Funny signs that aren’t meant to be

I read signs because I’m sure they’re posted for a reason – to educate, to inform, to alert, whatever.

But many signs, I have to say, strike me as unintentionally amusing or, in some cases, very tempting.

For example, I was in the lunchroom the other day, there to microwave lunch – this little fix-it-in-the-microwave container of macaroni and cheese.

I was about to do some very impressive mid-day cooking here of water mixing and stirring and waiting, setting the microwave for 3 and a half minutes, when I noticed for the first time a “Please Use Caution” posting on the front of the microwave.


It’s probably been there forever and falls in the category of things you don’t notice until you notice them.

Tops on the list was this: Do not operate when empty!

And with an exclamation point no less.

Now me being me, I can interpret this in two ways, that I shouldn’t operate equipment on an empty stomach because I could be very, very dangerous in that condition.

Hell hath no fury like a food-deprived woman. Outta’ my way, people!

Better Half will be the first person to confirm that I am one grumpy gal when my gut growls and grumbles that sad old “feed me, feed me, feed me” song.

But I drew my own conclusion here and figured it must mean quite simply don’t operate the microwave when there’s nothing in there to be cooked or heated.

Just, as I suppose, you shouldn’t perk coffee in a pot with no coffee and water.


Now why would you?

To see the microwave light on? To watch the plate spin? To hear the sound it makes?

Wow. We really need to have that as a reminder, I chuckled to myself, knowing that the office microwave is too much in demand for it to be in use for no reason.

One of the other signs on the microwave is “Close door after removing food.”

No exclamation point this time, but at least this one I can appreciate.

I for one hate doors left often – especially cupboard drawers. It looks messy. I’d post that in my own kitchen if I thought it would do any good.

In the tempting department, I have to stop myself when I see a sign posted above a door that announces “Not an exit.”

Why is it a door then?

My reflex is to want to go through it anyway, pushing the old envelope.

Will an alarm sound?

If I pass through, will I fall off a cliff into another world?

I’ll never know. I obey all signs I see, including the one not far from the microwave that notes “Caution: Watch for forklift traffic.”

Yep. It can get pretty busy. Especially during forklift rush hour.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. she can be contacted at