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Ceci n’est pas une porte

September 26th, 2011 · 41 comments

Q. When is a door not a door?

A. If you ask a 10-year-old with a joke book: “When it’s ajar.” Otherwise…whenever somebody says so.

Exhibit a) from Trent in Melbourne, Australia:

This is not a door. You only think it's a door because it looks like a door. But it's not. Don't believe the hype. Please use side entrance.

This is not a door. You only think it's a door because it looks like a door. But it's not. Don't believe the hype. Please use side entrance.

Exhibit b) from Michael in North Carolina:

This door is not a door

Exhibit c) from Laura in Greenville, South Carolina:

This isn't a door. It's a regular wall. (Response:) Then how do you explain this???

Exhibit d) from Shannon in Albany, New York:

Looks like a door - YES. Works like a door - NO

Exhibit e) from Summer in Austin, Texas:

This Is NOT a Door. Door is just for looks! Lock is broken. Use door as it if is a wall.

And lastly, a straight-up Magritte shout-out:

Ceci n'est pas une porte

related: The existential crisis of a water fountain

FILED UNDER: questionable logic · WTF?

41 responses so far ↓

  • #1   pony girl

    Is this some sort of existential problem?
    I mean, I see that it’s not an entrance/exit, but it’s still a door, isn’t it?

    Sep 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   pony girl

      I should read the intros before posting. duh

      Sep 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   selphie

      It’s possible they don’t open at all. kind of like those fake drawers on bathroom and kitchen sinks. hate those things, they always confuse me D:

      Sep 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Grant

      Simply adoorable!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:00 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   The Ghost of Mitch Hedberg

      See, this is why I like escalators. They can never break- they can only become stairs. All you’ll see is a sign that says, “Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   The Elf

      You are not an experienced DC Metro rider, I see! What you see when an escalator breaks down around here is lots of cones and barriers to block access, a dismantled escalator, no one actually working on it, and an escalator running in the other direction.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 9:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.6   makfan

      Oh, The Elf, I have seen that. No matter which way I am going, the working escalator will be going the opposite way.

      Oct 2, 2011 at 11:33 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #2   Kim

    Think Geek had a similar issue, and in true geek fashion, crowd-sourced a multi-lingual “This is not the door you’re looking for” sign:

    Or as Magritte intended: don’t believe the pipe.

    Sep 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   The Elf

      “It’s locked! Move on to the next one.”

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:41 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #3   Phyllis

    LOL Kim. I just went looking for that sign to post the link! They had a pretty aggressive (not even passive-aggressive) sign about solicitors at one point, too.

    Sep 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #4   Chris

    What I really want to know is why in the last picture is there a side door mirror hanging vertically?

    Sep 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Nunavut Guy

      Well it’s obviously a European racing door.


      Sep 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #5   NutellaIshMehName

    This post is not a post.
    It may look like a post but it is NOT!

    Sep 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Nunavut Guy

      MMMMMM Nutella……..Chocolate Fuckin’ sandwich!

      Sep 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   The Elf

      This is not a reply.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:42 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #6   cizzerhand

    No comment

    Sep 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #7   Echo74

    I have a door that’s not a door in my house. It used to be a closet, but had to be sealed off to meet housing codes due to a gas furnace being behind it.

    Sep 26, 2011 at 11:08 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      But surely having a door to where the gas furnace is would be a good thing because it allows access to the furnace for maintenance and repairs(?)

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:08 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Somebody Else

      Dr. Chalk, the answer is simple: put up a sign, of course. Such as:

      “This wall is really a sealed-off door hiding a gas furnace behind it.”

      That way when repairs are needed, one knows which part of the wall to break down and doesn’t have to swing wildly everywhere inside the house in order to find it.

      I really hope that the housing code also specified the need for a sign. Otherwise that bit of code seems rather silly.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   SmokyJoe

    I tried using that one door as a wall like the sign said but, when I went to drive in a nail to hang my “Hang In There” kitty picture, the door/wall, shattered into a million pieces, what a ripoff!

    Sep 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #9   Mrs.Beasley

    I actually appreciate how the sign-posters made attempts at humor, but to paraphrase a line from Amadeus: “Too many words.”

    Ever so much more pithy to say, “Not an Entrance.”

    Sep 27, 2011 at 2:01 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   unsatisfied

      at the griffith observatory in LA — there is exactly that: a door marked “entrance” with one sign with a “not an entrance” sign right under it.

      for some reason, I found that fucking confusing.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:19 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Somebody Else

      Clearly, what the world needs is a new universal symbol: a picture of a door with a red circle-slash imposed over it.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #10   beep

    This makes me laugh because my friend’s grandpa built their lake house and used glass doors for all the windows because it ended up being cheaper. All the windows have door handles, and the actual doors are the same as the window-doors. It’s awesome.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 3:07 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   The Elf

      Imagine the hilarity of being in that house, having friends over, getting them drunk, going outside (closing the door behind you), and then calling for them to join you. Who would find the real door first?

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:45 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

      What would be even better is if they all worked like doors, giving you free reign to choose your preferred point of egress and ingress.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:10 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   redheadwglasses

      I was at a party in a very big house. A friend and I went downstairs to use the bathroom. Inside the bathroom are one-foot-wide white and kelly green stripes, including the door. With the alcohol we’d consumed and the smoky treats we’d smoked, we couldn’t find our way out! Someone eventually came along and let us out.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:22 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #11   hobblebutt

    A door is only a door if it leads you to somewhere else. Therefore, any obstacle can be a door if you make an opening for something to go in or out. Not necessarily having a doorknob.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 6:41 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   The Elf

      Now that is some great philosophical bs!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 6:46 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Amy in Toronto

      @ hobblebutt: by your definition, a hallway is a door; an archway is a door; a window is a door; garbage chutes are doors; death is a door; and stairs/escalators/elevators are also doors. They all “lead to somewhere else”. I enjoy being steeped in metaphor, though ..!

      Sep 27, 2011 at 9:22 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #12   Dr. Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

    Door. Noun. a hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, or vehicle, or in the framework of a cupboard.

    A door that is locked, nailed shut or otherwise jammed is still hinged and therefore still a door. It’s merely a door that doesn’t work.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 8:12 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   Shewearsfunnyhat

    I worked someplace where a guy walked right into a window. The door was next to it. The guy ended up breaking the window. They had to put a sign that said this is not a door on the window after that.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #14   Black Kristos

    PLease, please, please: Someone make t-shirts of :Ceci n’est pas une porte. I’d wear the shit out of that.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   pony girl

      No, no, a t-shirt that reads: ceci n’est pas une blouse.

      or whatever t-shirt is in French.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   meeper

      T-shirt in French is t-shirt.
      Now shirt, on the other hand, is chemise.

      Sep 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   pony girl


      Sep 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   Jesse

    When dad remodeled his 1880s era house, he turned one of the closets into the new stairway to the basement, with a door at the top end. The original door to what was the closet is still there, but is nailed shut so it doesn’t open anymore. I guess he thought that was less trouble than removing the door and covering the opening.

    Sep 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   Hello There

    This is not passive aggressive in the slightest!

    Sep 28, 2011 at 1:56 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #17   TeamRedhead

    I was just at the Mall of America last week (I don’t need your PA comments about that, btw; I’ve got my own), and there was this large, echo-y sound like an underwater explosion. With some kind of expo going on, there was extra security, and suddenly you see lots of gaping armed guys trying to locate the source of the sound.

    Turns out, a 12-year old-looking kid had walked right into the very tall (and therefore very resonant) absolutely clear Apple Store wall at speed. This kid was in rough shape, but embarassed as hell. He’s got his mom, three Apple employees, and two security guys hovering over him, doing nothing, so I walk over, hand him my cup of ice from my Diet Coke, tell him to hold that to his head, and walk on.

    I think Apple might have to re-think their “This Wall is so Clear and Unencumbered, it Might Well be a Door” policy.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 8:33 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #18   sophie

    hahah genius !! :))
    xx Sophie

    Sep 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   Robbie

    Taped up on a locked door at work: “This is not a viable egress.”

    No one got it.

    Sep 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up


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