While on a road trip to Boston this spring, we stopped en route at a gas station. I went into the washroom and a sign above the sink read: "Caution. Water is VERY hot." This would have been useful information, except that the sink had only one faucet, leaving the user no control over the temperature of the water. It might as well have said, "If you choose to wash your hands, you WILL burn yourself." Then you'd simply have to weigh out the risks of bad hygiene versus bodily injury. I took my chances and opted for good hygiene.
On the same road trip, we saw a road sign advising drivers: "Deer: Next Two Miles." Just two miles? Has anyone told the deer?
Same trip: I bought a treat at Starbucks. It came in a paper bag, which read: "flavors my senses, sweetens my disposition, stirs my imagination, nourishes my dreams." For real? Who wrote this? Did they really think I'd buy it? (the line, that is, not the treat. I'd already bought the treat). That's a whole lot to ask of one sweet treat. Unless my dream is to eat a Starbucks scone or muffin, it seems bound to end in disappointment. I suppose it's more poetic than: "Raises my blood sugar, expands my waist, fills out my thighs, depletes my self-esteem." And yet, I wonder how many people have left that Starbucks with their banana chocolate chip coffee cake, sure that after their last bite, their imaginations would be stirred, their dreams nourished (it really would make the $4 per slice easier to swallow). When their imaginations remained stagnant and their dreams out of reach, they'd fume angrily: "THE BAG LIED. DAMN YOU, STARBUCKS!!!" (demonstrating that the treat had also failed to sweeten their disposition). Be careful what you promise, Starbucks.