Given the highly intellectual discussions this site’s commenters have become known for, it seems safe to assume that the question, “How are we to judge poetry?” is one that you, dear reader, have no doubt pondered on many an occasion, along with other more academic concerns such as the proper resting state of the toilet lid.
Well, as the late Philip Larkin once said, “I think a poet should be judged by what he does with his subjects, not by what his subjects are.” With that in mind, which of these poets would you judge “less likely to make you totally vom”?
Is it this one, from a university campus in Toronto?
…or is it this one, spotted by Kacey at the YMCA in the college town of Champaign, Illinois?
related: A limerick
extra credit: The Poet of Dirty Words: Reconsidering Philip Larkin [slate.com]
FILED UNDER: Canada · Illinois · odor · office · pure poetry · toilet · Toronto
Kendall was waiting for her peach perfection at the Jamba Juice in Elmhurst, Illinois when she spotted this note on the napkin-holder. Writes Kendall: “I guess it’s their passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘take fewer napkins, a**hole!’”
A tip for would-be internet meme-mongers: as of this writing, algoreknowshowmanynapkinsyoutake.com is still available. (What are you waiting for? apparently, these days they’re handing out book deals to any idiot with a blog!)
UPDATE 10/12/09: A copycat is on the loose in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! (As spotted by Paul in Nebraska)
UPDATE 9/24/10: Another real-world homage! This time, from an office in Los Angeles. (It took two years for this to spread to the West Coast? Really?)
related: The audacity of theft
extra credit: isyournewbicycle.com
FILED UNDER: "customer service" · guilt trip · Illinois · politics · shameless meme-mongering · The Earth
The manager of a Florida preschool seems to have a kindred spirit at a Missouri strip club, where our anonymous submitter spotted this note taped to a dressing-room mirror.
Personally, I like the idea of an junior-high-elective-style employment program. (Dance? Restaurant management? Government? You decide!)
related: happy to be of service
FILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · McDonalds · Missouri · not-so-veiled threats · now that's management · obnoxious definition · visual aids
Marcus in Leicester, U.K. found this stuck to the lid of the toilet by one of his housemates. “I’d understand if it was the seat,” he says, “but the lid?”
I’m with Marcus, here — I don’t think this is some kind of Dear Abby “does the toilet paper go over or under?” type issue. Is there anyone else who considers closing the toilet lid de rigueur?
related: dearest roommate
FILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · "up for debate" · etiquette · toilet · U.K.
Christoph found this polite and friendly note on the door of his apartment in San Francisco. a reasonable enough request, to be sure, except for the fact that — despite his neighbor’s claimed omniscience — “I don’t own any exercise equipment.”
Admits Christoph: “The sound in question was likely a swivel chair…and my habit of rolling back and forth on it at 2 a.m.”
Meanwhile, Kate spotted this lonely stair-climber in the front yard of a nearby house in Snohomish, Washington. “It made me wonder whose stairmaster it really was,” Kate says, “and who wrote the note.” (A newly self-aware infomercial enthusiast? A bitter spouse?)
Alas, Kate says, “We may never know. The underused piece of exercise equipment was gone by morning.”
related: If you needed an excuse to skip the gym today
extra credit: The hawaii chair [youtube.com]
FILED UNDER: a little patronizing · hey fatty · irregular capitalization · neighbors · noise · San Francisco · Washington state
“This morning we were reminded via an office-wide email that we must comply with the official timekeeping rules,” writes an anonymous federal employee in Colorado. “That means recording the correct times time sheets, not being absent during core hours without submitting a leave slip, not being off campus except for lunch hour or approved leave — you know, everything short of requiring hall passes to use the restrooms.” (Really, would you expect anything less from the United States government?)
Later that day, a print-out appeared on the bulletin board for a training called “dealing with difficult people.”
This follow-up note was posted soon after.
Adds our submitter: “As far as I know, no one has actually been fired or threatened with firing for not complying.” (Again, this is the federal government we’re talking about.)
related: Four approaches to ice-cube maintenance
extra credit: “The Audacity of Government” [thisamericanlife.org]
FILED UNDER: CAPS LOCK · Colorado · Comic Sans Alert · fired · McDonalds · meta · not-so-veiled threats · now that's management · office · the government
Our anonymous submitter in California — pleading innocence — says she was singled out with this note in a barn that houses 60 other horses and their hay.
This note’s lack of obvious sitcom-ish puns — with the exception of “breeding good vibes” — makes me think that maybe I’ve been doing this too long…or perhaps that I haven’t been giving horses enough credit.
related: four legs good, two legs bad
extra credit: fourteen passive-aggressive appetizers [thenewyorker.com]
FILED UNDER: horses, cows, & chickens · I'm telling on you! · karma's a bitch · Los Angeles · stealing
This masterpiece is a gift from the collection of Zedral (Morgantown, West Virginia, 2008). The original installation also includes a trail of small arrows pointing customers toward the register, along with multiple post-it reiterations along the way.
related: Ceci n’est pas une note passif-agressif
FILED UNDER: "customer service" · CAPS LOCK · excessive underlining · Morgantown · retail hell
What kind of objectionable trash do you suppose is being disposed of in these bins? (Half-eaten curries? Yesterday’s Times?) How many hours of company time did the sign’s designer spend on this full-color laminated masterpiece? What is that comma doing there? and how, exactly, how are these bins to be monitored?
related: Servicing over a half-billion people…each and every day
FILED UNDER: bathroom · big brother-ish · CAPS LOCK · clip art catastrophe · garbage · Ireland · now that's management · office
Where do you suppose this “anomous” Tampa, Florida resident stands on the whole nature-vs.-nurture debate?
Interested? here’s a free preview!
related: Your to lazy
FILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · CAPS LOCK · crazypants · dubious scientific claims · exclamation-point happy!!!! · Florida · gloriously redundant · irregular capitalization · kids today · Moms & Dads · most popular notes of 2008 · neighbors · spelling and grammar police · Tampa · the lawn · unnecessary "quotation marks"