In This Sign You Shall Fluff Dry
“Free Wi-Fi! Enjoy your time with us.”
Well, I thought that was the most sociable thing I’d ever seen in a laundromat. Most of their signs are of the “Do this” or “Don’t do that,” variety. I remember seeing a sign in a laundromat years ago that said,
“Do not put children in the dryers!”
Always sound advice I would say.
While I was waiting for my things to finish drying I overheard a woman speaking with the young lady behind the service counter. The woman had also seen the sign on the wall and had a question.
“What is this free ‘Wee-Fee’ and how do I get some?”
The sign on the wall just assumed that everyone who saw it would be able to fill in the informational blanks that would fully explain what they were talking about.
As we go through our daily lives we see signs everywhere telling us to do, or not do, this, that and the other thing. Big signs. Little signs. Understandable signs and signs that make no sense at all.
A few Examples:
Wait a minute! If you are illiterate how are you supposed to read this sign, let alone write to them for free help?
There is more to this than at first meets the eye. Does this whole “haunting” business come up very often?
A little additional information can make a world of difference.
A touch callous perhaps, but it does qualify for our “Truth in Advertising” award.
Plenty of information. Ignore this sign at your own risk.
As I was doing my usual minimal research for today’s blog I began to realize that, depending on the circumstances of where and when I was located, I could easily be in the same darkness as the woman in the laundromat. While a sign may be self-explanatory to some people there are others who may look at it and scratch their heads in confusion. Some signs could benefit from some additional clarification.
I thought back to the Emperor Constantine of Rome. In 312 AD he was marching off to battle ahead of his legions when he saw a sign in the sky above the bridge over the river Tiber. Above the bridge he saw a giant cross in the sky. If there had just been the cross and nothing else Constantine might have thought, “Well, that’s nifty. I wonder what it means.” Fortunately, God, in His infinite wisdom and patience gave Constantine some additional clarifying information. Underneath the image of the cross were the words (In Latin or Greek we assume), “In this sign you shall conquer,” or words to that effect. Nobody thought to stop and take a picture.
With those words Constantine understood the sign, won his battle, and changed the course of western civilization.
Now, I’m not implying that, if the sign in the laudromat had carried a little more information, the woman who wanted some free “Wee-Fee” would go on to alter the course of History in some way – but you never know.