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The dos and don’ts of “Do not touch”

August 12th, 2010 · 52 comments

Nadia in Greensboro, North Carolina spotted this gem of a “you break it, you buy it” specimen at a local thrift store. “Apparently,” she writes, “Secondhand Punctuation Has Its Drawbacks? You Can’t Pick And Choose? You Have To Make Do With What You Have On Hand? Handwritten Notes Are Not Exceptions?”

Please Ask For Assistance Before Touching? If You Break You Buy?

The D.C. tourist trap that Amy visited took a less tentative tack with its signage, though I doubt the “four times is better than one” approach is any more effective.

warning Kids do not touch Kids do not touch Kids do not touch Kids do not touch You break and you will pay full price.. no exceptions

These two stores, on the other hand, pretty much nail it with reverse psychology.

Go ahead, put your mouth all over these, everybody else does. God weeds out the weak.


related: As Davy Crockett once said…

FILED UNDER: bad sales pitch · confusion??? · New Jersey · retail hell · reverse psychology · touching · unnecessary "quotation marks"

52 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Kay

    I appreciate the warnings!
    I am not buying those flutes or those hats!

    Aug 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   moogie

      I don’t think that the person who posted the sign(s) is familiar with the term “unintended consequences.” and is probably still wondering why nobody’s buying them anymore.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm   rating: 36  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Jake

      And what kind of idiot buys a hat without trying it on first?

      Aug 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm   rating: 34  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   GhostWriter bang

      …fat man with a little hat?

      Aug 13, 2010 at 9:54 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   claw71 bang

      Yeah, because the flutes and hats were so appealing otherwise.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 11:18 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Maas

      As I was scrolling down, I saw the “everyone puts their mouth on these” note and the boomerangs before I saw the flutes, and I was trying to figure out what sort of store has that problem.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #2   Ann

    I TOTALLY read the first one like Ron Burgundy

    Aug 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #3   amanda

    What’s a mananger?

    Aug 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   catburglar

      I think it’s a cross between a mango and a tangerine.
      Said to be so tasty that your capacity for proper punctuation is stunned for several hours after consumption.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   MuahHahahahaa

      That was great. Milkshake in my nose.

      Aug 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   GhostWriter bang

      Anger is an important part of any good Mananger.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 9:42 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   Flaboy2425

      Is mananger worse than womananger?

      Aug 13, 2010 at 11:18 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   Mike

      Apparently, I have had a few manangers over the years.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   mamason bang

      Womananger usually turns inward and results in bouts of depression that can last for decades leading to eating disorders and promiscuity. I read about it one time. :-| *sigh*

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #4   Ndawg

    The punctuation may be second hand, but it’s a bear market for extraneous capitalization.

    Aug 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Canthz_B bang

      Really? The manager(?) seems quite bullish on capitalization.
      Maybe she knows someone on The Street…she writes like she belongs in them.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 2:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #5   Fran

    Seriously- why would anyone buy a hat with a lice warning on it?

    Aug 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Canthz_B bang

      Kind of bugs you, doesn’t it? ;-)

      Aug 13, 2010 at 3:34 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   mamason bang

      Yeah, that’s a real head scratcher.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #6   Laura

    After a bunch of workmates labelled their individual powdered coffees (blegh) with “So-and-so’s coffee – DO NOT TOUCH”, a friend of mine got completely jack of the whole situation and labelled hers “Caroline’s tea. You can touch, but you have to touch me first. I’ll be waiting.”

    Aug 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm   rating: 56  small thumbs up

  • #7   dragynphlai bang

    “God weeds out the weak.”

    Well, that’s pretty much the greatest marketing strategy EVER.

    “God will kill you if you blow on this flute. No, seriously. You’re dead. We appreciate your business!”

    Aug 12, 2010 at 11:41 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #8   Wolverine Girl

    Note 1 is all wrong – the second last word should be “ThankS?” I think the ManaNGER? needed some editing AssistancE.

    Aug 12, 2010 at 11:47 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   Michelle

    How do you he facebook ones? I have a really funny one, but I dont know how to save it so I can send it in.

    Aug 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Dixiechick


      God weeds out the weak.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:14 am   rating: 41  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   wright1

      “God weeds out the weak” needs to become the new “Thx, Sandra”. Work it, people!

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:25 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   HappyNat


      The Windows 101 class is starting in conference room 201C in 15 minutes. Coffee will be provided and please put your mouth on the doughnuts, everybody else does. Hope to see you there!

      Aug 13, 2010 at 6:54 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Michelle

      It’s ok, I figured it out, you press Fn and PrtSc. then copy and paste into an editing program where you then save it and upload it to the site. Not that hard to answer my question :). Thanks Bitches! :)

      Aug 13, 2010 at 9:42 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   whipoorwill


      Aug 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   HappyNat


      If you want and useful and straight answer I suggest google and not the comments section of PANotes.


      Common Sense

      P.S. Good on you for figuring it out. Wasn’t that hard was it? :)

      Aug 16, 2010 at 6:52 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #10   Liz

    I was just pondering? the other day? about why people? often speak? with a questioning? upturn in their voice. It seems? like they’re really? not sure? about what they’re? trying to say. They’re just looking? for affirmation? from their audience.

    Or something?

    Aug 13, 2010 at 12:14 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Mel K bang

      Note 1′s writer must be Australian. It is a common speech pattern to have rising intonation without actually asking a question.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 2:56 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Meredith

      It’s also sort of one of those valley-girl-esque things. “Like, one day? When I was at the mall? I saw these awesome jeans? And I bought them because they were hot?”

      Aug 13, 2010 at 9:04 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Noelegy

      Hee! My 9-year-old niece was visiting us recently, and she was telling this story? that never ended? and every sentence ended like this? And I turned to my husband and said, “This one time? At band camp?” and he got all embarrassed and red-faced and fumfy. :)

      Aug 13, 2010 at 9:45 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #10.4   Angel

      Oh my goodness, this. I do tech support for a chain of stores some of you may have heard of–Anchor Blue, out on the west coast. The people who work in these stores do this so frequently that after speaking to them for a while, I start doing the same thing. It’s so annoying!

      Aug 15, 2010 at 8:20 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #11   wright1

    I’ve heard of delicate snowflakes, but the kids in that D.C. tourist trap must be really fragile to warrant such stern repetition. Or maybe it’s that the merchandise is so crude and hard-edged that kids tend to break themselves bumping into it…

    Aug 13, 2010 at 12:23 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Mel K bang

      We have missed the point completely.
      Remember Cop Rock when they would break out in song? This part of the sing-a-long.

      Everybody, on the count of three “warning…

      Aug 13, 2010 at 2:50 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    I’m sorry. I just find that first sign questionable.

    Strangely, I can’t quite figure out why… :???:

    Aug 13, 2010 at 1:43 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   A Pedant

      I “thought” it was a capital note!

      Aug 13, 2010 at 1:55 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Canthz_B bang

      I thought is was a sign sublime in its design, yet subliminal in its effects.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 2:02 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   Canthz_B bang

    I think I saw “Go ahead, put your mouth on these, everybody else does” on a ladies’ tee shirt in the Lillian Vernon gift catalog!

    Aug 13, 2010 at 1:54 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #14   Canthz_B bang

    Usually, hat racks have a mirror attached so you can see what you look like in a hat before buying one.
    Now we know that’s a lousy idea.

    Aug 13, 2010 at 2:09 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #15   Canthz_B bang

    Kids do not touch
    Kids do not touch
    Kids do not touch
    Kids do not touch

    A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth
    A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth
    A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth
    A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth

    Aug 13, 2010 at 3:42 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #16   anonymouse

    …those lice were fucking delicious

    Aug 13, 2010 at 5:41 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #17   dragontoy

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned that the sign was actually Yoda’s warning to pedophiles.

    Aug 13, 2010 at 7:04 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #18   yoavg

    Notice how the flute basket is completely full, I don’t think anyone has ever bought one of this.
    The sign must be working.

    Aug 13, 2010 at 7:32 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #19   claw71 bang

    You know, every one of these is the perfect set up for a “that’s what she said” .

    …I saw the T-shirt CB was referring to, it was on RB’s mom and it wasn’t so much a shirt as a surgeon general’s warning.

    Aug 13, 2010 at 11:23 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   benry

      Every one of these is also the perfect setup for adding an “in bed” at the end.

      ex: “God weeds out the weak…in bed.”

      Aug 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   Mo®

      I heard she has the matching bloomers with that on it too. You have to pick off the crust to read it though.

      Aug 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   Monkeygirl

    Any curious about what is in the box labled “Professional yet easy” in that last pic?

    I’m just sayin’

    Or askin’?

    Aug 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   eslinger bang

      From the looks of it, it’s about converting your pics to CD/DVD.

      Or else it’s an ad for your mom. ;)

      Aug 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #21   Will

    That first note is a prime example of why you need to pay attention in school! If you don’t, you have a good chance of ending up working the register at a thrift store. Such a “shame”?

    Aug 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   pylgrim

    Those hats must be from some poor-man’s “Friday the 13th” shop: What you risk is not a soul-blistering curse but minor yet shaming ailments. Watch out for the “athlete’s-foot” shoes.

    Aug 16, 2010 at 9:37 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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