Wash Your Hands Frequently. Also, don’t forget to breathe.


(Sort of) Good Hygiene

I saw this sign over the weekend in the restroom of a retail store. It was beside the standard “employees must wash hands before returning to work” sign.  This was just a print out, placed in a 3-ring binder type page protector, then taped to the wall.  I don’t mean to poke fun at the store, or the person who placed the sign on the wall… but I do see a few problems with this sign, and similar signs in general.  (OK, maybe I do mean to poke fun – you can read an old rant on public restrooms here.)

My first issue with this specific sign was step #3.  For you the reader to appreciate this, I should have perhaps taken a few more photos of my surroundings.  The knobs on the sink were the little kind.  One would have to be quite flexible and creative to turn them off with their arms.  Also, this restroom lacked paper towels.  There was a hand dryer on the wall though.  I could have used some toilet paper to turn off the faucet, but have you ever gotten TP wet?  And, if I waited until my hands were dried by the air dryer… I would have wasted a large amount of water.  I can see that someone took the time to print & post the sign carefully.  Perhaps they could have altered the steps to ones that pertain to their setup?

I guess that’s my only big issue with this sign, other than other sings have told me 30 seconds, or even to sing a song in my head, like “Old McDonald” or “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”… but I’m sure hand-washing time is a subject of hot debate in the hand-washing and general good hygiene sign community.

I wonder what frequently means?  I would think that if one needed hand-washing explained, and they could read the word frequently… one may wonder exactly how often one should wash.  One may think a few times a day is frequent.  One may think that since you’re in the bathroom, it’s talking about your time within.  Should you wash your hands 2 or 3 times for each restroom trip?  I would bet that clarification is definitely needed for the people that need these signs.  I find myself confused, and I already know how to wash my hands.  (Also, I’m sure that some medical professionals would remind you that frequent hand-washing is a sign of OCD.)

I wonder who needs these sings, and at the same time… why there aren’t more of them, educating the uninformed masses of more good hygiene policies.  There could certainly be a bunch more in public restrooms like “don’t pee on the seat”, “no boogers on the wall please”, & “proper nest-building for public toilets”.

I almost want to make a “how to wipe your behind” sign to hang up as a joke to post in restrooms around the area… but sadly I fear that we may see them for real some day.  Maybe they do already exist somewhere.  I would definitely include a “flush at [X] number of sheets per [X] ounces of fecal matter, to prevent clogging” line.

Perhaps a sign above the trash can that says “please do not place soiled underwear in trash can” would also be in good order.  Seems I know quite a few people who have worked places with public restrooms where this sort of thing has apparently happened.  Maybe in with this, signs warning against urinating or defecating in the sink would be appropriate.  This, I have unfortunately seen with my own eyes at the O.  Many many years ago, I was trapped by a hopefully drunk street-urchin looking fellow once who tried to share my urinal… when I balked, he relieved himself in the sink which was unfortunately on my way out the door.  That time, I skipped washing my hands.  Perhaps a footnote is in order on the hand-washing sign.  “*If you have just witnessed someone urinating in the sink, you may skip hand-washing.”  I’m betting the same people that need hand-washing reminders/instructions would also need to be told not to touch others’ urine.

So, I now task you the reader with helping me think of other signs that may need to be hung up in public restrooms and beyond.  What do people need told?  What obvious things maybe aren’t so obvious to all of us need to be publicly addressed?

What about “Please don’t eat the food on the floor by the trash can” at your favorite fast food restaurant? What about “how to pick up dog poop” instructions at the park, right by the useless “No Dogs In Park” signs?  What about some signs on buggies (shopping carts to you non-Yinzers) that say “We have cart returns, please put this in one when you’re done, not pushed to a random nearby corner”?

If you’re super-creative, send me a sign and I’ll post it.  You can either link to the url or image wherever it lives using html in the comments, or email it to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com.

Please, wash your hands before emailing me though.

28 thoughts on “Wash Your Hands Frequently. Also, don’t forget to breathe.

  1. 1) wow it’s snowing on your page
    2) no amount of signs will ever get people to act appropriately. A sign saying ‘Do not enter! You will DIE’ on a door with caution tape will never prevent people from walking in
    3) If signs had an affect, there are many signs needed. Ive seen so many good ones over time and I wish I remember where to go back and take pictures. I like the one at our local Walgreens that children aren’t allowed in by themselves.


    • 1.) You can get the same effect!

      […] it’s that special time of year where you can show off your holiday cheer with a little special blog flare — falling snow. To get it started:

      […] until we turn it off on January 2nd.

      If you are a terrible Grinch or if the snow just slows down your computer or confuses your cat, you can go to your personal settings page and hide the snow everywhere you go.

      2.) Sadly, you’re probably right. People are goofy.

      3.) I’d like to see a sign in every parking space reminding people to park inside the lines. I took guitar “lessons” for a short while by a 7-Eleven that wouldn’t let in more than 2 teenagers at one time. Ha ha. I was also told once while looking at a magazine that it was not a library. Bastards. One of my favorite signs is one in a McDonald’s drive-thru telling you to have your order ready when you pull up… but you can’t see the menu until you’re at the speaker.

      Imagine the fun that could be had with some well-placed signs like “how to give an anal exam” in your doctor’s office (or even better, at the dentist), or “how to count money” at your bank…


  2. I doubt any of the signs do any good, because many people seem to have the attitude of, oh they put that sign there for other people.

    Like the places where there isn’t a left-turn lane so you have to wait behind somebody turning left if you are going straight… but you always have some asshole go off the side of the road to get around them – usually narrowly avoiding hitting the “Do Not Pass” or “Keep Off Shoulder” sign as they do this.

    But if I thought it would work.. I’ve seen plenty of bathrooms that could benefit from a series of signs: one on each toilet/urinal that says “Pee Here” and others on the floor that say “Don’t Pee Here”.


      • I didn’t see that earlier post before…

        I had a very similar experience once. Car in front of me stopped to turn left, car behind me decides to pass both of us on the right shoulder, but while in the act of passing, the car in front actually had the chance to make the turn. So here I am, starting to drive forward, and meanwhile there is another vehicle immediately to my right, trying to get in front of me on the road. I just barely missed having them hit the right side of my car.

        I don’t think it’s exclusively a Pittsburgh thing (my wife grew up in the vicinity of Deep Creek, MD, and she says it’s even more of an epidemic there), but you’re right, it happens far too often around here.


        • Such a reckless action. People have too much of a “that doesn’t apply to me” mentality… but then again, if we all always followed the rules, there wouldn’t be much of a society.


  3. Working at Kennywood sparks the idea for many signs. The biggest issue we face as ride operators is children, teens, and adults thinking it’s okay to touch shit. All summer long, I would turn the turnstiles in the ques lines to open up the lines. A minute later, the line would be huge again. I would walk down the phantom line and notice some jackass too lazy to zigzag through the lines, and turn it back, causing a mess. I once lost it and screamed at the entire line on the ramp about it.

    On Friday, I had the pleasure of watching a family waltz up with their children and strollers to the S.S Kenny in Kiddieland. The parents had their child unlock both latches at the bottom of the ramp, open the gate, and run up to the dark ride that wasn’t running. Open or not, who the fuck are you people to unlatch and open gates in the park!? (Let’s not even mention the fact that they went on a closed ride!)

    Because of stupid people like this, the one ride has two gates with four latches with an additional latch and hook lock on each car of the ride. It takes an eternity to load and unload the ride one-by-one ferris wheel style ride.

    Needless to say, I believe that, not just in KW, but everywhere, signs are needed for people NOT to ever take it upon themselves to have the nerve to unlock, unlatch, unhook, change, and open doors, gates, and lines. It’s so pathetic with the extent of safety measure we must go through with each ride control panel, because people think touching buttons on a ride is perfectly okay.

    Taking it a step further, the Phantom’s Revenge has a sign saying to buckle up upon entry of the platform. There are also two huge signs behind the train on the other side of the platform, where guests are facing their entire wait in line. Plus, the auto spiel button we use for every single ride is heard at least 20 times while standing on the platform to buckle seatbelts once seated. There are many signs AND talking for the illiterate, and they still are ignored. I’d be a millionaire if I had a penny each time someone said, “Oh there’s seatbelts?” “Did they just put seatbelts in? They weren’t here a month ago” YES there are fucking seatbelts, and no they aren’t new, they’ve been in the train since 2001 when it was built. Also you had to have known they were here last month because you would NOT have made it on the ride unless you had it fastened properly.

    Signs or no signs, makes no difference. It doesn’t cure stupid.


    • Is it stupid, or entitlement? So many people act like rules don’t apply to them. At a place like Kennywood, I can imagine these stupid people getting hurt, then in turn hurting the park who’s insurance company is sure to crack down.

      Maybe entrants need to sign a waver to obey all posted signage.

      Or maybe they need picture signs like these…

      Please don't put your baby in a box




      Flash floods may occur at any time...


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