Caution -- Wet Floor: April 5, 2011

Caution: Wet Floor
April 5, 2011

I really enjoy good road signs.  While I am driving, they help me to realize the spots where a duck might be crossing or a rock might be falling, and they help me to know where  a school might be nearby.  Clearly these are phenomena I would not be able to figure out on my own.  However, I think it's time for me to reveal that my all-time favorite sign -- at least for a week -- isn't one that I see on roads.  It's a universal classic and a savior to many: the "Caution: Wet Floor" sign...

"Wet floor" signs stop many people from slipping on wet floors.  There have been times when I am walking and suddenly come across a puddle of water, and I think to myself, "This looks like water.  I should probably watch out," and then I see the sign next to it that proves I am correct: the floor is indeed wet.  I then think, "Thank you, sign, for stopping me from stepping into water.  There is a good chance I would have slipped otherwise."  Slipping is not the end of the world, unless it occurs on wet floors because, as all signs indicate, those who slip on wet floors typically lose their heads.  Complete a Google Image Search for "caution wet floor" to see an array of signs that explicitly show that the person slipping will have his or her head disconnected upon slipping.  These signs also reveal that when a person slips on a wet floor, the slip will always be dramatic.  The person will likely fly into the air and land at the most awkward angle possible.  Admittedly, I have been tempted to hang out near these signs just to witness the slipping.  I also want to point at the sign once the person is on the floor and say, "You know, you really should have read that sign."

As much as I enjoy these signs, I think there are dozens more that could be just as popular -- and useful -- if created.  One sign I would enjoy seeing is one that reads, "Wet Mop."  It could be placed next to a wet mop so that people know the mop is wet before picking it up.  Imagine the disaster of thinking a mop is dry and then realizing the opposite.  I am shaking just thinking about it...

Another good sign for any store would be "Dirty floors: cleaning them soon," in order to indicate that the management of the store acknowledges the condition of the floor and is courteous enough to tell you that at some point, at some unexpected time, some random employee is going to use a mop -- and maybe the "Wet Mop" sign -- and clean the floor.  It would certainly add to the connection between store management and the customers, and would give customers the notion that the "Wet Floor" sign will follow...

I hope that I am not jinxing myself.  There is a good chance that in the next week, I am going to slip on a puddle somewhere, and as I am falling, I will see images of the caution-person in my head.  Just to play it safe, I am going to stay away from mops for a while...

But I digress.


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