I recently returned from a few days in San Antonio, Texas, where my friend Matt and I amused ourselves on the Riverwalk with a competition to find the tackiest souvenir possible in each store within three minutes or less. (My first win: a “pooping armadillo” keychain.) When we entered this fine establishment, however, I had to call a time-out.
I didn’t even get a chance to take photos of all the signs at this one store — including some amazing ones taped to the register — before I started getting the stink-eye from the manager. (I generally try to stay out of trouble in states that allow their teachers to come to class armed.) I’m telling you, Alamo, Schmalamo: this store was the highlight of my trip.
Terri in D.C. found this sign-bedecked scooter outside her apartment hilarious for three reasons. First off, “the fact that one of those little squirrely-looking scooter guys got out his most aggressive art supply and wrote ‘fuck off and die’ to a stranger.”
Second, she says: “I live between two churches, a library, an elementary school, and a high school. Classy place to curse at passersby!” And the best part, says Terri? “The neighborhood I live in in D.C. is named Mount Pleasant.”
Dealing with the rantings of your crazy boss or overzealous receptionist is one thing, but what do you do when your office’s resident passive-aggressive note-leaver doesn’t even work there? Casey in San Diego (a.k.a. RunBarbara) says that’s the situation she’s found herself in at her job.
The offender, Sandra, “has met me a total of twice, both times for less than a minute,” Casey says. Yet for some reason, when Sandra (the aunt of the owner) stops by the office once a week to water the plants and drop off supplies, “she leaves these strange notes EVERYWHERE — and she almost always directs questions about said notes to me,” Casey says. “I often have no idea she posts these notes until someone asks me about the odd directions in them.”
Below, a small sampling of Sandra’s delightfully bizarrre directives. (Just click on the photos to enlarge.)
I’d like to think this note was posted immediately following the “potluck”…
Nothing could have prepared Lauren in Oakland for the passive-aggressive avalanche that awaited her the other day at her new apartment. She calls the experience of finding the notes totally surreal. “It keeps playing back in slow motion in my mind, from the second I saw the first one hanging over the threshold to my absolute horror and delight at finding an eleventh one hours later on the bathroom door.” Here’s the theme park version!
“I’m not sure anything in particular prompted it,” Lauren says, “but I live, apparently, in some kind of alternate dimension where full-grown adults believe in chore-wheels, so it could’ve been anything — but certainly not ELEVEN things to correspond with the number of found notes. Then again, I’m not a timebomb waiting to explode, so how would I know?”
Laura in Boston says one of the restrooms at her school is a real note bonanza. The inside of the stall features no fewer than four individual notes about proper flushing etiquette, and immediately outside the restroom are two (slightly contradictory notes) about proper door opening/closing procedure.
But what’s most interesting? How a couple of those notes look awfully familiar...
Our anonymous submitter in Detroit tells us his roommate is a repeat offender when it comes to passive-aggressive note-leaving. This time around, he went with a note AND a text message. (“And it’s not even my fault!” our submitter protests.)
"White person here. Lived on a two-block all-white stretch in South Philly in the '90s, not far from a majority African-American public housing highrise. One year a neighbor sent out a notice that "our" Halloween would be on the 30th, so we should give out candy then and turn off our lights on the 31st. That's right, White Halloween. We did the opposite. Life in those towers was awful for kids. They scrounged up clothes that kind of added up to costumes, we gave them lots of candy."