Broken: (Just for fun) Culver's sign
We saw this sign at Culver's, a dessert place outside of Branson, Missouri.
I guess hamburgers and vegetables need not apply for a position.
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We saw this sign at Culver's, a dessert place outside of Branson, Missouri.
I guess hamburgers and vegetables need not apply for a position.
This plumber is called A. Burden -- literally.
If that was your name, would you really plaster it in huge letters at the top of your ad?!?
[Hey, if it stands out, it may be a smart move... -mh]
While driving through Colorado, this Valero gas station sign caught my eye.
Apparently this gas station would like to its visitors to barter pizza for unleaded gas.
Who knows? Maybe using a different monetary unit makes it look cheaper.
This sign appears at the gym I attend – the YWCA in beautiful Vancouver. It alternately makes me weep with laughter that we need such a sign in the women’s (or anyone’s) change room.
I felt a little weird taking this photo on the sly with my phone, but probably nowhere near as silly as the designer who had to be briefed on the assignment to create this happy-hairdrying-hair-on-head-only icon!
Kip Nicol points out a picture from REALJimBob's Flickr photostream:
This traffic light sculpture in Canary Wharf in London is located in a real roundabout - I wonder how many people have actually mistaken this sculpture for a real traffic light cluster!
Kellogg's Corn Pops currently has a front-of-box description containing the text "Big Yellow Taste," which made me do a double-take. I'm not sure colors have a taste. [Except maybe for veal. Hmm. No, I was thinking of "teal." -mh]
Or maybe it's targeted at people with synesthesia - the condition of experiencing color as taste. So next year's box will boast, "Now even yellower!"
I saw this ad for Kline Realty posted around the neighborhood which made me laugh.
My favorite part of the ad is - "Just type in klinerealestate.com and when it comes on, turn up the volume and fasten your seat belt or you'll jump up and start dancing."
From the envelope containing my recent electric bill, in big, red, bold letters:
"Your Con Edison bill is inside - in a NEW SIZE!"
Wow, a new paper size. I guess it doesn't take much to get them excited. Do they really think customers might be excited by that?
The bill inside looked the same, just printed on bigger paper.
Thanks, Jerome in Paris.
I stumbled across this wacky store in the Westwood mall in Malton, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto, by the airport). Imagine how much time people save by buying cat litter and cigars at the same time!
This is a sign in front of a car dealership called Metro, which I pass daily.
They are always cycling through pithy sayings but this one takes the prize. If you can't get the customer's business, you may as well insult them!
Meghan Elizabeth took a picture of a note she found in her New York City Apartment:
The boiler in my apartment building usually quits a couple of times each winter. I found a funny note in my apartment that someone posted:
Boiler Out of Order
Waiting for Godot, The Mechanic
When will it work?
I did not add the Godot reference to the sign, but I am willing to befriend whoever did.
There is a language learning application called "Before You Know It" that unfortunately looks strange with the Hide and Quit options in the menu. "Quit before you know it!"
I saw this sign by The Hard Rock Cafe on Pier 41 in San Francisco.
Besides the spelling/grammar mistakes it is hilarious!
[This is a sweet version of the classic Epimedes paradox: "Don't believe the fortune in this cookie." -mh]
"New and improved! Don't enter!"
This Google Maps image shows an insect, apparently a giant insect, measuring 50m in length, using the scale on google maps. In fact, the insect is a variety of thrip, an insect that is actually about 1mm in length.
This is apparently the first incident of an insect being accidentally photographed into the Google Maps service.
If people were actually convinced by the radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds," then Google ought to change this image - fast!
Someone spraypainted "this is not a photo opportunity" on the base of a statue across the river from Big Ben and the parliament buildings in London. It was a good photo opportunity.
Alex Moseson submits a picture taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
This “stairway to nowhere” is on a train platform in Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It leads directly to… a solid cinderblock wall.
I noted its brokenness to some passersby, one of which happened to be retired from Amtrak. He told me that decades ago, it used to lead to another platform which is now closed. It remains as an odd sight now.
What is the total trying to describe exactly?
I knew that luxury designer names were being knocked off for bags, but who knew that people were using luxury designer's names for dental clinics as well!
The local McDonalds redecorated and were exciteded about their new look.
The walls are a different color and the tables have been moved around, so the "new look" is not that dramatic and probably doesn't warrant a "whoa".
Would that make it the fifteenth bank?
I saw this sign at a rest stop in El Paso that said "Award winning rest area" and underneath it, a sign that said "Beware of Rattlesnakes."
Get your diagnosis and your prognosis all at once.
I took a picture of this sign on the side of an ice cream truck. We definitely need to look out for those ice cream cone children!
While signing up to use a wifi hotspot in the Dubai airport, I was given the choice of payment options: credit card or free.
It didn’t take me too long to make up my mind.
[Good point. Why give the choice at all? -mh]
"Caution: This sign has sharp edges," the sign says. Then below, in tiny type: "Also, the bridge is out ahead."
Remember to prioritize information correctly!
This is a new neon sign in the window of my supermarket.
I asked the checkout lady what the sign was all about, and she told me (with much sarcasting eyerolling) that "it's intentional; the store is really open 24 hours a day, but the new manager thinks the sign will convey to customers that the store's employees will go the extra hour for you."
This sign was on the door at a hotel in downtown Des Moines, Iowa where I recently stayed.
Couldn’t they think of something better to describe the fire alarm than “Whoop, whoop?”
My son received this toy for his 3rd birthday. It was bought here in LA.
It’s a cool toy but the copy on the box is a hilarous yet unfortunate product of someone in China using babelfish or Google Translator, I think.
Introducing… the "Install Self-Interchange Diverse Electric-Car"
With our marketing tagline:
"Let Tear Away in You Fancy DriveWayThe Fond DriveWayYou Doing Youself"
Every time they serve eggrolls at my school, they give out a fortune cookie to go along with it. I found this "special" message in my fortune cookie.
I thought that all of the messages in fortune cookies were supposed to be about your future or just an interesting thought.
When I checked my friend's messages from the fortune cookies, I found that 6 out of 11 received the same message I did!
He writes: "Inspirational posters are commonly placed on school walls. However, this one seems oddly out of place. The message may be true, but it's definitely not inspirational."
Google's Gmail shows ads based on keywords in the message you’re viewing. Apparently even if you aren’t viewing a message, Gmail will still try to show something related to what you’re looking at.
In this example, even though my Spam folder is empty, Google helpfully shows me a recipe for Spam, presumably because the folder I’m viewing is called “Spam." I think this gives Spam (the food) an unfair advantage, since the folder name “Spam” is pre-defined by Google.
Maybe they should let users change the “Spam” folder name to some other processed foodstuff?
[Note the category of this post... yes, we know it's all in good fun :) -mh]
From the excellent site cuteoverload.com:
This reminded me of the This is Broken logo.
This was "scanned" by the US Marshals. Wink wink. If you know what we mean.
(Why use quotes around "scanned"? Wasn't it just... scanned?)
For some reason I find this to be one of the dumbest cereal gimmicks I've ever seen: that's right, you're eating Zen. Not just any Zen, but "optimum Zen."
Funny, I usually dry my hands with that thing. But each to his own, I guess.
The ultimate input device? How did they come up with that?
It's a standard boring keyboard!
This is an ad campaign from a couple of years ago that I never could figure out.
How does a slimy tree root and the word "deeper" make anyone want to hire these people as consultants? Do they like eating dirt? Are they earthworm gardeners? I don't get it.
The projector screen should never be allowed to "run back uncontrolled."
Everyone, please control your wild projector screens!
There is something about the O'Neill building that makes me feel a little queasy.
Why didn't they write it as "TheONeillBuilding.com"?
Then again, maybe they're just happy to have people talk about it.
[It's not just any ill building, it's the one ill building! -mh]
This sign to the Town Centre of St. George's in Bermuda is five minutes down the road from where I
live. Presumably, it was erected for the benefit of visiting cruise ship passengers since it is near the cruise ship terminal.
The sign is strictly correct as you can get to the Town Centre from either direction. However, it seems pretty redundant as there are no other ways to go unless you fancy a swim in the harbor ;)
For Valentine's Day, a set of greeting cards I bought in Indonesia and scanned in today.
They include what's possibly my favorite greeting card of all time:
you.ll leare bad limes
behind nothing bul good limes on uoui mind
I don't know if this qualifies as a broken link, but it is amusing that you can support the nurses through poor health practices.
I got this napkin one day with my sandwich from a deli.
I am wondering, are one armed nuns the only ones who are allowed to throw this napkin out?
Buckley's is a cough syrup company with the slogan "It tastes awful. And it works."
On their website is a photo gallery of customers sending in pictures of themselves suffering through the Buckley's customer experience.
A few months ago the Mt. St. Helens volcano webcam was blocked... by a fly.
Can't the fly see it's blocking our view? Broken fly!
The Las Vegas carte probably got sick of the bright lights...
This is a photo-op prop at a local water park. Someone's gone and ripped all of his teeth out!
Who wants to have their photo taken with their head in the Jaws of a toothless great white?
Alan O writes:
Nothing really broken (severely, anyway), just things to make you go, "hmmmm..."
Why is it that when you give someone "a penny for their thoughts," they give you their "two cents worth?"
What does it mean when you see an "end speed limit" sign? Can you go as fast as you want?
Why does "speed zone ahead" mean you're going to have to slow down?
Evan writes, "If I were in charge of sign-making, I think I would have used the word 'postponed'."
Amelia Earhart is going to "chuck" Yeager? What does she have against him? Startling headlines!
I was reading Yahoo News when I saw the headline, "Experts confirm Shakespeare portrait fake." Imagine my surprise when I opened the link and found the portrait...
It's that time of year again... The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest rewards the worst first lines of (imagined) novels.
Directions for this product mention penguins - lots and lots of penguins - and conquering Europe... optionally.
Nathaniel Kennedy writes:
Attached is a picture of a menu sign from a local Taco Bell in the Pittsburgh, PA area. The last item in the menu on the left struck me as funny. Maybe not so much broken as funny: there's a one-dollar "Per Breast Upcharge."
This bus ad advertises "Nadine in Date Land." Well, given how strange her headshot looks, she might be there for awhile!
(It's just for fun, folks - the open window on the bus distorted the photo.)
Fernando Corrado writes:
I was driving down Balboa in Granada Hills, CA. Had to stop and snap a quick pic of this. I didn't know the shutoff was in the middle of the street.
[Not broken, necessarily - but definitely a "hmmm" picture! -mh]
Go to kmart.com
In the search box near the upper left corner, enter the words "Grocery Bags" and press enter.
We're Sorry! We couldn't find "grocery bags".
Hmmm, guess sales at Super-K stores might be a little slow?
[Commenters, note the category here: just for fun. -mh]
Need I say more?
Jim Grusendorf writes:
Stopped at Safeway on my way home, and picked up a jar of "Skippy Peanut Butt". Mmm...my favourite.
On Saturday, we picked up some Easter treats at Zellers, including, apparently, "Yellow Pee" (Peeps). Also, the "Lying Bunny" is a stuffed animal, which we haven't found to be at all dishonest so far.
I'm not sure if this is for real or not, but it's definitely amusing. (This Snopes article says that the legitimacy is "undetermined".)
It's supposed to be a voice mail left by a Jack in the Box construction manager in Texas, talking on a cell phone while he's at a stoplight.
Jon Cates points us to the Blue Cake of Death.
You can fake up an error message with Atom Smasher's Error Message Generator.
Thanks to Boing Boing.
Just in time for the New Year, Ze Frank has a few words for us in a brief video.
Here's a link that made the rounds recently. Watch what you sign at the video store.
You're agreeing to a whole different kind of "customer service"!
Creed Combs points us to the photos on this page, which appear to be from an old website advertising a house for sale. One of the pictures shows a bit more than the photographer had bargained for. The title of the page should give a hint.
Don Blackwell points us to a good recipe for the Mexican dish tacos al pastor, written in Spanish. Google provides a translation of the recipe on this page. As Don points out, the funny thing is what happens to the ingredient "1 trozo grueso de piña" in the translation. (Hint: it's the sixth ingredient on the translated page).
This is just for fun - we love Google's translation service!
This is my favorite Old Navy sign ever:
Graphic tees for the whole family
How graphic could they be?
It ain't broke, but I thought you'd appreciate this sign. It is in the Kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific, near Fiji and Samoa.
Terry writes: "I've always wanted to hear a hooter."
In honor of the recent movie I, Robot, a sign from a bridge near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:
This is an ad from the Kleinfeld's website. Kleinfeld's is a famous bridal-fashion store, so this graphic is bragging about one of their designers. Note the "symphony of sewers" -- how attractive for a bridal gown designer!
P.S. Thanks to A.T. for the pointer :)
This cork comes from a bottle of wine I bought in Florida in 2002. This warning label very clearly warns against letting the cork fly into your eye!
The winners of the Seventh Annual Wacky Warning Label Contest were announced recently. The fishing lure shown in the image took fourth place this year with the warning label: "Harmful if swallowed."
Here's a sign that I saw in a small pull-off from the main coastal road near Bermagui, in New South Wales, on Australia's south-eastern coast. Even on closer inspection, I could only read the one word on it. But what a powerful word! When I took the photo, I wondered if I'd be prosecuted for doing so.
Paul Schreiber points us to this visual warning on a Dell PC box. Taken from the very entertaining Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness by Darren Barefoot, the caption is "If you drop this box on a dog, don't trip over its tail."
With the imminent release of Return of the King, I thought you might like this.
This is a clipping from an inflight magazine from "Air Caribe" (one of the Caribbean island-hopping airlines) from about August 2002.
Something is definitely a little broken here :)
Seen on Defective Yeti: This billboard is just wrong. I'm all for well-meaning public-service announcements... but will this really make the youngsters aspire to become engineers?
We'll be back on Monday. Until then, enjoy this picture taken by Brian Winters at Burning Man earlier this year. Somehow it reminds me of that classic scene in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles":
Police Officer: What are you driving here?
John Candy: We had a small fire last night, but we caught it in a nick of time.
Police Officer: Do you have any idea how fast you were going?
John Candy: Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.
Taking a long weekend (for Labor Day in the U.S.). Until we come back, just for fun...
Broken: Getting tattooed in a language other than your own.
Micah Boswell sent in this photo of the Danals grocery store in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately, the neon sign wasn't cooperating that evening.
Jason Kottke writes about a good experience - about how to create an experience that customers can trust. All from a Manhattan donut guy.
(for those dedicated readers over the weekend): "Broken" sports commercials. ESPN.com readers' least favorites.
Update Aug 2, 2004: The ESPN site no longer contains that page.