What Others Say

Bob Rodriquez

Bob’s Corner

Illinois Valley News

Life is tough (difficult to chew or comprehend) for people like me who interpret (translate) written and spoken words literally (strictly).

In a store the other day I stood at a counter for quite a while staring intently. A clerk finally asked if I needed help, and I told her that I was simply following instructions on the sign. It read, “Watch Batteries.” Although I watched them carefully, nothing happened.

In another location there was a sign that read, “Buffalo Snacks.” As I have no buffalo, and didn’t even know that they like snacks, I did not buy that product.

Later, I got into a bit of trouble because there were signs that read, “Throw Pillows” and “Throw Rugs.” When I did what the sign stated, the clerks became rather upset, so I adjourned to another part of the store, where the sign read, “Restroom.” After I rested for quite a while, some other clerks made me leave because they said, my snoring was causing a disturbance.

Later, when I felt ill, my physician advised me to drink a warm glass of milk after a hot bath. I couldn’t even finish drinking the bath, let along the glass of milk. Also, his receptionist was not happy when I tried to remove an item from the waiting room. But when I came in she said, “Please take a chair.”

Plus, she wasn’t pleased when I asked where the area was for impatient people, based on the sign that read, “Patient Registration.”

After that episode I got into trouble with a traffic cop for driving too fast. He didn’t understand my reasoning that I was only following the indication on a road sign that read, “Speed Zone.” He also could not answer my question about why other motorists were so angry, as noted on the sign, “Cross Traffic Ahead.”

A few years ago there was an ad in a daily newspaper advertising a mobile home show, but the biggest part of the ad read, “No Admission.” So I didn’t go.

And then there’s the Grant’s Pass car dealer who advertises “Free Hand Wash” with certain purchases. In the first place, why not offer to wash both hands; and secondly, what’s the big deal about getting one hand clean?

For some reason this reminds me of being annoyed at restaurant signs that read, “Mexican Cuisine.” Cuisine is a French word. Are there restaurants with signs that read, “French Comida.?” This is all confusing to me. What about people who say, “We’ve got a real problem”? Are there unreal problems?

Plus those who say, “I had my car stolen,” or “I had my leg broken.” Why would anyone have that done? Sounds like something to avoid, not have done.

So excuse me literally while I peruse my dictionary, thesaurus and modern dictionary of synonyms and antonyms. I feel an alphabet attack approaching.