Monday, March 8, 2010




1 a : wash, bathe b : to flow along or against
2 : pour

this word immediately makes me think of the stickers in restaurant bathrooms instructing people to wash their hands. these stickers are usually adhered to the front of the paper towel dispenser, and i often stare at them while i'm peeing, reading the instructions in eight different languages—lavese las manos, lavez-vous les mains, xin rua tay, bitte hande waschen, nawa mikono—sometimes saying them out loud to myself, just to pass the time. (note: there is no latin translation—LAVEre vestri manuum. dead, i guess)

in one bathroom that i frequent (i'm almost positive it's the bathroom in sound grounds coffee shop on 37th and belmont) there is the above hand-washing sticker. as you can see, the sticker contains no language and takes the ikea route by displaying only images, an attempt at universality. this is how i assume they want their audience to interpret the images:

1) if you find yourself in the bathroom,
2) wash your hands,
3) wash your hands again,
4) now you can touch food!

the images are a little confusing...specifically the jump from hand washing to spaghetti and meatballs. i'm assuming this sign is geared toward employees, hence the emphasis on washing twice, which is a general rule in food service. i was obviously not the only person confused, though, or amused, since another bathroom-goer took the liberty of writing on the sign in scratchy black ink: HOW TO MAKE PASTA.

i laugh out loud every time i see it. it never stops being funny.

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