Sunday, October 11, 2009

swimming with the fishes

There is no irony deficiency in Mexican humor.

Take this interesting little sign.

It is posted on what was once the shore of our local crocodile-inhabited laguna. I do not begrudge warning the public of unseen dangers. But the sign causes me to chuckle on several levels.

The first is the font. Even with the pictogram (or because of it), I was a bit confused. I stared at the sign trying to recall what "hadar" might be. The closest word I could come up with was "hada" -- fairy.

Fairies simply did not seem to need the type of warning I would associate with this area. But there was Tinkerbelle -- and Captain Hook -- and that crocodile. Quite a stretch even to my wildly undisciplined non-linear mind.

Of course, the word is "nadar." Not the Unsafe at Any Speed guy, but the Spanish word for swimming.

But that took me to the second chuckle. The pictogram is supposed to be the international symbol for no swimming. What it is missing is the water and the appearance of a person actually performing a swimming stroke.

Everytime I look at it, it reminds me of the half-bodies that populated the opening scenes of Jaws. I don't think the warning is: Half-eaten corpses not allowed.

But the best part of this little joke is found behind the sign. Admittedly, a year or two ago, there was water behind the sign. Water filled with sewage, chemical run-offs, and large reptiles that will rework you to impersonate Captain James Hook. Not a place to take your afternoon swimming constitutional.

As you can see, though, the water connection has been severed. Between the cane grass and the water hyacinth, you would not know there was a laguna near the sign.

Move the sign? Why?

A good joke is far better than an effective warning.

So, a crocodile, a lawyer, and a shark went into a bar -- .


Laurie said...

This sign looks like something I would see in coastal Lousiana. The only difference is signs are often misspelled in Lousiana. I think because most people south of Baton Rouge grew up with French as their first language (if you are over 45 or so). Louisiana is a bad place to get lost. We misspell signs, point to the wrong direction, etc. But we never put signs out warning of the alligators in the water.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Steve - don't leave the joke in midair! ;-) Alee'

Howard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So, a crocodile, an attorney, and a shark go into a bar. And the crocodile only has to order two drinks, not three. Why?

Because the lawyer and the shark are the same guy.

Pa tum bum!