Friday, May 25 , 2018, 10:37 am | Partly Cloudy 64º


Paul Burri: Some Signs Send Mixed Messages

After taking the time to read the fine print, one can't help but think, "Huh?"

Now that I’m retired with a lot more time on my hands, I find myself wondering about stuff that I ignored before, probably because I was too busy or concerned with other things.

Paul Burri
Paul Burri

Here’s an example. I saw a sign over the photo counter at a local chain drugstore. It read, “Effective Immediately, All Overnight Photo Processing Will Take Three Days.”

Huh? I couldn’t help wondering when the “effective immediately” was going to take place — immediately or three days from now?

I walked into one of our local copy shops and there was a sign that read, “Enlargements Reduced.”

Huh? What’s the point of that? Do they also take reductions and enlarge them?

I read in the paper that the crew members aboard the space station were having trouble with a machine that is designed to convert urine and condensation (from sweat, I suppose) into drinkable water. I understand that the government paid $154 million for it. After paying that kind of money, wouldn’t you suppose the thing had been tested seven ways to China before they launched it into space, so we wouldn’t have to be tinkering around with it after it was up there?

More importantly, how did they figure out that it wasn’t working in the first place? Did some astronaut say, “Hey, this tea tastes funny?” How will they know whether they’ve got it working properly again? Ask Mikey to taste it? (Anyone younger than age 40 probably doesn’t get that.)

Then I can’t help wonder whose idea it was to install Braille instructions at the drive-up teller station at my bank. Who is supposed to use those instructions? The driver of the car that is rapidly approaching from behind me?

The other day I saw a sign on the door of a local business. Well, actually there were two signs. One read, “Open 24 Hours.” The other read, “Closed.”

No wonder I’m confused.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car ahead of me in the northern California town of Paradise, a retirement community. It read, “No Child Left a Dime.” Sometimes I feel the same way.

The price of everything is going up these days. My wife bought a case of dog food the other day and it came to nearly $4 a can. Do you realize how much that is in dog dollars?

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business but he is a small business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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