P-p-p-pick up a penguin

Shop signs can be irritating, not least the misuse of apostrophes, but some shopkeepers are to be commended on their signs.

For example, when the buffet at Balham station in South London is closed the sign on the door reads "Shut happens".

And the florist near the Engine Room's top secret base is boosting his pre-Christmas turnover by flogging some rather jolly stuffed penguins under the sign: "A penguin's for life, not just for Christmas – unless you're a polar bear, in which case a penguin might be for lunch."

6 comments:

Gareth said...

When in the Norfolk Broads last weekend, we passed a sign on the edge of the river which said simply "Do Not Throw Stones At This Sign".

JD said...

There's a fairly well known poem by Matthew Sweeney about just such a sign. I don't know whether the poem was written with this particular sign in mind, or whether the sign was put up in homage to the poem. Or whether it is just coincidence.

You should be able to find the poem, if you are interested, by Googling "Matthew Sweeney" and "do not throw stones at this sign" together.

Anonymous said...

Um, polar bears are northern hemisphere, penguins southern. Although, I suppose, given the opportunity...

JD said...

Ha ha, we are now getting hits from people Googling 'what happens if I pick up a penguin?'. I can think of several possible answers, none of them particularly pleasant...

Gez said...

JD, why don't you take a photo of that florist sign and submit it to the GrammarBlog Xmas appeal? There are points up for grabs – shiny or juicy, depending on the winner's preference.

JD said...

That's a good idea, Gez – and I was thinking of taking more photos generally.

Unfortunately I am an itinerant sub at the moment and my digital camera is packed in a box in another part of London.

Maybe Apus can be persuaded...