Signs, signs everwhere ...

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014



I’ve been paying a lot of attention to advertising signs and billboards while on the road lately. I don’t text and drive during my frequent travels, but I do take the occasional peek at the signs along the way.

And I’m all about subliminal messaging.

My problem is, I don’t think the subliminal message I take away from these signage glimpses is the message advertisers had in mind.

For example...

A billboard spotted along Hwy. 17A between Moncks Corner and Summerville said this: “Low cost toothpick sized dental implants...”

There is nothing about the phrase “toothpick sized” that offers any comfort when it involves sticking something toothpick sized anywhere in my mouth except perched on my lower lip.

It hurts just reading it, but the sign makers added a visual aid of the inside of my mouth to show what they meant by “implant.”

Implant means to permanently attach by any method possible. They want it stuck, but good.

I have problems with dentists to begin with. I don’t want anybody anywhere near my mouth wielding a hammer and a bunch of ten-penny nails and saying, “Open wide, this will pinch just a little.”

Driving onward, I was stopped at a traffic light behind a mini-van covered with advertisement signs touting the services of a local tanning, nail and electrolysis establishment.

The sign said: “Hair Removal Wax JUST $65, Laser Treatment $99.99.”

Translated... For just $65, we will surgically remove your liver using nothing but duct tape.

I don’t know what sadistic malcontent invented the waxing process anyway. You spread hot wax the consistency of peanut butter up and down your leg with a Popsicle stick.

Once the wax is in place and before it cools, you press on strips of butcher paper, and wait.

When you feel like the wax and paper have formed a solid bond you then grab hold of the paper strip at the corner, count down 3, 2, 1..., whisper a quiet prayer asking for swift deliverance from Dante’s Fifth Level of Hell, and yank hard.

As for the laser treatment reference, I’ve seen all the Star Wars and Star Trek movies and I know what lasers can do.

The descriptive metaphor “Sizzle!” usually follows.

During my radio days I signed an endorsement deal with a local laser treatment facility, only in this case the laser therapy was designed to relieve stress and help you relax.

“Just lie back and relax,” the gum-popping technician said as she fired up the thermo-nuclear device.

The lights dimmed, but only for a minute.

“Where do you aim the laser?” I queried.

“At the center of your forehead, right between the eyes,” came my gum-popping reply.

“And what is the laser supposed to do?”

“It pentetrates deep inside the hypothalmus and cauterizes the node endings that controls misbehavior, malfeasance and general irritability,” she said with a smile.

Didn’t they call that a frontal labotomy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?”

No thanks.

I saw what that did to Jack Nicholson.

I was doing laundry over the weekend and had purchased an off-brand economy sized bottle of detergent.

It said: “New and Improved laundry detergent... MORE concentrated — USE LESS.”

Translated... It’s useless.

It says so right on the bottle.

Maybe the summer product marketing intern didn’t get the job offer he wanted and decided to say good-bye with style.

The label’s intent was to convey economic laundering by using less detergent, but when you spy the detergent bottle from 15 feet away and you’re not wearing your bi-focals, USE LESS gets blurry and becomes USELESS.

Maybe I’d be better served keeping both eyes on the road.

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