abiding and sane (???) ) perhaps we should extend this procedure to the criminal code (particularly drugs law), and to my conditions of employment.

Prohibitions on marijuana use would therefore be of the form: "imagine if you were like a flower growing in a garden, and someone, like, pulled your leaves off and made them all dry and shrivelly. Then they, like, roll you up and set fire to your hair. Woah, heavy!"

Lifeguards' warnings on stormy beaches in winter: "No visiting Neptune's kingdom. The Little Mermaid is in France."

"Anyone who posts a pre-existing idea to Halfbakery will be magically transmuted into a tiny little limpet forced to lick clean my shower for all eternity."

pottedstu, Sep 26 2001

pottedstu,UB- http://www.halfbake...a/Exploding_20couch
skinny rob's annotation [technobadger, Sep 26 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) 'WARNING: Product will be hot after heating' http://www.meditzky.../productlabels.html
(Ignore the background, if at all possible.) [angel, Sep 26 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) "The other side of the story" on famous "frivolous" lawsuits. http://www.atlanet....s/other/othrmenu.ht
[egnor, Sep 26 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       i like this very much. It's the kind of idea that is going to make me think twice about the repercussions of doing or operating anything ever again. I can see post it notes to my girlfriend covering the house warning her of what she may be getting herself into by using any of my things.
benfrost, Sep 26 2001

       "Pointless anotation just saying that I have voted for an idea will make the goddess jutta displeased"?
RobertKidney, Sep 26 2001

       I would judge only 5% criminals are mentally insane - a lot of them are brighter than some 1/2 bakers, they just got caught. I bottled out of an idea about swapping parking tickets on other peoples cars because I'm such a wimp!
po, Sep 26 2001

       You're not a wimp. You're a Teletubbie. Wait
thumbwax, Sep 26 2001

       still waiting thumb!
po, Sep 26 2001

       I just left my copy of Temple of the Golden Pavillion on the train. Duh! I guess that proves something. Like the absence of "Do not feed the seat monster" warning signs.
pottedstu, Sep 26 2001

       They're mute.
finklestein, Sep 26 2001

       I'll give this a croissie. My sister once saw a sign with no writing on it and called out, "Look! An astonished sign!" It became a family joke, of course. Now I am thinking perhaps the sign was not blank but the writing was visible only to madmen?
Dog Ed, Sep 26 2001

       [root@importantserver root]$ cd /etc
[root@importantserver etc]$ rm -R *
rm : Doing this will invoke my special powers as an intergalactic defender of the peace. Are you sure that you know what you are doing? (y,N)
sdm, Sep 27 2001

       Train seats aren't the only seats that need to belch when you drop things like loose change into them. Dorm rooms should make that noise too. It would be much easier to find the things I lost if it did that.
moonsprite, Sep 27 2001

       People may ransack the frat dorms during the beer binges in hopes of finding treasures that only a Pirate would have! Yarrrr!
AfroAssault, Sep 27 2001

       Some signs are plainly stupid, like "Warning: Contents may be hot" on a steaming cup of coffee. If I understand [pottedstu] correctly, there exist people who genuinely need to be told that steaming coffee is hot and that sign wording should be specifically targetted at them. Right?
hippo, Sep 27 2001

       hippo: That's a very literalist approach. The problem is that if you don't understand that coffee will be hot, you probably won't understand language or even simple pictograms, and a more sidelong approach may be called for. E.g. hiring someone to stand outside your window at night and whisper "Pouring coffee on your groin makes a muffle be a poin."
pottedstu, Sep 27 2001

       I tripped and spilled my coffee this morning on my way into work. I could have used a "Warning: raise feet to climb steps or the wicked witch of latte will fall liquidly on stumbling limbs" sign.
lewisgirl, Sep 27 2001

       'cept for her head. (last time I was there anyhow)
dare99, Sep 27 2001

       re Rods Tiger point 2 - By Jove, I think he's got it!
pottedstu, Sep 27 2001

       Know the feeling [Openhead]. I've been known to do things that require just such a sign. It might help to add to that sign "horrible green gnomes with sharp molars will smite you if you even think about that again". I'd be convinced.
moonsprite, Sep 28 2001


       Once, when I was in Jamaica, I saw a 'picture' sign near a school that had a person pushing a wheel-barrow with a red circle around it with the red slash throught it. I had to ask what it meant and was told it meant "Drug Free Zone". huh? I laughed at the thought of a 'wheel-barrow full of ganga'!... those madmen!   

       I later realized that it meant "No cultivation" but I like my original assumption much better.
xandram, Mar 09 2006


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