Signs are endlessly fascinating, thanks in part to our long tradition of protecting free speech, no matter how silly.
There’s a little enterprise stuffed into one end of a convenience store I pass about once a week. The primary sign — lighted and professionally produced — announces the business is the “Fun Place.” Then follows a bulleted list of the types of fun available:
* Family * Arcade * Fun Games * Billiards * Video Fun * Video Poker * Monitored
Already, I’m a little doubtful. Of seven items, only two are specifically indentified as fun. It sounds like a gambling joint, but the first and last words are “family” and “monitored.” I’m thinking either it’s video fun, poker and pool or it’s monitored and family-oriented.
It can’t be both.
Curious, I ease in for a closer look. I don’t go inside, only a stroll past the front door. There’s a poster on the front door in some Microsoft-provided font detailing the “Rules and Regulations.” This is sounding more like monitored than video fun and poker.
Here are the rules (with my doubts in parentheses):
1. Have fun, no fighting. (As my cousin Harry used to say, you haven’t had fun until you’ve been in a fight.)
2. No drinking or drugs allow- here. None. (I report; you decide whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the formulation of that sentence.)
3. No food or foul speech. (A unique combination, but clearly stated.)
4. Only those over 18 can play poker or other redemption games. (Now, at least, we know it is a gambling joint. Family-oriented and monitored but definitely a gambling joint.)
5. Try to limit any smoking inside. (This is near the top of my list of favorite statements. It’s not really a rule, just a suggestion for your better health. For example, put the cigarette you are smoking out before you light another.)
6. We will throw out any rule breakers. (Or, like Cousin Harry said after the fight, I’ve been thrown out of much better places than this.)